Archive for February, 2011

Grand Parkway
February 28, 2011

Texas Transportation Commission Takes Steps
to Advance Portion of Grand Parkway

The Texas Transportation Commission came one step closer to breaking ground on Harris County’s segments of the Grand Parkway, or SH 99. Harris County officials rescinded their right to primacy on the project last month and urged the Transportation Commission to move forward with construction of segment E, a 14.1-mile stretch between I-10 and US 290, before the end of the year.

TxDOT’s staff can now prepare paperwork and enter into agreements with the county necessary to go to contract on the project once funding is identified and allocated by the Commission.

“Development of the Grand Parkway will alleviate congestion on multiple roadway segments on the state’s list of the 100 most congested, including six segments ranked in the 20 most congested.” Tx Transportation Commission

TxDOT will gather and analyze public comments over the coming months before recommending the Commission allocate approximately $350 million remaining in the Texas Mobility Fund to construct segment E of the Grand Parkway. The Texas Mobility Fund is comprised of fees related to driver licenses, driver records, certificates of title and vehicle inspections. Construction costs for segment E are an estimated $355 million, with an additional estimated $64 million for engineering and right of way.

With the exception of Chambers County, the other counties in the region exercised their right to primacy on their portions of the Grand Parkway in 2010, and have two years to advance those projects to contract under current state law.

Buffalo Spdwy: Construction
February 16, 2011

Road work designed to solve traffic jams at Buffalo Speedway and U.S. 59 is scheduled to get under way Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Work will begin on the east side of Buffalo Speedway between Bissonnet Drive and U.S. 59, with all traffic shifted to the west side.

For the next five to six months, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction, with a “continuous” turn lane between them, on the west side of Buffalo, said Travis Younkin, director of Capital Projects for the Upper Kirby Management District.

When the east side is repaired, traffic will be shifted to one lane in each direction on the east side.

The work entails burying utility lines and improving drainage, but the primary objective is enhancing mobility, Younkin said

“There’s a lot of congestion that we see between 59 and Bissonnet,” Younkin said. “There’s a lot of Greenway Plaza traffic, H-E-B and Kroger do a lot of business there, and a lot of cars use Buffalo to get from the residential components in West U. to the freeway and farther north.”

The $5.6 million project is a partnership between Upper Kirby Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 19 and the Upper Kirby Management District.