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.

TxDOT in Williamson County: Updates on Expansion of US 79 in Round Rock

TxDOT is working on a new project to make improvements to US 79 between I-35 and east of FM 1460 (A.W. Grimes), with the goals of improving traffic flow and increasing safety for travelers in Round Rock. The proposed project includes installing a raised median for safety and widening the existing US 79 roadway by adding a third travel lane in each direction. Additional improvements could potentially include building new overpasses at US 79/Mays Street and US 79/FM 1460, and altering the existing US 79/I-35 intersection.

TxDOT recently concluded the public comment phase on the Draft Environmental Assessment and the recommended build alternative. After taking those public comments into consideration, the next steps (according to the TxDOT project fact sheet) will likely be right of way acquisitions before utility relocation and finally, road construction.

Update: RM 620 Expansion near Lakeway

The RM 620 expansion project near Lakeway, Texas is still on track despite some funding shifts. In June, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) voted to move construction funding for the RM 620 expansion to I-35. However, funding for the initial right-of-way expansion still remains and TxDot is going forward with right-of-way acquisitions. TxDot appraisers will be inspecting impacted properties in Fall 2020. Before construction can begin, TxDot must still complete the final schematic and obtain approval of the final environmental study.

Ronald Reagan Extension in Williamson County

The city of Jarrell has mirrored the rest of Williamson County in its recent extraordinary population growth. Current population projections don’t show this growth slowing down anytime soon, which is why the County seeks to improve the region’s transportation infrastructure. One of the projects in the county’s long-range transportation plan is a connection between IH 35 and SH 95 near Jarrell, often referred to as the Ronald Regan extension.

The extension is in its initial stages and the county is currently conducting the “Ronald Reagan Extension Planning and Preservation Study” to look into possible routes. The study is being funded through the 2013 Williamson County Road Bond Program. The County has already reached out to potentially impacted property owners to gather feedback and provide opportunities for input. Based on these meetings with property owners, the County’s study team is planning different possible routes. Once these are completed, the study team will reach out to property owners to discuss the potential impacts. The County plans to have a route finalized in 2021.

According to a Williamson County fact sheet, the plan for the extension is for it to be built in phases. As the county continues to grow and as funding becomes available, the first frontage road will likely be a two to three lane road, with one lane in each direction, and potentially with a center turn lane. The second phase will be a second frontage road and lastly will be main lanes.

San Antonio Road Funds

In May of 2017, the voters of San Antonio approved the six propositions of the $850 million bonds offered by San Antonio. The bonds will be used to invest in the infrastructure of the city, such as sidewalks, parks, drainage improvements, and roads. One of the projects will include improvements to the Broadway corridor, renovating the Hemisfair street grid, as well as some pedestrian bridges near Hardberger Park. The Hemisfair Park Streets projects will reconstruct Hemisfair boulevard and is expected to begin construction in June of 2019. Broadway Street Corridor is also expected to undergo improvements thanks to the approved bonds, with construction beginning in December of 2018.

South Bexar County will also benefit from the city’s approved bonds. Highland Oaks roads will undergo significant construction improvements. Eight streets will be constructed. They will have 12-foot lanes, with 4-foot paved shoulders. The engineer for the project predicts that the road construction project should be completed by fall of 2019.

Texas Department of Transportation’s Plans for Loop 9

In 2014, Texas Department of  Transportation proposed the construction of a six-lane frontage road system between I-35E and I-45 through Dallas and Ellis Counties, Texas. The project will be constructed in three phases and TxDot will begin engineering and environmental studies for the section of Loop 9 from I-35 to I-45 (Corridor B) first. According to the TxDot, this initial section is approximately 9.5 miles in length and is expected to cost about $710 million.

Various public meetings have been held regarding Loop 9. A typical right-of-way for the Loop 9 project would vary from approximately 384 to 548 feet in width. Currently, TxDot predicts that due to the right-of-way acquisitions there will be at least 25 residential areas displacements, 7 commercial displacements and 68 other facilities such as carports, storage sheds, etc. displaced by the new frontage road. According to our records, TxDot has not yet finalized the route and those who will be affected. This is an ongoing project, and TxDot predicts that Phase 1 could be completed by spring of 2022.

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