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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: MaxConcrete on February 14, 2016, 11:48:11 PM

Title: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on February 14, 2016, 11:48:11 PM
A ROD (Record of Decision) was issued in January for a section of the SH 249 toll extension, which means that it can now proceed to construction. TxDOT posted a notification on its twitter feed last week, so I'm thinking the web site was recently updated with the full documentation.

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/sh249-extension.html (http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/sh249-extension.html)

The schematic shows a 400-foot-wide corridor, 4 toll lanes, a 100-foot wide median, and minimal frontage roads. As usual with today's environmental processes, the route has some twists and turns.

A section to the south still needs some costly frontage roads built before the toll main lanes can be pushed northward to reach this section. But I'm thinking this project will start relatively soon (within 2-3 years). The next section going north and west was recently mired in an alignment controversy due to some vocal landowners.

(https://1968d90e831cd27d2017897e0c81e9a12852eb10.googledrive.com/host/0B4gwdXQk1LyieHZHSTBqd0VJSnc/aaroads/249-ROD.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on February 17, 2016, 12:17:52 AM
Update from today's Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/spring/news/article/Plans-take-shape-for-next-phase-of-Texas-249-6831338.php (http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/spring/news/article/Plans-take-shape-for-next-phase-of-Texas-249-6831338.php)

Highlights
* The next phase is a 1.6 mile route that begins at FM 2920 and entends to Spring Creek (Harris/Montgomery county line) - which is estimated to cost $120 million. This high cost is due to the need to widen the corridor and build new frontage roads, as well as the bridge. Construction is scheduled to start in September.
* The way I read this article, Montgomery County will build the full section of toll road (shown in the map in my previous post) to FM 1774 in Pinehurst. The article's dates seem suspicious, but it says it will open in 2018.

Plans take shape for next phase of Texas 249 extension

Officials with Montgomery County, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Harris County Toll Road Authority are starting to see the key segments of Texas 249 between Harris and Montgomery counties beginning to taking shape.

James Baker, director of transportation Houston region, for Halff Engineers, met with members of the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce to talk about the progress of the second phase in Montgomery County, between Spring Creek and FM 1774 in Pinehurst.

"This is their starter toll road," Baker said. "It's probably an ideal project because Harris County is building all that infrastructure up to Spring Creek, and then the Texas Department of Transportation is carrying it north of us, so this was the perfect project for them to get into the business of project development for toll roads."

In April 2015, Harris County opened the first phase of the Tomball Tollway, between Spring-Cypress Road and FM 2920.

The 6.7 mile segment cost $73 million to build, and tallied 7.9 million transactions in all of 2015.

It's believed that the second phase will attract just as much traffic when it is finally completed within the next two years.

Currently, HCTRA is designing the second phase of the project - a 1.6 mile route that begins at FM 2920 and entends to Spring Creek - which is estimated to cost $120 million.

The design phase for that project is about 60 percent complete, but officials said this will not affect the start date, scheduled for September, said John Tyler, HCTRA's deputy director of engineering.

The designs will be reviewed internally in March.

Once those plans are finalized, they will be submitted to the Harris County Commissioners Court in August which will allow HCTRA to advertise and receive bids in September.

"We are communicating with utility companies, private and public, to work with them to start their relocation. We have the last property acquisition, with the Lone Star College-Tomball campus. We are having meeting with them and we are working through that process," Tyler said.

Meanwhile, the design work for Montgomery County's section is about 30 percent completed, and officials expect to begin seeing bids in June 2017.

Although the projects are staggered, both are expected to be completed by early 2018.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on February 17, 2016, 08:39:45 AM
This project is really put on the fast track. The next step would be an extension from Todd Mission to Navasota, where it would link up with the SH 6 freeway through College Station and Bryan.

The population growth projection for Grimes County is funny though. It's hard to believe that Montgomery County would grow to near 1.3 million people while neighboring Grimes County would stay entirely rural with almost no growth.
(http://i.imgur.com/RR385LD.png)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on February 17, 2016, 11:22:32 AM
This project is really put on the fast track. The next step would be an extension from Todd Mission to Navasota, where it would link up with the SH 6 freeway through College Station and Bryan.

The population growth projection for Grimes County is funny though. It's hard to believe that Montgomery County would grow to near 1.3 million people while neighboring Grimes County would stay entirely rural with almost no growth.
(http://i.imgur.com/RR385LD.png)

That's a very good point. I think a lot of Texas A&M graduates would find the prospect of living in a Houston exurb, with a 45-60 minute commute to employment centers in the Woodlands (90 to the Energy Corridor), to be attractive, especially since they'd only be 45 minutes from College Station for gameday activities. This might also be particularly attractive for A&M employees to commute into College Station.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 17, 2016, 12:59:13 PM
A completed TX-249 toll road, completed as in going all the way to Navasota and TX-6, would create a possibly more attractive, time saving bypass of I-45 for long distance drivers heading to Houston via Waco. I have coworkers who visit the Houston area on a frequent basis and they usually drive through Waco to get out on to Houston's west side without having to deal with I-45 traffic.

This could put a whole lot more traffic onto the TX-6 corridor, which might lead to some necessary upgrades of TX-6 North of College Station.

I wonder how long it will be before the TX-249 toll road gets extended from Todd Mission to Navasota. I imagine it might be a good bet that by the time the section from Tomball to Todd Mission is completed (in 2018) they'll probably be ready to break ground on the section going to Navasota.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on February 17, 2016, 02:07:12 PM
A completed TX-249 toll road, completed as in going all the way to Navasota and TX-6, would create a possibly more attractive, time saving bypass of I-45 for long distance drivers heading to Houston via Waco. I have coworkers who visit the Houston area on a frequent basis and they usually drive through Waco to get out on to Houston's west side without having to deal with I-45 traffic.

This could put a whole lot more traffic onto the TX-6 corridor, which might lead to some necessary upgrades of TX-6 North of College Station.

I wonder how long it will be before the TX-249 toll road gets extended from Todd Mission to Navasota. I imagine it might be a good bet that by the time the section from Tomball to Todd Mission is completed (in 2018) they'll probably be ready to break ground on the section going to Navasota.

I believe the plan is to have it ready in five years. The current holdup has to do with land acquisition issues more than anything.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on February 17, 2016, 09:49:21 PM
The full length project (14.6 miles) is listed on the TxDOT web site with an August 2016 letting date and a price tag $246 million. Of course, letting dates are subject to continuous adjustment.

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2016/montgomery.htm#363501001 (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2016/montgomery.htm#363501001)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on February 18, 2016, 12:24:54 PM
A completed TX-249 toll road, completed as in going all the way to Navasota and TX-6, would create a possibly more attractive, time saving bypass of I-45 for long distance drivers heading to Houston via Waco. I have coworkers who visit the Houston area on a frequent basis and they usually drive through Waco to get out on to Houston's west side without having to deal with I-45 traffic.

This could put a whole lot more traffic onto the TX-6 corridor, which might lead to some necessary upgrades of TX-6 North of College Station.

But what would Hearne do without the massive speed trap revenue they rake in?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 19, 2016, 12:39:57 AM
I think speed traps in Hearne would probably do pretty brisk business once the TX-249 toll road is connected to Navasota and TX-6. It's just a question of how long that gravy train would last. Maybe the cops there can start an illegal cockfighting ring to make up for lost business afterward. :-P

If more Houston-bound traffic migrates to TX-6 to take advantage of a TX-249 connection then a number of things could happen. Hearne would probably be bypassed in some way. I can certainly imagine a new toll road connecting Waco to College Station, leaving the existing TX-6 road intact. Or much of TX-6 could get upgraded to a freeway. Hearne, Calvert and perhaps Riesel would still get bypassed.

For all the silly "I-14" stuff being promoted, I think we're more likely to see a limited access connection between Waco and College Station. At least 1 or more Houston to Austin Interstate quality connections are in the cards for the long term.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on February 25, 2016, 10:24:03 AM
http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Tomball-Tollway-extension-plan-nearing-6852322.php

Looks like the decision to cede the centerline ROW to HCTRA from TxDOT should come today.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on May 25, 2016, 11:32:50 PM
There is a public meeting scheduled for June 30 for the alignment of the western section, west of FM 1774. Only one segment of this section is not final. There has been some landowner protest in the area where there are two options.

The segment which is the subject of this meeting is not scheduled for construction in the near term. This section is slated to be initially be built as a super-2.

