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Author Topic: Houston: SH 249 Toll extension  (Read 30485 times)

Bobby5280

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #50 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.
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sparker

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #51 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. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #52 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.
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sparker

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #53 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. 
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Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #54 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/

Bobby5280

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #55 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.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #56 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

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.

Perfxion

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #57 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

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.
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Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #58 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.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 03:16:37 PM by Chris »
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bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #59 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?
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Bobby5280

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #60 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.
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rte66man

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #61 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.
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Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #62 on: February 29, 2020, 03:58:23 PM »

Google Maps has the new route already mapped and displayed as a road closure.

Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #63 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
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 02:29:24 PM by Chris »
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Bobby5280

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #64 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.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #65 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.

bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #66 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?
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Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #67 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.

bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #68 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?
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bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2020, 10:24:50 AM »

Could somebody clarify?
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FreewayDan

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #70 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
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bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #71 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?
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Chris

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #72 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

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #73 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
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bluecountry

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Re: ROD issued for SH 249 Toll extension
« Reply #74 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.
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