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Houston: Grand Parkway segment B, construction starts in 2026

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Well, I think the alignment of this section is totally absurd, not to mention extremely inefficient for travel and also expensive due to the extra length. But it looks like this will be the alignment, if and when it is actually built.

This link is subscription-only, so I added some excerpts

Southern segment of Grand Parkway environmentally cleared
By Dug Begley, Houston Chronicle
January 20, 2017 Updated: January 21, 2017 7:37pm

The Grand Parkway between Texas 288 and Interstate 45 has an officially permitted route, though that’s just one step in what could be years of study and planning for another portion of the controversial and costly third ring around Houston.

A record of decision — signaling the end of the long environmental process — was announced Wednesday by the Texas Department of Transportation. Federal officials cleared the project Nov. 30, which is important because anything built after that date would not be eligible for noise abatement paid for by the state.

The route for Segment B starts at Texas 288 near County Road 60 in Brazoria County. The tollway, planned for two lanes in each direction, then swings south to parallel the South Texas Water Co. Canal before joining with Texas 35. The tollway will then mirror Texas 35 northeast, swinging with the highway around Alvin, then break from the highway and head east to connect with I-45 south of League City.

According to officials, the 28.6-mile tollway will require 1,072 acres of new right of way, displacing 13 businesses and 17 residences.

TxDOT estimates the segment to cost $1.2 billion as of July 2016, though cost would be determined by a number of factors, notably when construction begins. Tentatively, officials during the environmental process projected the lanes to be open to traffic in 2035.

The stack interchanges (14 direct connectors in all) amount to a quarter of the entire construction cost.

The toll road itself has a price tag of $ 922 million, or $ 32 million per mile, which doesn't sound extremely expensive.

Boy, that road sure zigzags all over the place! Even the existing section of the Grand Parkway is much more direct in its routing.

Severely crooked and overly long freeways appear to be the new normal with highway building in the United States. Any visions of a big picture view are being replaced by all sorts of legal and political obstructionism. Top to it off, we're quickly making stuff like this prohibitively expensive. At this rate we'll soon not be able to wipe our bottoms without filing an Environmental Impact Statement and spending huge sums of money on special toilet paper.

The increased traffic between 45 and Alvin/ Freeport that this will induce + the development that the toll lanes on 288 will induce makes me think that traffic on 35 south of Alvin is going to get pretty darn salty.

I also think as Alvin gets more developed because of the earlier two projects I mentioned, that the TX35 tollway into (At least the Beltway) Houston gets built following the RR tracks... don't know if it makes its way to Spur 5 at UH though.


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