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/063016.html (http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/063016.html)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on May 26, 2016, 08:36:31 AM
Huh. I was under the impression that they would connect all the way to the SH 6 freeway in Navasota. That's decidedly not the case here.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: DNAguy on May 27, 2016, 11:03:37 AM
If the Aggie Tollway isn't going to terminate @ Highway 6, then why not just follow the ROW along the RR tracks & FM 1744 and terminate @ SH105 7 miles east? There seems to be no good reason to follow the alignments shown for the June meeting other than to open new areas up for development that are not currently served by a major road.

If you stick to the rr alignment and terminate between Stoneham & Plantersville then you potentially:
A) Reduce the cost of the project by not acquiring ROW
B) Reduce the # of pissed off farmers, ranchers, and landowners
C) Leave the possibility for future expansion northward up to I-14 whenever (if) that gets built out

Not to get too much off topic but TXDot is playing a dangerous game of putting roads on virgin land and not using existing corridors in the Houston area. Example: Segment H and I1 of the grand parkway which could have used SH146 for most of its alignment in Liberty county. However, someone thought it was a great idea to route it 2 miles west and have it run parallel to SH 146 in the middle of a bunch of farmland.

The opposition to the bullet train between Houston and Dallas is showing an increasing rural opposition to big public/private infrastructure projects. Add to that the failing of the southern section of SH130 AND the limited state $$ for roads and you have a recipe for an increasingly difficult climate for big / future infrastructure.

I fail to understand how the Houston region does such a poor job of adding new highways while the Dallas region seems to pull this off no problem. It baffles me.

/rant
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on May 27, 2016, 08:59:57 PM

If you stick to the rr alignment and terminate between Stoneham & Plantersville then you potentially:
A) Reduce the cost of the project by not acquiring ROW
B) Reduce the # of pissed off farmers, ranchers, and landowners
C) Leave the possibility for future expansion northward up to I-14 whenever (if) that gets built out
The alignment was decided in a previous study, and I don't know the reasons for the alignment selection. But I do know that TxDOT prefers to avoid building along railroads since it complicates the intersections along the highway, and causes traffic disruptions when trains come through. Also, they often align roads to please large landowners who want the access, are willing to donate right-of-way, or are cooperative sellers. National Oilwell Varco owns property on the proposed route SH 249, and they could have wanted the highway on their property. According to recent comments at the TxDOT commission meeting the NOV land is now for sale.

The landowners have been opposing the tollway at every TxDOT Commission meeting, including again yesterday, see the open comments
http://txdot.swagit.com/play/05262016-704 (http://txdot.swagit.com/play/05262016-704)

But I don't know if these landowners have any political power behind them, because they've been loudly complaining for about a year but little has changed.

Quote
Not to get too much off topic but TXDot is playing a dangerous game of putting roads on virgin land and not using existing corridors in the Houston area. Example: Segment H and I1 of the grand parkway which could have used SH146 for most of its alignment in Liberty county. However, someone thought it was a great idea to route it 2 miles west and have it run parallel to SH 146 in the middle of a bunch of farmland.
With any route including the Grand Parkway, building along an existing road normally involves more property acquisition and cost, since there is normally more development along an existing road. My perception is that the alignment is often decided by selecting a route where there are cooperative landowners who want the road, or don't oppose the road. That's one reason why we get the crazy winding alignments on many new routes, since they'll shift the alignment to send it through a friendly property.

Quote
The opposition to the bullet train between Houston and Dallas is showing an increasing rural opposition to big public/private infrastructure projects. Add to that the failing of the southern section of SH130 AND the limited state $$ for roads and you have a recipe for an increasingly difficult climate for big / future infrastructure.

I fail to understand how the Houston region does such a poor job of adding new highways while the Dallas region seems to pull this off no problem. It baffles me.
/rant

North Texas was fortunate to get a lot of donated property back in the 1980s and 1990s for SH 121 in Collin County and SH 170 north of Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, the alignment of the Chisholm Trail Parkway had been preserved since the 1970s and 1980s. But there have been plenty of problems in recent years. For example, the proposed Northeast Corridor toll road was killed very quickly by opposition in 2014 and 2015. The extension of the east Bush Turnpike south of IH-30 has been taking forever due to controversy http://www.theeastbranch.org/ (http://www.theeastbranch.org/) and is still under study. And there has been big opposition to right-of-way acquisition along existing freeways, including IH-635, IH-35E south of downtown, and US 75 in the north suburbs (which has caused plans for expansion of US 75 to be put on hold).

As for the Collin County outer loop, it is aligned in the exurbs with very little development nearby, and only a short segment has been built so far.

Going back to the 1980s and 1990s where were huge controversies about the alignment of the Bush Turnpike in Grand Prairie, Carrollton and Dallas.
http://dfwfreeways.com/book/ExControversy?startOdd=False (http://dfwfreeways.com/book/ExControversy?startOdd=False)

Also in North Texas, the regional planning council NCTCOG is generally more proactive and forward-looking than Houston in terms of long-range planning, and planning needed routes far in advance makes those routes easier to build when the routes are needed. The Collin County Outer Loop is an excellent example of good planning.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: dfwmapper on May 29, 2016, 09:48:21 PM
Quote
Not to get too much off topic but TXDot is playing a dangerous game of putting roads on virgin land and not using existing corridors in the Houston area. Example: Segment H and I1 of the grand parkway which could have used SH146 for most of its alignment in Liberty county. However, someone thought it was a great idea to route it 2 miles west and have it run parallel to SH 146 in the middle of a bunch of farmland.
With any route including the Grand Parkway, building along an existing road normally involves more property acquisition and cost, since there is normally more development along an existing road. My perception is that the alignment is often decided by selecting a route where there are cooperative landowners who want the road, or don't oppose the road. That's one reason why we get the crazy winding alignments on many new routes, since they'll shift the alignment to send it through a friendly property.
Also, building along the path of an existing public road means that they're required by Texas law to maintain access to adjacent properties, which means building frontage roads, or buy up the access rights to the property, which effectively means buying the property since it's not worth much without access. Building across virgin land means they can skip the frontage roads and just build normal interchanges at a far lower cost.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on May 29, 2016, 10:19:12 PM

If you stick to the rr alignment and terminate between Stoneham & Plantersville then you potentially:
A) Reduce the cost of the project by not acquiring ROW
B) Reduce the # of pissed off farmers, ranchers, and landowners
C) Leave the possibility for future expansion northward up to I-14 whenever (if) that gets built out

The alignment was decided in a previous study, and I don't know the reasons for the alignment selection. But I do know that TxDOT prefers to avoid building along railroads since it complicates the intersections along the highway, and causes traffic disruptions when trains come through. Also, they often align roads to please large landowners who want the access, are willing to donate right-of-way, or are cooperative sellers. National Oilwell Varco owns property on the proposed route SH 249, and they could have wanted the highway on their property....

In your superb book "Houston Freeways" you mention the history of how the Southwest Freeway was routed through Sharpstown.    Some things never change.   :bigass:
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Anthony_JK on May 30, 2016, 06:48:45 AM

Not to get too much off topic but TXDot is playing a dangerous game of putting roads on virgin land and not using existing corridors in the Houston area. Example: Segment H and I1 of the grand parkway which could have used SH146 for most of its alignment in Liberty county. However, someone thought it was a great idea to route it 2 miles west and have it run parallel to SH 146 in the middle of a bunch of farmland.


The routing of the Grand Parkway Segments H and I-2 east of 146 was due to Union Pacific Railroad donating an abandoned rail line, and to public opposition to extending the existing 146 freeway across the Chambers County line, IIRC.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: DNAguy on May 31, 2016, 01:28:19 PM

Not to get too much off topic but TXDot is playing a dangerous game of putting roads on virgin land and not using existing corridors in the Houston area. Example: Segment H and I1 of the grand parkway which could have used SH146 for most of its alignment in Liberty county. However, someone thought it was a great idea to route it 2 miles west and have it run parallel to SH 146 in the middle of a bunch of farmland.


The routing of the Grand Parkway Segments H and I-2 east of 146 was due to Union Pacific Railroad donating an abandoned rail line, and to public opposition to extending the existing 146 freeway across the Chambers County line, IIRC.

Yes, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to route it west of 146..... as 146 could be the frontage rd (preserving access) for the tollway and there isn't any real development between Dayton and Mont Belveau.

