Monday, February 28, 2011

Grand Parkway takes significant step forward

Segment F-2 of the Grand Parkway near The Woodlands Texas is moving on. On the 24th of February, the Parkway Commission was granted "Construct" authority to accelerate the completion of the Harris County segments of the parkway. Locally, we have interest in this segment that connects the North Freeway (I-45) to the Tomball Freeway (SH249). There will probably be some interest in the segment from I45 to US59 also.

This parkway will have highway speed design, not parkway speed design. The anticipated speed limit is 70 MPH.  This will be a freeway with feeder roads in selected locations. There will be full interchanges built at I45 and SH249. The completion target date continues to be 2014. This is a huge $434.2mm project, likely to impact traffic flow in some areas during construction.

Additional definition of access:
"Grade separations with entrance and exit ramps will be built at the following roads: Gleannloch Forest
Drive/ Champion Forest Drive, FM 2920/Boudreaux Road, Spring Stuebner Road/Kuykendahl
Road, Gosling Road, and the future Sawmill Road. Grade separations without entrance/exit
ramps will be built at the following locations: Hufsmith Kohrville Road/Burlington Northern Santa
Fe Railroad (BNSFRR), Northcrest Road, Rothwood Road/Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), and
Mossy Oaks Road. An additional grade separation may be built over a future internal road within
the Lakes of Avalon Village subdivision (exact location will be determined during the final design
of the project in coordination with the City of Houston). Frontage roads will be limited to the
following locations: 1) extending from SH 249 to the future Boudreaux Road intersection; 2)
along the alignment of Boudreaux Road from the Gleannloch Forest Drive intersection to a point
immediately north of FM 2920; and 3) extending westward approximately one half mile from IH
45 to the future location of Sawmill Road." From  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION  Federal Highway Administration RECORD OF DECISION.

The parkway is to absorb the traffic growth of the next two decades. It is also to take traffic off of county roads and reduce traffic accidents on those roads. It will provide an alternative for The Woodlands residents who wish to access I45 or SH249. Commute times for some residents will be shortened, and Woodlands Parkway traffic volume should be reduced, especially for some of us living in the villages of Panther Creek, Indian Springs and Creekside Park.

This new freeway segment will be comprised of 627 acres. There will be a price beyond dollars. It will displace some homes currently in its path, move some fences and facilities and impact access to certain locations during construction. This freeway will be a Toll Road, so some residents will choose free public roads over this toll road, especially for short distances. Commuters in Harris County will likely use the road heavily.

As The Woodlands grows up to be whatever it will be, this will provide major traffic relief and access to and from our community. Traffic along Gosling south of Woodlands Parkway and along Kuykendahl south of Woodlands Parkway will no longer need to access SH2920 to the south or Woodlands Parkway to the north for regional transportation.

Segment Focus Area Fact Sheet link (click here)- there is an interesting map on this online document, the last proposal which was slightly altered before finalization. The preferred alternative was presented to the landowners and after hearings, some slight modifications were made to reduce cost and accommodate proposed changes.

Map of Parkway

1 comment:

Woodzy said...

The new Grand Parkway will go through/over the land where Spring Woods Village has been proposed - along with the new headquarters for Exxon. (Hardy Toll Road and I45 area).