FM 741 in Kauffman County

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has proposed to improve FM 741 in Kaufman County from US 175 in Crandall to FM 548 in Forney. The project includes widening from the current two lane rural section to a four lane divided roadway. The existing right-of-way (ROW) varies from 70-100 feet in width, and the new ROW would be 140 feet wide from US 175 to FM 2757 and 120 feet wide from FM 2757 to the end of project.

According to TxDOT’s timeline (view here) from their virtual public meeting held in November 2020, the project’s schematic should receive approval in summer 2021. TxDOT anticipates ROW acquisition is to begin in early 2022.

Project Connect (MetroRapid Lines) in Austin

Last November, the residents of Austin approved funding for the construction of two light rail lines (Blue and Orange), a downtown transit tunnel, a commuter rail line (Green), a new rapid bus route (Gold), and three new MetroRapid throughout the city. The controversial project has received criticism for its $7.1 billion price tag and lengthy construction schedule. CapMetro and the City of Austin expect 45% of the project’s cost to come from federal funding, which still leaves $3.9 billion left to local investments and taxing.

The right-of-way (ROW) will expand and is expected to displace residents along the new rails paths. Within this $7.1 billion price tag, there includes $300 million for displacement issues to occur alongside the location of the new rails and rapid bus routes. Final design and procurement for MetroRapid Phase I is expected to reach completion by 2022.

Complete Map of Proposed Project

RM 2243 (Hero Way) in Williamson County

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Williamson County have proposed plans to widen and realign RM 2243. It is outlined to be built from U.S. 183A to Southwest Bypass. The project is a controlled-access roadway that will also include two three-lane frontage roads with access ramps on either side of the main lanes.  At this point, there is only funding (through the 2019 Williamson County Road Bond) for the first phase which will be the construction of a single 3-lane frontage road to serve two-way traffic until the other frontage road is built. As of now, phase one construction is expected to begin in late 2022.

TxDOT and Williamson County hosted a virtual public meeting on May 25th, 2021 as its first round of public input. During the meeting, there was no mention on how much right of way will be needed; however, according to their plans the project will require significant additional ROW and displacements.  The schematic provided at the meeting can be viewed [here].

North US 59 Loop – Webb County

In April 2021, TxDOT advised the public that the draft environmental assessment had been released for the US 59 project in Webb County. The project is approximately 5.9 miles in length and spans from International Boulevard to East Corridor Road. The improvements will transform the roadway into an urban interstate expressway, with three 12-foot lanes in each direction, a center concrete barrier, shoulders and on/off ramps. Additional improvements will include eight storm water detention ponds and sidewalks. The project will require the acquisition of approximately 192 acres of new right-of-way and could potentially displace two commercial properties. Before acquiring ROW, TxDOT must receive final environmental clearance. Project construction will be conducted in two phases, the first of which is estimated to begin letting in September 2022.

FM 664 from US 287 to Westmoreland Road

TxDOT has two upcoming projects that will improve FM 664 in Ellis County. Although the projects are distinct, both plans are following similar timelines. The less expansive of the two projects is TxDOT’s plans for the 8 mile segment of FM 664 from US 287 to Westmoreland Road in Ovilla, Texas.

The proposed project will include reconstructing, realigning and widening the roadway. TxDOT will transform the two lane, rural roadway into a four lane, urban roadway with a raised median. Additional improvements will include the elimination of 90 degree turns and the construction of 6-foot wide sidewalks. The plans received environmental clearance in the fall of 2020. The next steps for the project are the acquisition of approximately 87 acres of right-of-way, which may displace one residential and one commercial property.

FM 664 from IH 35 East to IH 45

TxDOT will be making major improvements to FM 664 in Ellis County. The changes to the Ellis County roadway are occurring as two distinct TxDOT projects, although both are following similar timelines. The more expansive of the two projects is TxDOT’s plans for the segment of FM 664 from IH 35E in Red Oak to IH 45 south in Ferris.

The plans for the 9.96 mile stretch of FM 664 will expand the current two to four lane roadway into a six lane roadway. Additionally, two new interchanges and one new bypass will be built. One of the interchanges will be will be constructed at IH 35E from Red Oak to Tater Brown Road and the other will be at IH 45 from the IH 45 crossover to E. 8th Street. The new bypass will be located south of the City of Ferris in order to connect to the new interchange at IH 45.

The project received final environmental clearance in the spring of 2020. The next step for TxDOT is the acquisition of right-of-way (ROW). TxDOT is planning to acquire 164 acres of new ROW, which is anticipated to displace 17 residential structures and 10 commercial properties.

TxDOT in Nueces County – FM 70 and SH 286

TxDOT has an upcoming project to improve FM 70 & SH 286 in Nueces County. The proposed project will span approximately 25 miles and will be located just south of Corpus Christi and east of Bishop. TxDOT’s plans include constructing passing lanes and widening the shoulders along the roadways. TxDOT anticipates the project will receive environmental clearance in the summer of 2021. Once the project is funded and receives environmental clearance, the next step will be the acquisition of new right-of-way (ROW). TxDOT expects to need approximately 300 acres for additional ROW which is expected to displace two residences and two non-residential structures.

TxDOT in Hidalgo County: Nolana Loop

TxDOT and Hidalgo County are working together to make improvements to Nolana Loop in order to improve mobility and accommodate current and future traffic flow. Improvements will be made to the stretch of Nolana Loop that spans from FM 1426 (Raul Longoria Road) to FM 88 (Texas Avenue). The project is 9.8 miles and will widen, reconstruct, and extend the roadway.

In August 2020, the Final Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were made available for public review. The next step for the project is the acquisition of approximately 82.6 acres of Right of Way (ROW), which is anticipated to force the relocation of several residences and one commercial structure. Once ROW is acquired, the project will begin construction.

TxDOT in Fort Bend County: FM 723 Improvements

In response to growth in Fort Bend County and in order to meet current design standards, TxDOT is preparing to widen FM 723. The project is 9.23 miles long and stretches from Avenue D to FM 1093. The proposed plans will transform FM 723 from a two lane road to a four lane road. The project requires TxDOT to acquire approximately 100 acres of Right-of-Way (ROW). As of fall 2020, TxDOT has been in the process of acquiring ROW and conducting appraisals on impacted properties. Once ROW is acquired, construction will begin.

A map of project area from a 2018 TxDOT public hearing

TxDOT in Denton County: FM 2931

In response to safety concerns and worsening traffic conditions, TxDOT is planning to widen FM 2931 in Denton. The project is approximately 6.37 miles and will span from US 380 (East University Drive) to FM 428 (Spring Hill Road). The first phase of the project will transform the 2-lane road into a 4-lane, urban roadway and will include the construction of a 42-foot-wide raised median. Phase two will transform FM 2931 into a 6-lane roadway and will add a 3rd lane in each direction. 

Approximately 46 acres of new ROW would be required to accommodate the proposed improvements. TxDOT is scheduled to begin Right-of-Way acquisitions in Fall 2021. Before ROW acquisitions can occur, however, TxDOT must still prepare a preliminary design and receive environmental clearance.