US 59 Loop Upgrade

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be widening and reconstructing US 59 in Laredo through the ongoing project known as the US 59 Loop upgrade. The project will be constructed in 3 separate phases; TxDOT has completed the environmental study for phases 1 and 2 of this project. There is a separate ongoing study being done for the 3rd phase of this project. The improvements will take place across a distance of 7.198 miles from International Boulevard to the existing interchange of US 59/SL 20 and BU-59Z. The improvements include six 12-foot wide travel lanes, three 12-foot wide travel lanes, several new overpasses, and much more.

According to TxDOT’s project page, phases 1 and 2 will require approximately 192 acres of new right-of-way (ROW). No residential displacements are anticipated, but 2 commercial displacement are expected.  TxDOT held a virtual public hearing for phases 1 and 2 in April, and are now currently in the process of acquiring the new ROW.  Phase 1, the most rapidly moving of all phase, is set to let for construction in September 2022.

SH 72 in DeWitt County

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is proposing to widen and reconstruct State Highway (SH) 72 from Farm-to-Market (FM) 237 to United States Highway (US) 87 in DeWitt County. The improvements include one 12-foot-wide lane in each direction, a 4-foot-wide flush median between oncoming lanes, and 10-foot-wide shoulders.

According to TxDOT’s project page, approximately 55.26 acres of proposed right-of-way (ROW) will be acquired across the project’s total length of 14 miles.  It is possible that up to 115 parcels will be affected with the potential displacements of 2 non-residential structures. TxDOT held an open house in February 2019 and is now in the process of acquiring ROW.

US 377 Denton

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plans to reconstruct and widen US 377 in Denton County.  The proposed project involves the full reconstruction of the existing two-lane rural roadway to a four-way divided highway with sidewalk from south of FM 1171 to north of Crawford Road. The new right-of-way (ROW) would be 140 feet wide which would require approximately 54.6 acres of additional ROW. According to TxDOT’s timeline from their virtual public meeting held in November 2020, ROW acquisition began early this year and will continue into 2022.

FM 548 in Kaufmann and Rockwall Counties

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has proposed a widening and reconstruction of FM 548 within Kaufmann and Rockwall counties. The overall project has been divided into two segments. Segment 1 would expand the current two-lane roadway to a six-lane divided urban minor arterial from US 80 to Windmill Farms Boulevard, and segment 2 would expand the current two-lane rural roadway to a four-lane divided urban arterial (six-lane ultimate) from Windmill Farms Boulevard to SH 205. The existing right-of-way (ROW) width is approximately 100 feet wide while the proposed ROW width is approximately 122 feet wide. The improvements would require approximately 63.4 acres of new ROW and 8.01 acres of proposed permanent drainage easement. According to TxDOT, one vacant non-residential structure will potentially be displaced.  It is estimated that an approximate 115 parcels are to be affected by condemnation. Right of way acquisition is currently underway with construction anticipated to begin in March of 2025.  

The green line displays the limits and route of the proposed project.

SH 105 in San Jacinto, Montgomery, and Liberty Counties

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has proposed to reconstruct and widen State Highway (SH) 105 from 10th Street in Conroe to Business 105 in Montgomery, San Jacinto and Liberty counties. The total project cost is estimated to be $175 million and is State and federally funded. The existing SH 105 consists of (generally) a two-lane undivided roadway with 11-foot outside shoulders. The proposed project would include widening to a four-land roadway with a continuous turn land, constructing pedestrian and bicyclist accommodations, and converting the open ditch to curb-and-gutter. The improvements would require approximately 45 acres of additional right of way (ROW). According to TxDOT, displacements of businesses and residences are anticipated. ROW acquisition is currently underway.

Widening FM 1461

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be reconstructing and widening FM 1461 from SH 289 to CR 166 within the cities of Celina, McKinney, and Proper in Collin County. The currently right of way (ROW) is 90 feet wide while the proposed ROW is 172 feet wide. It is estimated that an approximate 100 parcels will be affected by this ROW expansion.  The project has completed its environmental assessment, and is now in the process of acquiring the necessary ROW. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2025.  

Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration

The Coastal Texas Study (conducted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) & Texas General Land Office (GLO)) is a comprehensive plan examining all Texas coastal communities in order to establish coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration.  The study began in 2015 and has been gathering and collecting data in its evaluative and analytical phases ever since. That is, until recently when things began picking up speed in the project’s timeline. In April 2021, the Texas legislature passed a bill (SB 1160) that will establish the Gulf Coast Protection District, a regional district with eminent domain powers to decide on taxing and condemnation issues. 

The official Coastal Texas Study website states that “impacts to homes and businesses will be avoided and minimized as much as possible during refinement and optimization of the alignments…voluntary relocations and acquisitions will be pursued, and eminent domain would only be imposed by a local sponsor as a last resort” (Texas Coastal Study, 2021). The Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are being finalized and will be released to the public and submitted to Congress for authorization, funding, and construction in September.

Dripping Spring SW Connection

The Dripping Springs Southwest Connection is a project studying possible routes to extend the RM 150 Corridor from RM 12 around the Southwest side of Dripping Springs to connect to US 290. The project includes a four land divided road with a median in the middle.  It would also include a facility for pedestrians and biking. The exact length and constructing details will be identified in a future design phase. The right of way needed will be approximately 150 feet, exact dimensions will be determined by the final design. 

The route concept follows property lines and will impact several land owners with takings and possible relocations. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently in the process of developing a precise preliminary schematic that will be revealed to the public at its next open house this fall. 

Loop 286 in Paris, TX

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is planning to make changes to Loop 286 in Paris, Texas. These include short-term and long-term roadway and operational improvements on the 15.5 miles that go around Paris, such as adding lanes and improving drainage. The improvements would take place from North of US 82W to South of 271.

The project is currently in the schematic and environmental phase of design and analysis, which is one of the early stages in the project development life cycle. According to TxDOT’s timeline (view here) found in their public meeting presentation that was held in July 2020, environmental clearance and schematic approval should have reached competition in spring 2021. TxDOT has stated that the project could potentially displace four residences and seven non-residential structures. Further, it is possible that up to 250 landowners could be impacted by the new ROW.

U.S. 69 Corridor – Beaumont District (Hardin & Tyler Counties)

The “U.S. 69 Corridor” also known as the “Gateway to the Big Thicket Segment” is a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) project in Hardin and Tyler Counties.  The project consists in widening US 69 between FM 1003 in Kountze and FM 1943 near Warren from the existing two-lane, undivided roadway with shoulders and no median to a four-lane, divided roadway with shoulders, an evacuation lane on the northbound lanes, and a median.

The existing right-of-way (ROW) ranges from 100 feet – 120 feet depending on the exact location; whereas, the proposed ROW would be approximately 300 feet wide. Thus, the expansion would impact close to 100 landowners and potentially displace five residences along with two other non-residential structures. The current schedule on TxDOT’s website (view here) states that complete environmental clearance/approval should be given in early 2021 while finalization of plans and start of construction is expected to occur in September of 2023.