That's my main gripe. Why not duplex tollroads with state highways and make the state highways the frontage rds for the tollroad?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: dfwmapper on May 31, 2016, 10:13:26 PM
The existing ROW isn't wide enough to support a freeway, and adjacent landowners get pissed at losing their property for construction of a toll road.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on September 10, 2016, 04:33:39 PM
A FONSI has been issued for SH 249 in Grimes County, from FM 1774 near Todd Mission to SH 105. This portion will be constructed as a tolled super two with alternating passing lanes, with a right-of-way wide enough for a future expansion to a four-lane divided facility. Which seems sensible considering there isn't much development out there (yet).

http://txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/090916.html
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on October 21, 2016, 03:27:55 PM
Next week Harris County is slated to approve a $99.3 million contract for the final section in Harris County, which appears to include both the frontage roads and tolled main lanes

Recommendation for authorization to award a contract to Webber, LLC, lowest and
best bid in the amount of $99,309,393 for construction of the Tomball Tollway and
SH-249 frontage roads, Phase II from FM-2920 to the interface of the Montgomery
County Toll Road project in Precinct 4, and that the County Judge and appropriate
officials execute the contract and bonds when they are fully executed by the
contractor (UPIN 130505R124).

https://www.harriscountytx.gov/agenda/2016/2016-10-25ag.pdf (https://www.harriscountytx.gov/agenda/2016/2016-10-25ag.pdf)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on June 29, 2017, 08:51:44 PM
Today the TxDOT commission approved a $562 million design-build contract for the tollway and freeway.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2017/0629/9-presentation-corrected.pdf (http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2017/0629/9-presentation-corrected.pdf)
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php&cmpid=gplus-premium (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php&cmpid=gplus-premium)

Yes, the good news is that tolls were removed from the western section of the project (the red section 2 in the map in the first link), about 1/3 of the total length, although this section is being built as a super-2.

The project covered by the $562 million contract is around 23 miles long, which translates to about $25 million per mile, which seems high since the design is nothing fancy and about 1/3 is super-2. Of course that cost does not include right-of-way and utility relocation, which surely pushes the cost to well over $600 million.

The Montgomery county section, a separate project on the south end of this project, segment 3 on the map in the first link, will also be tolled.


Quote
State officials are proceeding with plans for a tollway along Texas 249 in Grimes and Montgomery counties, but not nearly as far as first envisioned.

The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved designating the project between Pinehurst and Todd Mission as a design-build toll project.

Perhaps more significant is what the commission decided would not be tolled: the segment northwest of Todd Mission to Navasota.

"I am personally delighted segment two will be built on a non-tolled basis," Transportation Commissioner Bruce Bugg said.

Commissioners also chose Williams Brothers Construction to build the project, including the tolled segment to the south and the northern segment to Texas 105 in Navasota. Combined, the two segments stretch 23 miles. Officials said they anticipate having a contract with Williams Brothers by September.

Based on the current time-line, construction could begin in a few months, with the tolled segment opening in June 2020, and the entire route open in January 2022.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on August 23, 2017, 09:29:41 AM
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/081817.html

The estimated toll rates on SH 249 have been published, and they're pretty steep, $ 0.27 / mile when it opens and $ 0.30 per mile by 2025, going up 3-4 cents every 5 years.

A part of the toll road will be a super-two highway. It doesn't quite seem like value-for-money to pay a couple of dollars to drive on a two-lane road.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on August 25, 2017, 03:05:49 PM
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/081817.html

The estimated toll rates on SH 249 have been published, and they're pretty steep, $ 0.27 / mile when it opens and $ 0.30 per mile by 2025, going up 3-4 cents every 5 years.

A part of the toll road will be a super-two highway. It doesn't quite seem like value-for-money to pay a couple of dollars to drive on a two-lane road.

Is the super-2 at least being built on a 4-lane easement for future expansion?  That would seem the most reasonable thing to do with a facility that serves an outwardly expanding metro area. 
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 25, 2017, 07:29:39 PM

A part of the toll road will be a super-two highway. It doesn't quite seem like value-for-money to pay a couple of dollars to drive on a two-lane road.

Is the super-2 at least being built on a 4-lane easement for future expansion?  That would seem the most reasonable thing to do with a facility that serves an outwardly expanding metro area. 


Yes, the super-2 section will be on a right-of-way designed for the ultimate freeway.

The super-2 section, which is west of FM 1774, will not be tolled.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on December 28, 2017, 10:11:39 AM
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/081817.html

The estimated toll rates on SH 249 have been published, and they're pretty steep, $ 0.27 / mile when it opens and $ 0.30 per mile by 2025, going up 3-4 cents every 5 years.

A part of the toll road will be a super-two highway. It doesn't quite seem like value-for-money to pay a couple of dollars to drive on a two-lane road.

The Johnson County portion of the Chisholm Trail Parkway near Cleburne is Super-2, and it works perfectly well for the traffic counts it gets.

https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/hou/sh249-extension/082117-notice.pdf

http://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/TxDOT-commissioner-urges-county-to-construct-12446037.php

Here's what I've found recently. Apparently there are some in Montgomery County who do not want to be responsible for the tolled section.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on December 29, 2017, 04:38:52 PM
Looks like, as advertised, it will eventually -- possibly in the next phase -- connect directly with TX 6 near Navasota.  That will in turn lead directly to the planned cross-state I-14 corridor -- likely one of the purposes for the whole 249 concept; the toll road will function as a direct way to and from the westerly portions of the Interstate corridor (anything west of Bryan, including Temple and beyond) into metro Houston.  It's also likely that once a connection is made to I-14 (whenever that occurs), the 2-lane segment of Toll 249 will be expanded to at least 4 lanes.  249: not just a suburban spur, but part of an interregional connector! 
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on January 11, 2018, 10:00:31 AM
The tolls were scrapped and the plans were downgraded significantly in Grimes County, it will basically just be another two-lane rural road.

Quote
The project was environmentally cleared with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on Sept. 9, 2016, as an approximate 10-mile, two-lane roadway on new location with direct connection to SH 105. The roadway was tolled and included passing lanes in alternating directions along the entire alignment and frontage roads on half the alignment.

The following updates to the project are being proposed:

  •     The project would no longer be tolled 
        The project would no longer have passing lanes or frontage roads 
        Several previously proposed grade-separated intersections are now proposed as at-grade intersections
        Alignment adjustments to avoid right of way impacts to wetlands and other sensitive environmental features

(https://i.imgur.com/bB5ruFP.jpg)

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/bryan/012518.html
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on January 11, 2018, 10:34:47 AM
While disappointing, can't say it's all that surprising with the anti-toll sentiment that has taken hold in Texas. There just wasn't going to be a way to fund this without raising fuel taxes, and we're not quite there yet politically.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 11, 2018, 01:40:32 PM
Hopefully the ROW they're securing for this 2-lane road will be enough to provide room for expansion in the future.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on January 12, 2018, 02:07:12 AM
Looks as if the main corridor from semi-planned I-14 to Houston will have to be either I-45 or an expanded TX 6/US 290 combination.  OTOH, by the time I-14 actually gets built in the area, the 2-lane 249 might well be itself expanded; the future of that corridor is now likely more dependent upon housing development along the route than any connection to the State College/Bryan area.  Well -- it was a good idea while it lasted!
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 12, 2018, 11:44:48 AM
The nearest I-14 would skirt Houston is connecting College Station, Huntsville and Jasper where it would cross the Sabine River. TX-249 would not connect to I-14 at all. Navasota is the last stop for the TX-249 expansion, either ending at TX-105 or dove-tailing into TX-6.

The TX-105 corridor between Navasota, Conroe and Cleveland is pretty busy (especially in Conroe and West to Montgomery). It's another area TX DOT will have to examine for building some kind of super highway or toll road.

Getting into fictional territory that stretch of road could be part of a larger Texas version of I-12 corridor serving North Houston & Austin (going along or near TX-105 from Beaumont, to Cleveland, Conroe, Navasota then SW to Brenham where it would pick up US-290 and go to Austin, then West near Johnson City, Fredericksburg and hooking back into I-10).
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Perfxion on January 12, 2018, 12:45:20 PM
SH249 needs to just hit highway 6 and not much else would be needed. I rather it be a 4 lane highway than just a 2 lane. As long as the ROW is secured for future expansion, its a start.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: DNAguy on January 12, 2018, 01:36:20 PM
I might catch some flack for this but... here I go.

The new plan makes this project not worth even pursuing.

