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Author Topic: Houston: Westpark Tollway  (Read 11864 times)

MaxConcrete

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Houston: Westpark Tollway
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:28:11 PM »

I obtained this info from the meeting of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority this evening. The project extends the Westpark Tollway westward from its terminus at the Grand Parkway (SH 99) to Fulshear. It will have the same design features as the existing adjacent section: four lanes of frontage roads (two each way) and four tolled main lanes.

There are three phases
Phase 1: Grand Parkway to FM 1463, 4 miles.
Phase 2: FM 1463 westward, they said 4.15 miles at the meeting
Phase 3 (future): Cross Creek Ranch Blvd to James Lane west of Fulshear

Phase 1
Only 2.2 miles of tolled main lanes will be built due to financial and environmental constraints. Frontage roads will be built for the western 1.8 miles
Bids opened in December, lowest bid $63.9 million by Webber
Total project cost $116.3 million including right-of-way
Bonds sold last week at a rate of 3.86% interest, well below the budgeted value of 5%
Construction should be underway around March or soon after with February 2018 completion

Phase 2
Expected to start in December 2016 and complete in June 2018
Construction estimate: $37 million
Total cost: $69 million
This appears to be frontage roads only


Main lanes beyond the first 2.2 miles will be built when funds are available and environment clearance is received. FBCTRA is currently maxed out on its borrowing ability, so more main lane work may not start for 2-3 years.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 08:34:03 PM by MaxConcrete »
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codyg1985

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 07:58:31 AM »

Are there enough people that live that way yet to support extending it?
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Cody Goodman
Huntsville, AL, United States

Chris

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 10:04:26 AM »

It's growing pretty rapidly.

http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/1-25-2016/N_drC6.gif

Removed image due to animated 404 graphic. - Alex
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 03:31:30 AM by Alex »
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 09:49:39 PM »

Are there enough people that live that way yet to support extending it?

Apparently yes. Currently there is only a two-lane road, and there was discussion of traffic problems, especially at the intersections. The engineer at the FBCTRA meeting emphasized that the frontage roads will provide a huge improvement in performance along most of the corridor, since only 2.2 miles of main lanes are being built in this phase.

As Chris' graphic shows, there are new subdivisions stretching for many miles west of the Grand Parkway. Cross Creek Ranch seems to be the furthest west at this time, but apparently plans are in the works to keep pushing development west to Fulshear and beyond. There is also increasing development on the south side of the Westpark corridor.

Marc

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 11:14:47 PM »

Are there enough people that live that way yet to support extending it?

Apparently yes. Currently there is only a two-lane road, and there was discussion of traffic problems, especially at the intersections.

Oh lord yes. They need to look into widening Grand Parkway through Cinco Ranch too.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 11:48:27 PM »

Oh lord yes. They need to look into widening Grand Parkway through Cinco Ranch too.

At the meeting of the Fort Bend County Toll road Authority, it was mentioned that this year TxDOT is expected to provide a schematic for the widening of the Grand Parkway to 6 lanes between the Westpark Tollway and I-10. There was no mention of when it may actually be built.

I monitor Houston Transtar twice daily, and I've noticed that the section of the Grand Parkway from the Westpark Tollway to I-10 is frequently yellow or orange (indicating slow conditions). But it is not yet reaching red.

codyg1985

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 10:10:37 AM »

When was the segment of the Grand Parkway between I-10 and the Westpark Tollway built?
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Cody Goodman
Huntsville, AL, United States

DNAguy

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 12:48:46 PM »

When was the segment of the Grand Parkway between I-10 and the Westpark Tollway built?

Early 90's?

Like ~ 1994 or 1993 maybe?
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Chris

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 02:06:01 PM »

It opened in 1994 according to the Houston Freeways book. Google Earth historical imagery reveals that at that time (1995) only three interchanges were built, the rest only had frontage roads north of Cinco Ranch Boulevard. The main lanes weren't built until 2005, and they ended just south of the Katy Freeway. The interchange with the Katy Freeway was a frontage road intersection until the first direct connectors were built in 2012 and the other six in 2014. The Grand Parkway main lanes over the Westpark Tollway also weren't constructed until 2014.

So there wasn't a full freeway link from the Westpark Tollway to the Katy Freeway until 2014. Even today the interchange with the Westpark Tollway has only one direct connector, all other movements have to use the frontage roads.

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 01:32:39 PM »

There has been a significant cost escalation for the Westpark Tollway extension project, with the cost nearly doubling to $ 229 million, even $ 357 million including interest. The environmental approval process required more time while land prices appreciated quickly due to the explosive population growth in the area since the project was initiated. They say that land prices increased from $ 5 per sq ft to $ 10 - 13 per sq ft, greatly adding to the cost of right-of-way acquisition. They also had to pay more for utility relocation. They are now asking for more money from TxDOT. Phase II is still expected to start in late 2017.

