TxDOT is preparing for future population growth in Denton County with their most recent plans to improve State Loop 288. The project extends 9 miles from IH 35 W to IH 35. The final product of the SL 288 improvements will be a newly located, four-lane frontage road system. Improvements will be completed in two phases. Phase one includes the construction of one frontage road which will be a two-lane, two way street. Phase one also includes securing right of way and constructing a sidewalk and median. In Phase two, there will be construction of another two lane frontage road, and both two-lane frontage roads will become one-way frontage roads. In August 2020, the project’s Final Environmental Assessment was issued by TxDOT for public review. The next step for the project is the acquisition of approximately 414.7 acres of Right of Way.
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.
The City of Houston is preparing for one of the biggest infrastructure projects in a generation. The project is called the North Houston Improvement Project (NHHIP) and it will reconstruct I-45 from Beltway 8 to Downtown. TxDOT’s goals for the project are to manage congestion, enhance safety and accommodate future growth.
NHHIP is 24 miles in length and will be separated into three segments. Segment 1 will include the widening of the freeway and additional new lanes from IH-610 N Loop and North Sam Houston Tollway. Segment 2 will widen and add new lanes of the portion of I-45 from IH-610 to downtown Houston. Segment 2 will also include a rebuild of the interchange between IH-45 and the IH-610 North Loop. Lastly, Segment 3 includes improvements to the segment of I-45 surrounding downtown Houston. Segment 3 includes the most expensive and all-encompassing improvements, as the entire 12 mile stretch of highway will be rebuilt (including four major interchanges).
The project in its entirety will take over ten years to complete. However, regional planning documents anticipate construction on Segment 3 beginning within the next two years. Segments 1 and 2 will begin construction in five to ten years. TxDOT is currently preparing the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which the public will have the chance to review for 30 days. Following the review period, TxDOT will reach a record of decision and start acquiring Right-of-Way before finally beginning construction.
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.
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.
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.
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.