Here are the stated goals of the project:
1.) Improve safety: Crash rates on FM 1774 and SH 105 exceed the statewide average
2.) Address traffic growth: Since 1980, traffic has increased 274 percent on FM 1774 and 197 percent on SH 105
3.) Improve regional connections: Provide transportation system continuity to surrounding area
4.) Address evacuation needs: Increase evacuation capacity during emergencies

Here's how the revised project addresses them:
1.) Now that this project will not be grade separated, it will add a light onto SH150 and include additional crossing. Maybe you reduce the crash rates at FM1774, but overall crashes will increase.
2.) SH150 traffic will increase after this project. FM1774 traffic will increase for those taking 249 to Montgomery / Lake Conroe.
3.) Improve regional connections. IDK what that even means. They're building in the middle of nowhwere a two lane road w/ no passing lane. Its a county rd essentially.
4.) A two lane road as an evacuation route? ROTFL. You're kidding, right?

Here are the ways you actually fix each issue without the square peg (new highway / road) for a round hole (see 1-4 goals of project).
1.) Grade separate or upgrade SH105 and FM1774 intersection
2.) Put in more lanes on each road then.
3.) Again, IDK what this means. The county / regional planning should address connectivity problems w/ their mobility plans. A rural / suburban expressway to Houston does little to address Grimes county mobility issues IMO.
4.) This is already being done w/ the 290 expansion really. In addition, upgrading FM1774 and SH105 will also accomplish the same thing.

IF this was done as a grade separated tollway, then a lot of the stated goals would be addressed. Maybe not the best way but, the project now doesn't address any. It provides no immediate benefit with only the faint hope that in the future a real highway is built. This is terrible, terrible waste and public policy. All Texans are paying for this w/ their tax $'s.

If you're pairing down your goals and a road must be built, the design needs to change. In addition, in 2000 when this was thought up, there was no new bullet train going in or plans for I14. All of this has to be taken in consideration.

So what should be done? Either kill this section (not happening as there's too much momentum) or re-route it. My thoughts? Use the utility / bullet train ROW & alignment or just go with the ROW along the slow railroad west of 1774 (BNSF line?)  that drops you off between Stoneham and Plantersville. Future connections to I14 become easier as you just follow the train / utility ROW up to I14.

But I'm a lone voice. The real reason for any new road in / around Houston is more about opening up land for housing or commercial purposes. Mobility is just a nice bonus.
A two lane road along a railroad that has minimum crossings makes a hell of a lot more sense from a safety standard and evacuation standard.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on January 12, 2018, 04:24:00 PM
Actually, this is "old news" because tolls were removed from this section and plans downsized in June 2017 when the design-build contract was approved.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php)

This public meeting is just part of the administrative process for removing the tolls on this section, since the ROD documents included tolling. The de-tolled section is everything west of FM 1774 at Todd Mission.

The section east and south of Todd Mission is still tolled, as specified in the June 2017 decision.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on January 12, 2018, 05:20:26 PM
SH249 needs to just hit highway 6 and not much else would be needed. I rather it be a 4 lane highway than just a 2 lane. As long as the ROW is secured for future expansion, its a start.

That was pretty much the concept that I expected -- SH 249 merging into TX 6, which would, in all likelihood, host a segment of projected I-14 before it veered east (probably somewhere along SH 30) toward Huntsville.  But with 249 now downgraded to a conventional facility (at least for the near term), it's less apt to be utilized as part of an interregional corridor than a local server; as I inferred previously, any I-14 traffic -- way down the line, of course -- will need to find another routing into metro Houston (unless metro Houston actually comes out to meet it -- not beyond the realm of possibility!).
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: DNAguy on January 15, 2018, 09:34:57 AM
Actually, this is "old news" because tolls were removed from this section and plans downsized in June 2017 when the design-build contract was approved.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/State-approves-plan-to-toll-some-of-Texas-249-11256775.php)

This public meeting is just part of the administrative process for removing the tolls on this section, since the ROD documents included tolling. The de-tolled section is everything west of FM 1774 at Todd Mission.

The section east and south of Todd Mission is still tolled, as specified in the June 2017 decision.

But was the decision to take out the grade separations and the passing lane also done in June 2017? I don't recall hearing anything about that... only the de-tolling.

This seems like a totally different project than was initially proposed.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 15, 2018, 11:20:52 AM
The act of de-tolling this section likely brought about the downgrades like eliminating the grade separations. That's the funding reality of trying to do all this stuff only with fuel tax revenue. As long as they acquired enough ROW along the planned corridor (and have iron clad property set-backs that effectively bitch-slap any development from building right up next to the highway) the road could be upgraded to a full fledged freeway at a later date. Unfortunately that later date could be well off years into the future with the current public and political attitude toward tolling.

Not far from here in Duncan, OK they have a bypass around the West side of town. The bypass is only 2 lanes, has several at-grade intersections along its length and only 3 freeway style exits. But there is enough ROW preserved along the corridor to do upgrades, like converting an intersection to a freeway exit or adding the other pair of travel lanes. It will be a long time before those upgrades ever happen, given Oklahoma's current budget situation. I don't think it's feasible to put tolls on that little bypass (not enough traffic to generate good toll revenue, the bypass is not difficult to shun-pike). At least the physical possibility for upgrades is there.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on January 19, 2018, 07:04:32 PM

Not far from here in Duncan, OK they have a bypass around the West side of town. The bypass is only 2 lanes, has several at-grade intersections along its length and only 3 freeway style exits. But there is enough ROW preserved along the corridor to do upgrades, like converting an intersection to a freeway exit or adding the other pair of travel lanes. It will be a long time before those upgrades ever happen, given Oklahoma's current budget situation. I don't think it's feasible to put tolls on that little bypass (not enough traffic to generate good toll revenue, the bypass is not difficult to shun-pike). At least the physical possibility for upgrades is there.

Thank you Jari Askins.  It was due to her untiring efforts that the Duncan Bypass is the way it is instead of yet another bypass with inadequate RoW.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on January 21, 2018, 10:44:39 PM
Yep, gotta love Oklahoma style pork. A bunch of US-183 out West was four-laned thanks to the efforts of another politician from Frederick (and that was a downgrade from the turnpike some people wanted). Meanwhile in Lawton our fake Interstate, aka Rogers Lane, continues to be a problem. But a new traffic signal was added to the 67th St & Rogers Lane intersection, a long overdue safety improvement. Yesterday I was driving on Rogers Lane on the way to watch a movie at the Carmike/AMC Patriot 13+IMAX theater. Some guy going the opposite direction in a pickup lost something out of his bed and the container had landed in the road. He had to stop in the right travel lane since this road has no shoulders at all (unlike real freeways). The guy was literally running to get this container out of the road and avoid the traffic approaching from the 38th Street traffic intersection.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on January 27, 2018, 07:21:25 PM
Yep, gotta love Oklahoma style pork. A bunch of US-183 out West was four-laned thanks to the efforts of another politician from Frederick (and that was a downgrade from the turnpike some people wanted).

You are correct.  Loyd Benson from Frederick was OK Speaker of the House when the Garvee bonds were being parceled out. He and Gilmer Capps from Altus got the money to widen 183 from Clinton south to Frederick.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on March 07, 2018, 11:07:37 AM
Clearing of the forest for the new tollway right-of-way north of Tomball. Photo taken March 1, 2018

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20180301_249-0015_1600.jpg)

http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20180301_249-0015_1600.jpg (http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20180301_249-0015_1600.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2018, 08:50:24 AM
They are going to restripe a section of SH 249 to eight lanes:

Quote
TxDOT is proposing to restripe SH 249 from Chasewood Park Drive to Gregson Road from six to eight main lanes in Harris County, Texas. This notice advises the public that TxDOT is affording an opportunity for a public hearing on the proposed project  and that final environmental documents are available for public review.

The proposed project would add an additional lane in each direction creating an eight-lane highway. The restriping would occur to the inside of the existing highway. 

The existing SH 249 right-of-way (ROW) width varies within the project limits, but the minimum ROW width is approximately 320 feet.  The proposed project would be constructed within the existing right of way; therefore, the proposed project would displace no residences or commercial structures.

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/houston/042718.html
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on March 27, 2018, 01:03:28 PM
As if Houston area traffic isn't bad enough, these re-striped lanes a couple feet more narrow than normal will give drivers even more opportunities to "trade paint."
:rolleyes:
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on March 27, 2018, 02:56:20 PM
This section appears to be designed for eight lanes. The left shoulder is very wide. They can turn that into a fourth lane and still maintain a decent left shoulder.

