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.
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 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.
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.
TxDOT’s Beaumont district has plans to reconstruct and widen US 90. The proposed project is 11 miles in length and will alter the corridor of US 90 from FM 563 to SH 61. The improvements will include the construction of new bridges and will widen the two lane roadway to a four lane, divided roadway. In order to accommodate these changes, the existing 120 foot right-of-way will be expanded to 250 feet. This additional right-of-way will impact properties along the corridor and may result in displacements.
TxDOT closed public input on the project in early March 2021 and is now working on a schematic design and environmental studies for preferred alternatives. After the completion of those steps, TxDOT will seek final environmental clearance and acquire right-of-way.
Hidalgo County Precinct #1 and TxDOT are collaborating to make improvements to Mile 6 West Road. The project spans 5.18 miles from Mile 11 to SH 107 between the cities of Weslaco and Elsa. The improvements include reconstructing the road, constructing left turn lanes and a drainage ditch, and improving existing drainage ditches. TxDOT is planning to acquire 58.1 acres of new right-of-way for the project. TxDOT anticipates ROW acquisitions to begin in the fall of 2021 after final environmental clearance is received.
In order to improve safety, mobility and connectivity, TxDOT is planning the construction of a 17 mile roadway in Starr County, Texas. The new roadway will be a 4-lane divided highway connecting Rio Grande City and Roma. The project is a new-location reliever route for FM 755 and US 83 which SL 195 will connect. TxDOT anticipates the acquisition of 667 acres of right-of-way, which may possibly lead to the displacement of 1 commercial structure, 5 residential structures and 7 additional structures. The project is expected to receive environmental clearance early in 2021 and acquisition of right-of way is expected to begin in the spring of 2023.
In 2019, TxDOT completed a study analyzing the I-10 El Paso Corridor, which is 55 miles long and extends from the New Mexico state line to FM 3380 (Aguilera International Highway). This stretch of highway is not only accommodating a growing population, but also helps facilitate international trade. The “Reimagine I-10” study identified four segments of the corridor and developed roadway solutions for each. Projects for each segment will be prioritized by TxDOT and will go through preliminary engineering (schematic) and environmental processes accordingly.
At this point in the Reimagine I-10 project, TxDOT has only prioritized improvements to Segment 2 which runs through downtown El Paso. The proposed Downtown I-10 project extends for 5.6 miles from Executive Center Boulevard to Loop 478 (Copia Street). The proposed improvements include reconstruction of the main lines, retaining walls, bridges, ramps, and cross streets. The project is anticipated to get environmental approval by 2024, which would be followed by ROW acquisitions and finally, construction.
Williamson County and the City of Taylor are reconstructing County Road 101 as a part of the county’s Long Range Transportation Plan which is designed to meet the needs of the county’s growing population. The $13 million project is 3.2 miles in length and spans from US 79 to Chandler Road. CR 101 will be reconstructed with two 12-foot lanes and left turn lanes at the intersections of CR 394/CR368 and Chandler Road. Additionally, the project will include two bridges. Construction is anticipated to be completed in fall of 2021 and the County has already begun the process of acquiring Right of Way.
Three companies have teamed up to build the largest pipeline since 2008. The EPIC pipeline will stretch approximately 730 miles long from the Permian Basin Shale field to the Corpus Christi region. “EPIC” stands for Eagle Ford, Permian, Ingleside, and Corpus. The pipeline is projected to transport up to 440,000 barrels per day of crude oil. The three companies developing the EPIC pipeline are TexStar from San Antonio, Ironwood Midstream Energy Partners which is a Texas-based midstream company, and Connecticut-based commodities trader Castleton Commodities International. The EPIC pipeline will run a “batch system,” which means it will transport and store two types of crude from the Permian and one from the Eagle Ford. Construction is set to be completed by March 2019, two years after this pipeline was announced.
Epic Y Grade Pipeline LP also recently announced a new NGL line that will run for 650 miles and connect the Permian and Eagle Ford regions to Gulf Coast refiners, petrochemical companies, and export markets. This line is expected to run parallel to the 730-mile pipeline. Orla, Benedum, and Corpus Christi are some of the origin points the companies have announced as destinations for the line. Epic is actively acquiring rights of way. This pipeline is expected to be completed in 2019.