Loop 9 in Dallas and Ellis Counties

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), through a project known as the Loop 9 Segment A project (CSJ: 2964-10-006), has plans to create a direct east west link between US 67 and IH 35E through Dallas and Ellis counties. The ultimate plan for the project is the construction of a six-lane new frontage road system across the projects 9.4 miles in length. The new location frontage road system would include an eastbound and westbound frontage road facility, each consisting of three 12-foot lanes, an 8-foot inside shoulder, and an 8-foot outside shoulder for bicycle accommodations within the rural section of the proposed roadway, all of which would require new right-of-way (ROW). However after consideration of the limited funding, TxDOT has split the project into two phases; phase 1 would construct a single two-lane, two-way frontage road, and phase 2 would construct the other side of the paired frontage road (if and when funding becomes available).

In March 2022, TxDOT conducted two in-person meetings and one virtual meeting to obtain public opinion and feedback. Currently, there are 4 schematic alternatives as well as 4 modification alternatives. Use the following link to access the project’s interactive map (https://maps.bgeinc.com/Loop9/). According to the timeline they provided, the next steps would be to finalize their environmental impact study by the end of 2023. Right-of-way acquisition is set to begin promptly after that study is complete and approved.

I-35 Improvements in Austin

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) of Austin will be making improvements to 28 miles of Interstate 35 from SH 45 North to SH 45 southeast though an on-going project known as the I-35 Capital Express Program. It is made up of three stand-alone projects – North, Central and South. The Central project is on a later time frame, while the North and South projects are generally ahead, and on the same timeline.

The North I-35 project’s improvements include, but are not limited to, adding one non-tolled high-occupancy vehicle managed lane in each direction (from SH 45 North to US 290 East), reconstructing bridges, and adding a diverging diamond interchange. TxDOT says that the project will require an additional 17 acres of new right-of-way (ROW), and will displace 5 commercial properties. Offer letters are currently underway and construction is expected to begin sometime this year. Similarly, the South I-35 project’s improvements include, but are not limited to, adding two non-tolled high occupancy vehicle managed lanes in each direction (from SH 71/Ben White Boulevard to SH 45 Southeast), reconstructing bridges, and adding pedestrian and bicycle paths. For the South project, TxDOT says an additional 13 acres of new ROW will be required. Final designs are out, and offers letter are currently being sent to affected landowners. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022.

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.

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.

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.

US 90 Widening in Liberty County

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. 

Mile 6 West- Hidalgo County

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. 

TxDOT in Starr County: SL 195

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.

TxDOT in El Paso: Reimagine I-10

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.



The four segments of TxDOT’s Reimagine I-10