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/fortbend/news/article/As-cost-to-expand-Westpark-Tollway-more-than-11294001.php

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 02:06:45 PM »

It turns out that the first phase of the Westpark Tollway extension opened to traffic on November 7. The tollway now extends to FM 1463.

https://coveringkaty.com/local-news/fort-bend/westpark-tollway-extension-open-tuesday/

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2019, 06:18:21 PM »

I drove to the western end of the Westpark tollway today.

There is frontage road construction in progress for around 2 miles from Cross Creek Ranch to the center of Fulshear, where FM 359 branches north, which (as far as I know) is the planned terminus of the toll road. The eastbound frontage road (2 lanes) is on new right-of-way on the south side of the existing corridor. The concrete is mostly complete, so within a few months I expect traffic to be shifted to the new lanes and work to start on the westbound frontage road, which will replace the existing FM 1093. The overall corridor width on the new section is fairly wide by Westpark Tollway standards - I would estimate around 250 feet.

There is no main lane construction in progress. I looked at the online meeting minutes of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, and no main lane construction is planned at this time. It appears that direct connectors at the Grand Parkway are higher priority than main lane extensions, but direct connector construction is also not imminent. For now, the short extension of the Fort Bend County Toll Road is the agency's priority.

thisdj78

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2019, 11:41:33 PM »

I drove to the western end of the Westpark tollway today.

There is frontage road construction in progress for around 2 miles from Cross Creek Ranch to the center of Fulshear, where FM 359 branches north, which (as far as I know) is the planned terminus of the toll road. The eastbound frontage road (2 lanes) is on new right-of-way on the south side of the existing corridor. The concrete is mostly complete, so within a few months I expect traffic to be shifted to the new lanes and work to start on the westbound frontage road, which will replace the existing FM 1093. The overall corridor width on the new section is fairly wide by Westpark Tollway standards - I would estimate around 250 feet.

There is no main lane construction in progress. I looked at the online meeting minutes of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, and no main lane construction is planned at this time. It appears that direct connectors at the Grand Parkway are higher priority than main lane extensions, but direct connector construction is also not imminent. For now, the short extension of the Fort Bend County Toll Road is the agency's priority.

How much farther do you think they will eventually extend it past Fulshear (if at all)?

I’d like to see it curve north at some point to I-10.
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In_Correct

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2019, 06:51:42 PM »

It's growing pretty rapidly.



There is a 404 error with the image. I have removed the link from the quote be cause the 404 replacement image is very annoying. I had to block it with uBlock Origin. I do not need pesky dancing numbers dancing around on the screen when a simple single static Red X would suffice. That dancing 404 is so unnecessary, it took a while for me to figure out what I was looking at. I do not miss The 1990s, but I certainly miss The 1990s Internet Web Pages. Please keep AA Roads as Simple Machines.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2019, 10:45:35 PM »


How much farther do you think they will eventually extend it past Fulshear (if at all)?

I’d like to see it curve north at some point to I-10.

As far as I know, the planned toll road terminus is FM 359 in Fulshear, where the frontage road construction currently in progress terminates.

In the toll road authority meeting minutes there is mention of planning for a rail-to-trails project. So I think that's what is planned for the corridor west of Fulshear. Which makes me wonder if it would be wiser to keep the right-of-way for possible future widening of FM 1093, which is on a corridor no more than 100 feet wide.

http://www.fbctra.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/fbctra_minutes_20190717.pdf

Chris

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2019, 03:47:33 PM »

It's growing pretty rapidly.



There is a 404 error with the image. I have removed the link from the quote be cause the 404 replacement image is very annoying. I had to block it with uBlock Origin. I do not need pesky dancing numbers dancing around on the screen when a simple single static Red X would suffice. That dancing 404 is so unnecessary, it took a while for me to figure out what I was looking at. I do not miss The 1990s, but I certainly miss The 1990s Internet Web Pages. Please keep AA Roads as Simple Machines.

Sorry about that, that gif image showed the development of the area on satellite images. It was uploaded over 3.5 years ago to a host that has evidently deleted it sometime since....

In_Correct

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2019, 07:31:28 AM »

It's growing pretty rapidly.



There is a 404 error with the image. I have removed the link from the quote be cause the 404 replacement image is very annoying. I had to block it with uBlock Origin. I do not need pesky dancing numbers dancing around on the screen when a simple single static Red X would suffice. That dancing 404 is so unnecessary, it took a while for me to figure out what I was looking at. I do not miss The 1990s, but I certainly miss The 1990s Internet Web Pages. Please keep AA Roads as Simple Machines.

Sorry about that, that gif image showed the development of the area on satellite images. It was uploaded over 3.5 years ago to a host that has evidently deleted it sometime since....