(https://i.imgur.com/8IY1pyM.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on March 27, 2018, 03:46:26 PM
Oh. Well, thank goodness for that. I've seen a few other stretches of freeway in Texas with that kind of configuration. I was afraid this re-striping project would have been more along the lines of I-35E in Carrollton & Lewisville where the lanes shrink down to as little as 10' in width. I absolutely HATED driving on I-35E through there the last time I did a few months ago. It was a white-knuckle experience. Normally I get in and out of the DFW metroplex via TX-114 or sometimes out through Fort Worth and US-287.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Perfxion on March 28, 2018, 07:55:37 PM
That would help as the is the slowdown in the free section northbound is the loss of a lane backs up traffic. And it ends when the tolling starts, which right now sees a massive drop in AADT.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on July 06, 2019, 12:02:16 PM
Google Earth has new imagery in the area, showing construction of SH 249 all the way to near Todd Mission.

(click to enlarge)
(https://i.imgur.com/NeKExk8.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on October 20, 2019, 03:29:51 PM
Construction is proceeding at full speed.

While the design includes a median, the median is much narrower than I expected. (See third image below.) For the rural sections (without frontage roads) I seem to recall a schematic which showed a 400-foot-wide standard right-of-way width, with a median at least 100 feet wide. But the actual width appears to be around 40 feet. The median is narrow at all intersection locations, but I could not verify the width on the long sections between intersections.

My best guess is that the design is similar or the same as the Grand Parkway, which has a narrow median with a wire rope barrier. If that's the case, I'm assuming it was done for the usual reason, cost reduction.

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20191005-249-0008-1600.jpg)
Northbound north of Tomball

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20191005-249-0021-1600.jpg)
At FM 149

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20191005-249-0024-1600.jpg)
This shows the narrow median at intersections
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on October 20, 2019, 09:14:08 PM
^^^^^^^^^^
Looks like 249 will get to TX 6/Navasota in reasonably short order (although the project shown appears to end at or near the county line).  Coupled with TX 6 NW of there, the "beeline" path between the proposed I-14 corridor and central Houston may well be in place prior to any actual construction of the E-W Interstate corridor.   Whether this has any effect on the overall I-14 developmental timeline remains TBD -- although if in place, the portion of that corridor between College Station and Huntsville may well be developed at a more "leisurely" pace than the section west to Temple, as the Houston connection (albeit tolled) will have been accomplished.       
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 21, 2019, 12:24:11 PM
If I was going to bet on the order that any specific corridors within the Texas Triangle would be upgraded I would bet on TX-6 between Waco and College Station getting those upgrades after the TX-249 toll road is completed.

TX-6 is the favored alternate route to I-45 between the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Houston. The Fort Worth area is growing rapidly; Fort Worth itself has a city limits population over 800,000. A lot of people take TX-6 between DFW and Houston to avoid traffic snarls on I-45. Once TX-249 is finished that route will get a whole lot more busy. The increased traffic burden will make new freeway (or toll road) upgrades along TX-6 necessary. Currently TX-6 between Waco and College Station is a mix of divided and undivided 4 lane roads (with a few stop lights and speed zones in Hearne and Calvert).

The situation with TX-6 will get piled in with other corridors where TX DOT is trying to keep up. US-287 and TX-199 on the North and Northwest sides of Fort Worth need very serious improvement (some of which is being planned, such as a freeway to freeway interchange between TX-199 and I-820). Those are just two examples.

I think this all adds up to bad news for efforts to build out the proposed I-14 corridor. Compound that with the current anti-toll stance in the government. That leaves so many corridors in need of improvement fighting for a limited amount of gasoline tax dollars. The only outside chance I see of I-14 getting fast-tracked at all is if planners propose a credible DIRECT path between the Temple area and College Station. Not the W-shaped zig zag route currently in the works. The route at least has to go straight from Cameron to Bryan, cutting off these angled side trips to Milano and Hearne.

Even if a straight path can be proposed, a whole lot of traffic coming down from West half of the metroplex is going to keep turning off I-35 at Waco and on down TX-6 for their trips to Houston.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on October 21, 2019, 03:49:21 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^
In general agreement about the need to avoid the "zig-zag" path taken by US 190 across the Triangle; but I still think the corridor will cross the Brazos floodplain near Hearne in any case simply because the river has been channelized at that point and the bridge/approach structure would be considerably shortened (and costs lessened).  There's a reason why highways and RR's have elected to make the crossing there. 

I also agree about the Fort Worth-Houston usage of TX 6 north to Waco; but the rationale for I-14 wasn't to expedite N-S traffic but to head west (via Temple, as it turned out) to West Texas -- attempting to do so via Waco would be quite a bit out of the way.  For better or worse, the corridor planners are still considering the portion west of I-35 out toward San Angelo as a goal to be accomplished.  I could see TX 6 between Hearne and Waco being considered for a 3di at some point.  But I'll also wager that TxDOT will attempt to use as much of the TX 6 alignment as possible for that part of the I-14 corridor in the Bryan/College Station area just because the ROW is already in their hands and it would be cheaper to effect an upgrade of the current facility than strike out with additional new-terrain mileage. 
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 21, 2019, 04:50:58 PM
Quote from: sparker
In general agreement about the need to avoid the "zig-zag" path taken by US 190 across the Triangle; but I still think the corridor will cross the Brazos floodplain near Hearne in any case simply because the river has been channelized at that point and the bridge/approach structure would be considerably shortened (and costs lessened).

If I-14 was built on a new terrain path doing direct from Cameron to Bryan the road would cross the Brazos River near Mumford. The characteristics of the river aren't much different at all there compared to where US-190 crosses on its way to Hearne. Just to the South the 4-laned TX-21 highway and a railroad cross the Brazos.

Parts of I-14 would have to be built-up on an earth berm to get out of the flood plain in some places. But that's going to be common situation anywhere in that region.

Quote from: sparker
I also agree about the Fort Worth-Houston usage of TX 6 north to Waco; but the rationale for I-14 wasn't to expedite N-S traffic but to head west (via Temple, as it turned out) to West Texas -- attempting to do so via Waco would be quite a bit out of the way.

I'm not suggesting I-14 be routed up to Waco or serve the traffic needs people traveling between DFW and Houston. Nevertheless, TX DOT will have to prioritize road projects where demand is greatest. And the Fort Worth to Houston corridor is a much higher demand corridor than Killeen to Huntsville. Various planners, politicians and dreamers may be wanting to build I-14 out to San Angelo and East to Louisiana. But that desire is going to get outweighed by more pressing realities along TX-6 and other higher demand corridors within the triangle.

If it is built, I would expect I-14 to have a somewhat brief concurrency with TX-6 in the Bryan-College Station area. The length of that concurrency also depends on whether I-14 would leave the area, going directly East toward Huntsville, or going wrongly out of the way up to Madisonville.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sparker on October 22, 2019, 07:30:37 AM
^^^^^^^^^^
According to my cousin the Caltrans bridge engineer, the one thing that is avoided -- due to a higher probability of flooding -- in the process of selecting a location to cross a river/floodplain is an oxbow, or U-shaped lateral curve in a river -- and there's one along the Brazos a couple of miles south of the US 79/190 crossing, itself closely paralleled by a UP main line.  The chances are any I-14 crossing will occur at or less than about 1.5 miles south of that existing bridge. in which case it'll skirt Mumford a bit to the north.  That would put the intersection point with TX 6 a bit north of the OSR junction.  Regarding where it'll depart eastward from TX 6 toward Huntsville, my money's on somewhere near the Texas World Speedway, where the distance to I-45 is less than farther north due to the angle taken by TX 6.

I-14 development within the Triangle -- likely the solo segment that will see letting in my own lifetime -- will likely take place regardless of traffic flow on TX 6 north to Waco.  Unless there's a concerted effort emanating from Waco itself or within TxDOT that takes hold, redirecting any funds marked for I-14 to a Waco-Bryan server won't happen -- particularly after $$ are sunk into an alignment study.  But I'll reiterate that there's always the possibility that TX 6 could be considered for a 3di, particularly if Waco experiences growth & expansion. 
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on December 30, 2019, 11:45:06 AM
It turns out that the ~2 mile extension of Highway 249 to the Montgomery County line has opened on December 19: https://communityimpact.com/houston/tomball-magnolia/transportation/2019/12/19/tomball-tollway-phase-ii-opens-dec-19/
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on December 30, 2019, 12:06:14 PM
What's the forecast opening date now for Phase 3 of the Tomball Tollroad extension to FM-149 in Pinehurst? It looks like they could be finished with it sometime in 2020. I guess it will be another year or two before Phase 4 up to TX-105 is complete.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on January 03, 2020, 07:09:20 PM
On December 16, bids were opened for the direct connector ramps at SH 249 (Tomball Tollway) and the Grand Parkway. My understanding is that the four connectors on the south side are included.
The winning bidder was (no surprise) Williams Brothers Construction, which left a lot of money on the table with their bid of $92.05 million.

