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Author Topic: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision  (Read 2712 times)

MaxConcrete

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Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« on: January 22, 2017, 12:04:28 AM »

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



This link is subscription-only, so I added some excerpts
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Southern-segment-of-Grand-Parkway-environmentally-10871686.php

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

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

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

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

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

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

DJStephens

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 01:08:19 PM »

Does certainly appear out of the way, non direct, and excessive.  Guessing proposed routing is so to avoid as many takings with residences located on them as possible.  If  they (txdot) wants a third ring - why not upgrade the entire state route 6 / FM 1960 routing?  Too many established businesses and residences fronting route would guess.   
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Chris

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 02:08:34 PM »

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

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

http://txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/houston/sh99-grandparkway-noa.html

compdude787

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 03:26:25 PM »

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

Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 03:30:23 PM »

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

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 10:24:12 AM »

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

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

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 03:48:59 PM »

The one good thing about this route is that it lends itself to a new bridge at San Luis Pass. This would be useful for hurricane evacuation efforts.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 04:09:41 PM »

I'm getting flashbacks to I-69...

Why couldn't they just streamline it from TX 288 to TX 6? What's the point of having to dip south?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 04:40:05 PM »

My guess is they're trying to avoid crossing a large area in the Chocolate Bayou directly East of the TX-288 & FM-60 interchange. Perhaps the area is particularly flood prone and expensive to cross. Or maybe it's environmentally sensitive. So they're going to zig-zag the route clear down to meet where TX-35 crosses the Chocolate Bayou and upgrade that existing crossing. Maybe there is less property along TX-35 to buy and remove than running the toll road parallel to FM-1462.
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chays

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 09:03:37 PM »

Just saw this:
TxDOT considers removing Grand Parkway segments from 10-year development plan

Quote
TxDOTs draft 2020 Unified Transportation Program will guide what transportation projects it develops over the next decade. The draft includes removal of toll road projects, including the $1.28 billion segments B-D of the Grand Parkway.


https://communityimpact.com/houston/clear-lake-league-city-nassau-bay/top-stories/2019/07/22/txdot-considers-removing-grand-parkway-segments-from-10-year-development-plan/
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roadman65

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 09:27:40 PM »

The only toll road I have ever seen that charges to use a flyover.   Basically the bridges over the connecting road at interchanges are tolled so in essence the interchange bridges are toll bridges.

Drove from I-10 to I-69 and remember stopping for the lights as the toll parts just basically was a way to bypass the signals.  After the lights, you would reenter the freeway until the next interchange where you had the choice to stay on the freeway to pay the toll, or exit and cross the connector and get back on.

Silly if you ask me the way its done on that part.

They can wait 50 years to complete, but with the rate of development going on it won't take long for the demand to have it.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 09:54:00 PM »

Silly if you ask me the way its done on that part.

Yes, I agree. But that section with the tolls on the bridges is a product of TxDOT's period of toll hegemony, roughly 2000-2014, and the legacy of that period includes numerous instances of silliness, for example toll ramps on SH121 and IH35E in North Dallas.

Thankfully the era of toll road hegemony is over, and TxDOT is now anti-toll. As chays notes in the prior post, TxDOT is in the process of removing the final remaining toll projects from its 10-year plan, including the south section of the Grand Parkway. But local toll road agencies will still build some long-planned toll roads. In fact, the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority built the bridges on the Grand Parkway between IH-69 and IH-10.

roadman65

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 11:21:12 PM »

I also noticed that SH 146 is to be part of SH 99 when some more of the Grand Parkway is completed.  I imagine that SH 146, which is already a free freeway, will not be tolled as all they would have to do is just change the signs over.  Its not an interstate designation so upgrades would not be in order there, so it can function as is.

Heck SH 1604 in San Antonio is a beltway and it is not even freeway in all parts. Some of it is arterial and has stop lights on it like at I-10 on the east side of the city.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2019, 11:27:40 PM »

With TxDOT going anti-toll, won't some of their projects languish as a result? There's a lot of different projects on the books that aren't finished yet. Take I-35E in North Dallas for instance. I can't stand the current configuration of I-35E from the North edge of Dallas going up through Lewisville and to Denton. The narrow lanes SUCK. They're scary to use in heavy traffic or speed demon traffic when things aren't jammed. The highway was supposed to go through another big widening phase to add another pair of express toll lanes and get all the lanes adjusted out to proper 12' widths. Now I wonder if that and lots of other projects are going to be seriously delayed or even cancelled.

Fuel taxes these days don't go far at all at funding highway projects. The cost inflation for planning and construction is one thing. Then there's the nonsense going on in places like Oklahoma where the extra money from the first fuel tax hike in over 25 years went mostly to fund teacher pay raises (since Oklahoma has ranked near dead last in the nation on teacher pay). OK's fuel tax needed to be raised a good bit for the roads. The teachers deserved to get paid better as well. But that money has to be raised using other approaches. This state is still moving backwards.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2019, 09:20:45 PM »

A state Senator is saying that sections B and C of the Grand Parkway will be restored to the TxDOT 10-year plan. The reporter in the video is dressed for the occasion with a high-visibility vest.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/senator-says-grand-parkway-funding-will-not-be-cut

rte66man

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Re: Houston: Grand Parkway segment B gets record of decision
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2019, 09:07:09 AM »

A state Senator is saying that sections B and C of the Grand Parkway will be restored to the TxDOT 10-year plan. The reporter in the video is dressed for the occasion with a high-visibility vest.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/senator-says-grand-parkway-funding-will-not-be-cut

Does he have the stroke to get that to happen or is he mouthing off to impress some constituents?
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