The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is proposing to widen FM 529 from SH 99 to FM 362 in Harris and Waller Counties. The proposed project involves widening the two-land roadway to a six-lane roadway with four-foot outside shoulders and open ditches. The improvements would require approximately 109 acres of additional right-of-way (ROW) and stretch 12.2 miles in length. This project could potentially displace one commercial business and one non-residential structure while also affecting several other properties with smaller takings. TxDOT has held two public meetings to gather input of the public on this roadway issue. ROW acquisition and construction is estimated to begin within the next two years.
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.
This post serves as an update on the High Speed Rail Project.
The Dallas to Houston High-Speed Rail (HSR) System could allow for a 90-minute trip between the two cities, due to a travel speed of up to 205 mph. The HSR would be a “closed” system, which means that the train would not share any intersections with roadways or other train tracks. The HSR will require its own dedicated tracks.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Dallas to Houston High Speed Rail (HSR) Project. The draft states that the Speed Railway will use the Japanese N00 Tokaido Shinkansen technology. The proposed system would connect the 240-miles between Dallas and Houston.
The Draft EIS documents attempt to describe the FRA’s evaluation of the possible environmental impacts of the Project and recommends a preferred alternative from among six Build Alternatives between Dallas and Houston. The FRA will hold 10 public hearings in January and February 2018. The counties and dates of these public hearings are listed as such:
- Dallas County – January 29, 2018
- Navarro County – January 29, 2018
- Ellis County – January 30, 2018
- Leon County – January 30, 2018
- Freestone County – January 31, 2018
- Limestone County – January 31, 2018
- Harris County – February 5, 2018
- Madison County – February 5, 2018
- Waller County – February 6, 2018
- Grimes County – February 6, 2018
To get more information about the HSR Projects, the government’s website is: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0700