Nothing official is posted online, but an unofficial tabulation is available at the link below.

https://purchasing.harriscountytx.gov/Tabulations/190317Tab.pdf (https://purchasing.harriscountytx.gov/Tabulations/190317Tab.pdf)

Just to clarify, this is on the far southern end of the Tomball Tollway and is not part of the extension projects currently under construction.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Perfxion on January 08, 2020, 08:50:27 AM
On December 16, bids were opened for the direct connector ramps at SH 249 (Tomball Tollway) and the Grand Parkway. My understanding is that the four connectors on the south side are included.
The winning bidder was (no surprise) Williams Brothers Construction, which left a lot of money on the table with their bid of $92.05 million.

Nothing official is posted online, but an unofficial tabulation is available at the link below.

https://purchasing.harriscountytx.gov/Tabulations/190317Tab.pdf (https://purchasing.harriscountytx.gov/Tabulations/190317Tab.pdf)

Just to clarify, this is on the far southern end of the Tomball Tollway and is not part of the extension projects currently under construction.


they should have done this with the original build as both highways were under construction as new highways between 2013-2015.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on January 30, 2020, 02:21:54 PM
The opening of the 249 main lanes into Pinehurst is delayed to March-April 2020: https://communityimpact.com/houston/tomball-magnolia/transportation/2020/01/30/opening-of-hwy-249-main-lanes-in-pinehurst-delayed/

I noticed Google Earth has new satellite imagery dating to December 2, 2019 of the Pinehurst - Magnolia area, you can track the progress quite nicely. It also shows the Grand Parkway construction into Liberty County.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on February 02, 2020, 09:13:01 PM
OK, so 249 was open before December to 2920, but it did not go to Montgomery County.
Let me ask, will this road go all the way to Plantersville?
Will it take over FM 1774?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 03, 2020, 12:16:16 PM
Quote from: Chris
I noticed Google Earth has new satellite imagery dating to December 2, 2019 of the Pinehurst - Magnolia area, you can track the progress quite nicely. It also shows the Grand Parkway construction into Liberty County.

The new imagery stops just short of the intersection with FM-1486. That's still April 1, 2019 imagery. But it's still apparent the 4 lane toll road will drop to just 2 lanes West of the FM-1486 exit. Hopefully they'll build the roadway in a manner so it can be 4-laned and divided easily in the future.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on February 04, 2020, 11:12:52 AM
Quote from: Chris
I noticed Google Earth has new satellite imagery dating to December 2, 2019 of the Pinehurst - Magnolia area, you can track the progress quite nicely. It also shows the Grand Parkway construction into Liberty County.

The new imagery stops just short of the intersection with FM-1486. That's still April 1, 2019 imagery. But it's still apparent the 4 lane toll road will drop to just 2 lanes West of the FM-1486 exit. Hopefully they'll build the roadway in a manner so it can be 4-laned and divided easily in the future.

That is the plan. It will be like the Chisholm Parkway SW of Fort Worth. Build 2 lanes but get RoW for 4.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on February 29, 2020, 03:58:23 PM
Google Maps has the new route already mapped and displayed as a road closure.

(https://i.imgur.com/6b0Yphs.png)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on April 23, 2020, 02:26:28 PM
This article (from today) states that the 249 toll lanes opened on March 26: https://communityimpact.com/houston/tomball-magnolia/transportation/2020/04/23/new-hwy-249-tolled-lanes-open-in-pinehurst/

However I couldn't find anything beyond this article that it opened. Open Street Map also doesn't show the road open as of this posting.

Google Earth also has new satellite imagery from this area, dating to December 2, 2019. This suggests that if the main lanes opened, they likely opened from Tomball to Woodtrace Boulevard. The progress north of there was less advanced on that satellite imagery.

It looks like they are constructing a toll gantry here: https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1431581,-95.6598591,199m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on April 23, 2020, 10:56:05 PM
Judging by that December 2019 imagery in Google Earth I would be really surprised if they had the TX-249 toll road completed just up to the split with FM-1774 in Pinehurst. By the looks of it that section would take well into this Summer to get finished. A lot of work has already been done on the next 4-lane segment going up to the intersection with FM-1486. It will probably take the rest of the year and even going into 2021 before that section can be done. The Super 2 section after FM-1486 is in progress. Google Earth's 12/2019 imagery cuts off not far North of the FM-1486 intersection.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on April 23, 2020, 11:09:34 PM
I drove on SH 249 The weekend of April 11, and it was open to Woodtrace Blvd, which is just south of  the point where the alignment forks away from the existing alignment.
It did not look like the opening of the next section is imminent within a few weeks. I'm thinking at least 2 months for the next section to open.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on April 24, 2020, 10:23:11 AM
OK so I am a little confused.


1) MCTRA segment is from Spring Creek to Woodtrace, TXDOT is from 1774 to 105
     A. So what about from Woodtrace to 1774? 
           -When is that getting filled/by whom/and what is the split? 
     B. It looks like all the frontage roads of 249 follow 1774, thus the only way to continue on 249 at 1774 in Magnolia is on the toll road?

2)  1774 in Magnolia to 1488 (segment 1A), will be 4 toll lanes with ? frontage roads?
3)  Segment 1B will be 2 toll lanes (1 in each direction) with no frontage roads, how does that work?
4)  Segment 2 is 2 toll free lanes, at grade?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on April 24, 2020, 03:38:59 PM
I haven't seen the schematics, but it appears on the satellite images that Woodtrace Boulevard is the last exit before the tollway crosses the railroad with a bridge, so Woodtrace is also the exit to FM 1774 to Pinehurst and Magnolia.

As of this posting, Open Street Map shows SH 249 open all the way to FM 1774 north of Todd Mission. I'm not sure if that is correct.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on April 24, 2020, 04:15:56 PM
I haven't seen the schematics, but it appears on the satellite images that Woodtrace Boulevard is the last exit before the tollway crosses the railroad with a bridge, so Woodtrace is also the exit to FM 1774 to Pinehurst and Magnolia.

As of this posting, Open Street Map shows SH 249 open all the way to FM 1774 north of Todd Mission. I'm not sure if that is correct.
So is the MCTRA to Woodtrace or to 1774?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on May 08, 2020, 10:24:50 AM
Could somebody clarify?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: FreewayDan on May 08, 2020, 10:52:39 PM
MCTRA is only from the Harris County line at Spring Creek up to FM 1774 in Pinehurst.  North of FM 1774, TxDOT will take over operations of the SH 249 Toll Road.

https://cms.revize.com/revize/montgomerycountytx/MCTRA%20249%20Tollway%20Comprehensive%20T&R%20Final%20Report%2002-16-18.pdf
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on May 10, 2020, 02:50:18 PM
MCTRA is only from the Harris County line at Spring Creek up to FM 1774 in Pinehurst.  North of FM 1774, TxDOT will take over operations of the SH 249 Toll Road.

https://cms.revize.com/revize/montgomerycountytx/MCTRA%20249%20Tollway%20Comprehensive%20T&R%20Final%20Report%2002-16-18.pdf

OK, so:

1.  Woodtrace to 1774 WILL be MCTRA?
2.  Thats pretty small (3.6 miles or so) for the toll road authority, considering there are no toll roads in MC.
Makes me wonder how come they would do create an authority for just 3.6 miles, why not either have TXDOT do all of MC OR have the MC portion cover the whole county?

1) MCTRA segment is from Spring Creek to Woodtrace, TXDOT is from 1774 to 105
     A. So what about from Woodtrace to 1774? 
           -When is that getting filled/by whom/and what is the split? 
     B. It looks like all the frontage roads of 249 follow 1774, thus the only way to continue on 249 at 1774 in Magnolia is on the toll road?

