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Author Topic: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening  (Read 1029 times)

Chris

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Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« on: October 31, 2017, 02:30:39 PM »

There are plans to expand 6.6 miles of SH 99 / Grand Parkway in western Houston to six lanes (FM 1093 to I-10).

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/katy/news/article/TxDOT-looks-for-solution-to-Texas-99-traffic-12320399.php

In addition to adding lanes to the 6.6-mile segment between Interstate 10 and FM 1093, the project would add a center cable median barrier and modify several ramps.

While the project is intended to improve mobility, Oscar Slotboom of Westchase thinks traffic warrants more lanes. A regular user of Texas 99, he said, "Traffic has become worse than ever." He talked of backups even on Saturdays. If it backs up on Saturdays, it needs to be widened, he added.


According to the TxDOT planning map, there is an AADT of 128,819 north of Highland Knolls Drive. Even with that count including frontage roads, that's extremely high for just four freeway lanes. Maybe a simple six-laning is not sufficient in the long term.

http://www.txdot.gov/apps/statewide_mapping/StatewidePlanningMap.html

I would be interested to see traffic count data of SH 99 between I-10 and US 290, but that data is apparently not available. Houston is rapidly growing towards the SH 99 corridor, which has four lanes and no frontage roads. It probably won't be long before it needs expansion.

Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 02:44:43 PM »

There is enough ROW within the median area to add 2 lanes in each direction between FM-1093 and I-10. If they're going to go to all the trouble of expanding the road, why not get both lanes added from the start? They could even put down the concrete for the expansion and initially stripe it with 3 lanes in each direction, leaving a fairly wide inner shoulder.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 04:35:38 PM »

^That's pretty much what I'd expect them to do.

MaxConcrete, your further thoughts?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 07:48:57 PM »

That section of the Grand Parkway is heavily congested at peak hours, and (as I was quoted) I have even experienced backups on Saturdays.

I attended the meeting and submitted a comment that it should be widened to 4x4. The schematic cross section on the materials distributed at the meeting show the inner shoulder being 12 feet wide, which suggests it is designed for future widening to 4x4. (The cross sections on the online schematics do not specifically show the shoulder width but suggest 12 feet based on the overall pavement width.)

But I don't expect the design to be changed to 4x4 if the project moves forward soon. It the project is delayed for several years, then they may revisit the capacity needs if traffic worsens (which is probably not an "if", but rather a "when").

nolia_boi504

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 09:52:13 PM »

Are they still planning for a 2022 start date? They need to start NOW in my opinion...

Nexus 5X

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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 10:25:15 PM »

Are they still planning for a 2022 start date? They need to start NOW in my opinion...

The document distributed at the meeting says construction is expected to begin in late 2022. A public hearing is slated for late 2018.

The document says the estimated construction cost is $118 million, which seems high for the five mile length. Eighteen feet of concrete is being added to each side.

They need to get the project "shovel ready" so it can be advanced if the money becomes available sooner.

Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: SH 99 Grand Parkway widening
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 10:45:25 PM »

Given the inflation rate on construction costs in the US the $118 million figure for 2022 dollars could end up being on the low side.
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