3)  1774 in Magnolia to 1488 (segment 1A), will be 4 toll lanes with ? frontage roads?
4)  Segment 1B will be 2 toll lanes (1 in each direction) with no frontage roads, how does that work?
5)  Segment 2 is 2 toll free lanes, at grade?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on May 11, 2020, 07:17:46 AM
2.  Thats pretty small (3.6 miles or so) for the toll road authority, considering there are no toll roads in MC.
Makes me wonder how come they would do create an authority for just 3.6 miles, why not either have TXDOT do all of MC OR have the MC portion cover the whole county?


I believe MCTRA also operated the tolled I-45 / SH 242 direct connectors, but those became toll-free a year ago.

Considering how far north the urban area of Houston has grown, you'd wonder if they're going to construct another east-west route north of the Grand Parkway. Maybe something in the corridor of SH 105 or SH 242
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: FreewayDan on May 11, 2020, 11:54:19 PM
2.  Thats pretty small (3.6 miles or so) for the toll road authority, considering there are no toll roads in MC.
Makes me wonder how come they would do create an authority for just 3.6 miles, why not either have TXDOT do all of MC OR have the MC portion cover the whole county?


I believe MCTRA also operated the tolled I-45 / SH 242 direct connectors, but those became toll-free a year ago.

Considering how far north the urban area of Houston has grown, you'd wonder if they're going to construct another east-west route north of the Grand Parkway. Maybe something in the corridor of SH 105 or SH 242

MCTRA was considering building a toll road in central Montgomery County, as well as toll lanes on SH 242 back in 2007: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Montgomery-County-pushing-for-toll-road-1809979.php
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on May 12, 2020, 03:49:18 PM
2.  Thats pretty small (3.6 miles or so) for the toll road authority, considering there are no toll roads in MC.
Makes me wonder how come they would do create an authority for just 3.6 miles, why not either have TXDOT do all of MC OR have the MC portion cover the whole county?


I believe MCTRA also operated the tolled I-45 / SH 242 direct connectors, but those became toll-free a year ago.

Considering how far north the urban area of Houston has grown, you'd wonder if they're going to construct another east-west route north of the Grand Parkway. Maybe something in the corridor of SH 105 or SH 242

MCTRA was considering building a toll road in central Montgomery County, as well as toll lanes on SH 242 back in 2007: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Montgomery-County-pushing-for-toll-road-1809979.php
Gotcha.
Still I don't get why they wouldn't have control over all of the MC portion of 249 and not just that small segment.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on May 18, 2020, 10:54:04 PM
BUMP

Google Earth has some brand new imagery of the TX-249 toll road construction, along with quite a bit of new imagery in the Northern reaches of the Houston metro. The entire path of the TX-249 extension is now visible all the way to the intersection with TX-105 a few miles East of Navasota.

The latest imagery is dated 1/18/2020. Some imagery farther South is dated 12/1/2019.

Forest clearing and grading work is well underway West of the intersection with FM-1774 and up to TX-105. It looks obvious that section will start out as an upgrade-able 2-lane facility. East of FM-1774 it expands to a dual carriageway format. Some odd sights can be seen, like toll gate gantries already built when everything around them is a bunch of dredged up mud.

The section East of the FM-1486 section is pretty far along. I wouldn't be surprised if it opened before the end of 2020.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on June 07, 2020, 08:40:48 PM
I drove to the area today and the toll road still ends at Woodtrace. The next overpass looks like it is ready to open - the pavement is striped. But north of the split from the existing alignment, there is still at least a couple months of work. Below is a view looking north at FM 149

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20200607-249-at-149.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Chris on July 06, 2020, 11:06:30 AM
https://communityimpact.com/houston/tomball-magnolia/transportation/2020/06/26/next-phase-of-hwy-249-opening-slated-for-july/

The next lanes of the Hwy. 249 tolled extension through Montgomery County are expected to be substantially complete July 15, according to information shared with the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce Mobility and Transportation Committee in June.

(...)

Future portions of the project from FM 1488 to FM 1774 and from FM 1774 to Hwy. 105 are tentatively set to be completed in January 2021 and summer 2023, according to the chamber of commerce presentation. TxDOT representatives did not respond to requests to confirm the timeline.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 03, 2020, 10:38:26 AM
1) Why is the connection between 99 and 249 being made now and not at the start?
2)  Why is it not all directions, just some?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on August 03, 2020, 01:21:20 PM
1) Why is the connection between 99 and 249 being made now and not at the start?
2)  Why is it not all directions, just some?

Both questions have the same answer: $$$
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 04, 2020, 03:28:37 PM
1) Why is the connection between 99 and 249 being made now and not at the start?
2)  Why is it not all directions, just some?

Both questions have the same answer: $$$
That's odd, would seem to me of all the interchanges, this one would be the highest priority to have it in all directions.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 04, 2020, 03:40:31 PM
1) Why is the connection between 99 and 249 being made now and not at the start?
2)  Why is it not all directions, just some?

Both questions have the same answer: $$$
That's odd, would seem to me of all the interchanges, this one would be the highest priority to have it in all directions.
What's he's saying is it costs less to construct only a partial interchange vs. a full one.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: rte66man on August 04, 2020, 09:05:44 PM
1) Why is the connection between 99 and 249 being made now and not at the start?
2)  Why is it not all directions, just some?

Both questions have the same answer: $$$
That's odd, would seem to me of all the interchanges, this one would be the highest priority to have it in all directions.
What's he's saying is it costs less to construct only a partial interchange vs. a full one.

Traffic counts don't mandate them.  Once the demand is there, they will be added. Have to be prudent with spending.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: TXtoNJ on August 05, 2020, 05:57:16 PM
249 (HCTRA) and 99 (TxDOT) are operated and maintained by different agencies. Neither are particularly inclined to bust their budgets on expensive interchanges, especially when a free one (maintained by TxDOT) exists.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 06, 2020, 10:52:48 AM
249 to 1488 is opening up 8/8, and will be free until fall:

https://communityimpact.com/houston/tomball-magnolia/transportation/2020/08/05/txdot-opening-date-set-for-next-tolled-segment-of-hwy-249-in-magnolia/?type=article&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter_article
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 08, 2020, 03:47:34 PM
The northbound lanes were open when I drove to the area just before 1 o'clock. The southbound entrance at FM 1488 was still closed, but I could see they were about to remove the barricades, so I waited a few minutes and then returned southbound.

There's nothing remarkable or new to report that has not been mentioned in previous posts. The corridor is entirely clear-cut, with no native trees remaining, and the median is narrow, so there is a wire rope barrier. I would prefer to see a wider median with native vegetation retained, which is done in most other states.

The pavement grooves are parallel to the tires, but my car was producing a periodic low hum tire noise which I have not heard on any other roads.

These three photos are northbound

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/249-NB-1_20200808.jpg)

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/249-NB-2_20200808.jpg)

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/249-NB-3_20200808.jpg)

This photo is southbound at the first entrance ramp south of FM 1488. There was a long section of frontage road before this ramp.

(http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/249-SB-1_20200808.jpg)
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 08, 2020, 07:16:14 PM
I would prefer to see a wider median with native vegetation retained, which is done in most other states.
From aerial imagery, it's about 48 ft which is typical. A lot of states might get up to 50 or 60 ft, but few go above. Louisiana and Arkansas have recently opened portions of I-49 with medians close to 100 ft, along with I-269 in Mississippi. At least it's not a paved 22 ft median with concrete barrier.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 20, 2020, 10:23:29 AM
Now, when the road goes through Grimes county, what do they mean by it will be a two lane rural highway?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 20, 2020, 12:05:16 PM
Now, when the road goes through Grimes county, what do they mean by it will be a two lane rural highway?
It will be a two lane rural highway...
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 20, 2020, 02:44:52 PM
TX-249 will drop down to a 2 lane route West of the intersection with FM-1774. I think it's going to be 2 lanes from there up to the intersection with TX-105. It will have enough ROW and be built in such a manner that the second set of lanes can be added later.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Perfxion on August 21, 2020, 10:45:06 AM
Now, when the road goes through Grimes county, what do they mean by it will be a two lane rural highway?

Since it will be toll free, its going to be a two lane road. With room to make it 4 lanes in the future.....if they can toll it.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 21, 2020, 10:48:11 PM
Why wouldn't they put toll gates on it? TX-49 around Tyler is a 2-lane toll road.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 24, 2020, 05:42:19 PM
Now, when the road goes through Grimes county, what do they mean by it will be a two lane rural highway?

Since it will be toll free, its going to be a two lane road. With room to make it 4 lanes in the future.....if they can toll it.
Will there be at grade, signaled intersections?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 24, 2020, 07:26:54 PM
^

IIRC either at grade intersections with minor roads, or full grade separation on 2 lane.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: FreewayDan on August 24, 2020, 11:50:37 PM
^

IIRC either at grade intersections with minor roads, or full grade separation on 2 lane.

The latest TxDOT schematics (as of late 2019) show that the two-lane segment of SH 249 in Grimes County will have exits:
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/bry/sh-249/SH249_Schematics.pdf
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 25, 2020, 01:07:01 PM
^

IIRC either at grade intersections with minor roads, or full grade separation on 2 lane.

The latest TxDOT schematics (as of late 2019) show that the two-lane segment of SH 249 in Grimes County will have exits:
http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/bry/sh-249/SH249_Schematics.pdf
Thanks, though I hate schematics, wish there was a an actual sketch/landscape.
So is it going to be a median separated 1 lane road in each direction with grade separated intersections?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 25, 2020, 01:12:16 PM
So is it going to be a median separated 1 lane road in each direction with grade separated intersections?
No, it's a two-lane road. One 12 foot lane in each direction with 10 foot right paved shoulders. Effectively a super-2. The center line will likely be broken for a lot of the length to allow passing, like any other two-lane rural road.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 25, 2020, 09:44:15 PM
They have a really strange lane configuration planned for how TX-249 will merge into TX-105. The TX-105 lanes will split apart to allow the 2-lane TX-249 road to merge down into the middle of it.

I don't know how they'll update this merge setup with TX-105 when the time comes to add the second set of lanes to TX-249. That time will come in fairly short order. There's also no way for Westbound TX-105 traffic to enter TX-249 Southbound (same goes for NB TX-249 to EB TX-105). I guess those movements would also be added later. This intersection will eventually have to be a freeway to freeway interchange. The TX-249 super highway will need to be able to maintain limited access all the way to the TX-6 corridor in Navasota. Sections of TX-105 between Navasota, Conroe and Cleveland will need limited access improvements, if not an entire super highway corridor along or near TX-105.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Revive 755 on August 25, 2020, 10:37:32 PM
^ So there's greater progress on getting a freeway grade facility between Houston and Waco than between Houston and Austin?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Bobby5280 on August 25, 2020, 10:52:47 PM
The super highway corridor is going to be more like Houston to College Station. It's sort of like US-290 being a freeway West of Houston out to Hempstead, but not the rest of the way to Austin.

I'm all for improving TX-6 into a freeway all the way up to Waco. It would give Fort Worth residents a more direct, all limited access path to Houston -an alternative to I-45. Fort Worth just alone has nearly 900,000 residents. Obviously Austin needs at least one all limited access link directly to Houston as well (even more than Fort Worth).
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: bluecountry on August 26, 2020, 10:54:50 AM
So is it going to be a median separated 1 lane road in each direction with grade separated intersections?
No, it's a two-lane road. One 12 foot lane in each direction with 10 foot right paved shoulders. Effectively a super-2. The center line will likely be broken for a lot of the length to allow passing, like any other two-lane rural road.
OK so one lane each direction, shoulder, and a center lane for passing.
What about intersections?
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on August 26, 2020, 11:59:23 AM
^

No center lane, only two lanes total.

Intersecting roads will have overpasses and ramps. Itís a freeway, with only one roadway being built now. In the future, a second roadway will be built to create a full 4 lane freeway design.
Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on February 23, 2021, 01:35:09 PM
The quarterly project update report is posted online for Thursday's TxDOT commission meeting.

https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2021/0225/10c3.pdf (https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2021/0225/10c3.pdf)

Section 1 of the project (which is the tolled section) is on schedule for full opening by March 15, 2021. Section 2 completion is delayed 8 months to June 2023, but the delay will allow the inclusion of upgrades, including three grade separations and longer passing lanes.

Quote
Section 1A opened to traffic ahead of schedule on August 8, 2020 and began toll collection ahead
of schedule in December 2020. Section 1B is anticipated to open to traffic on schedule no later
than March 15, 2021. Segment 2 is scheduled to be open to traffic on schedule on or before June
5, 2023.

The original Segment 2 Substantial Completion (SC) date of October 8, 2022 was
extended due to added work related to additional requirements needed to comply with a United
States Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 permit. This work included: adding grade
separations at County Road (CR) 304, FM 1748, and CR 306; adding one passing lane in each
direction between Pinebrook and CR 304 with 4 ft wide shoulders including bridge crossings in
lieu of culverts at Station 2130+00 and 2137+00 to avoid impacts to the Waters of the United
States (WOTUS); and increasing the mainlane shoulder widths along SH 249 from 8‐ft to 10‐ft.
See "Current Project Schedule".

The estimated total cost to develop the Project is $850.8M (Segment 1 - $534.7M; Segment 2 -
$316.1M) as of November 30, 2020. This estimated cost includes: the negotiated DBA price for
design, construction, and all other services required to deliver the Project per the DBA; utility
relocation; Right‐of‐Way (ROW) costs to acquire necessary property to design, construct, and
maintain the Project; tolling equipment and system integration; environmental mitigation;
TxDOT administration costs; and reasonable Project contingency.

Title: Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on February 27, 2021, 02:51:47 PM
On December 16, bids were opened for the direct connector ramps at SH 249 (Tomball Tollway) and the Grand Parkway.The four connectors on the south side are included.
The winning bidder was (no surprise) Williams Brothers Construction, which left a lot of money on the table with their bid of $92.05 million.

Just to clarify, this is on the far southern end of the Tomball Tollway and is not part of the extension projects currently under construction.

Friday's Harris County Commissioner's Court meeting had an agenda item for hiring a consultant to design two direct connect ramps at the SH-249/SH-99 interchange. Four ramps are under construction as mentioned in the quote above and work is proceeding quickly. I'm assuming this task is for new ramps and not additional design work for the ramps already under construction. There is no mention of these ramps on the project information page https://www.hctra.org/Tomball_Tollway_at_SH_99_Interchange (https://www.hctra.org/Tomball_Tollway_at_SH_99_Interchange)

https://harriscountytx.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4805478&GUID=5AEA6536-471D-4771-B7A6-4C4D6219FD19 (https://harriscountytx.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4805478&GUID=5AEA6536-471D-4771-B7A6-4C4D6219FD19)

The agenda item has no mention of which ramps are included in this new design task. I'm thinking it's either the two left-turn movements (EB-NB and SB-EB) or the connections on the northeast side (SB-EB and WB-NB).

If this is in fact for new ramps (not already under construction), this is a very favorable development because my perception is that the majority on Commissioner's Court and particularly Judge Hidalgo want to shut down HCTRA's toll road expansion program after current obligations are completed, and probably cancel the long-planned Hardy Toll Road downtown extension. This would be the first new work planned since the Democrats took control in 2019.

Title: Re: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: MaxConcrete on March 31, 2021, 08:38:18 AM
Section 1B, 8 miles from FM 1488 to FM1174, opened this past Friday.

(https://digital.olivesoftware.com/olive/ODN/HoustonChronicle/get/HHC-2021-03-31/image.ashx?kind=block&href=HHC%2F2021%2F03%2F31&id=Pc0080200&ext=.jpg&ts=20210331080212)

Quote
Eight more miles of the Texas 249 tollway opened Friday, Texas Department of Transportation officials said. Tolling went into effect immediately along the new segment from FM 1488 in Magnolia to FM 1774 in Todd Mission. The segment opening follows the August debut of the portion to the south from Pinehurst to Magnolia in Montgomery County, north of Tomball.

Use of the new segment will cost automobile drivers $2.28 if they have a tag for the vehicle such as a TxTag or EZ Tag, and $3.42 for pay-by-mail travelers. From Houston, the total cost for drivers would be $6.81 for a trip along all of the tolled portions, crossing sections controlled by TxDOT, Montgomery County Toll Road Authority and Harris County Toll Road Authority.
Title: Re: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Ketchup99 on March 31, 2021, 08:50:22 AM
This looks great. SH 105, I assume, will then ultimately be twinned from Stoneham to Navasota?
Title: Re: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: sprjus4 on March 31, 2021, 12:19:35 PM
The northern portion of the toll road is only being built with 2 lanes, so I would assume no for now.
Title: Re: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension
Post by: Stephane Dumas on August 22, 2021, 06:19:52 PM
Not related directly to the toll extension, but Google streetview had posted shots taken last April showing the erection of the pylons who'll support the direct ramps with TX-99.
https://goo.gl/maps/9iRALqpaZEwMhQig6