I vaguely remember the image. Unfortunately I did not download it.
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yakra

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway extension about to begin
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 12:08:56 PM »

Open to Cross Creek Ranch yet, or still just FM 1463?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2023, 08:55:08 PM »

The Houston Chronicle reports that a study will soon begin to identify improvements to the Westpark Tollway.
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/westpark-tollway-expansion-fort-bend-18099834.php

This is a pleasant surprise, but we can't assume the study will have a logical or favorable outcome. The Democratic majority (now 4-1) on Harris County commissioners court has mostly suspended planned projects (e.g. Hardy Toll Road extension), diverting funds to bicycle lanes and flood control projects, and talking up public transit. As the article mentions, they are in no hurry to get this study done. However, the article says this is a widening project and widening is expected. It sounds like Fort Bend County may be the main advocate for more lanes. Fort Bend County owns about 5.5 miles of the 13-mile section between Beltway 8 and the Grand Parkway.

The tollway is 2x2. Outside Beltway 8, there is a 50 foot strip of land along most of the tollway that could be available if Metro (the owner) agrees. (Inside Beltway 8, the strip is slated to become a bus rapid transit facility.) If they want a public transit feature, I think the most reasonable solution is to expand to 3-1H-3 (H=HOV). It could be possible to go to 4x4, but without interior shoulders.

I think the top priority should be adding missing connections at the Sam Houston Tollway, the southbound-westbound and eastbound-northbound connections. But that will be expensive, requiring long elevated ramps and probably raising the high-voltage lines going across the intersection.

Quote
“This is an expansion,”  Harris County Toll Road Authority Executive Director Roberto Trevino said, stressing that a wider tollway is likely. “What’s great is, we are thinking about all the options, leveraging all the mobility options so maybe that means transit partnerships or new ways of serving people beyond just raising prices and adding capacity.”

HCTRA will pay for and choose a contractor for the study, pending approval Tuesday from Harris County Commissioners’ Court. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, city of Houston and Fort Bend County will cooperate, as both own strips of land along the tollway that could be used for possible expansions or creation of transit-only lanes aimed at taking cars and trucks off the tollway.

While the entire corridor will be considered, Trevino said most of the focus will be on the segment from the Sam Houston Tollway to Grand Parkway, which has some of the largest demand.

Officials said they could not detail exactly what form that would take or a timeline for the study’s completion.

“We are going to take our time and do it right,”  Trevino said.

Time, however, may not be on officials’ side as they try to keep up with rapid growth along the corridor, notably outside the Sam Houston Tollway to the Grand Parkway. During peak commutes times – inbound in the morning and outbound in the evening – Trevino said Westpark often operates with delays and heavy traffic, with roughly 25,000 vehicles using the tollway daily.

Use is expected to increase, said Fort Bend County Judge K P George, who noted the county has grown to 894,000 residents, from 590,000 in 2010.

“We’re going to have 1 million people by 2026,”  George said.

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2023, 09:25:03 PM »

The agenda for this week's meeting of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority includes a long-term capital plan which has a line item for extending the Westpark Tollway to Simonton.

Documents I have seen up to now always showed the toll road terminating at FM 359 in Fulshear. Frontage roads currently exist to Fulshear. Extending it to Simonton would be a 5-mile extension past Fulshear. The line item suggests that the section from Texas Heritage Parkway all the way to Simonton is now viewed as a single distinct segment, instead of two separate segments.

Quote
A 1060.1 WPT WPT Ext. TX Heritage Pkwy to Simonton (Preliminary Design) $2,500,000
A 1060.2 WPT WPT Ext. TX Heritage Pkwy to Simonton $152,000,000

thisdj78

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2023, 11:40:38 PM »

The agenda for this week's meeting of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority includes a long-term capital plan which has a line item for extending the Westpark Tollway to Simonton.

Documents I have seen up to now always showed the toll road terminating at FM 359 in Fulshear. Frontage roads currently exist to Fulshear. Extending it to Simonton would be a 5-mile extension past Fulshear. The line item suggests that the section from Texas Heritage Parkway all the way to Simonton is now viewed as a single distinct segment, instead of two separate segments.

Quote
A 1060.1 WPT WPT Ext. TX Heritage Pkwy to Simonton (Preliminary Design) $2,500,000
A 1060.2 WPT WPT Ext. TX Heritage Pkwy to Simonton $152,000,000

I wonder how much further they will extend it past Simonton in the future. Sealy perhaps?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2023, 11:45:10 PM »

If they're planning on extending the toll road to Simonton why not get some plans on the drawing board to extend the road to a more logical terminus?

A terminus at Simonton would end the toll road just short of a Brazos River crossing. I think it would make more sense to extend the road a little farther due West to the TX-36 corridor -either straight West so motorists can take a short drive North to I-10 in Sealy. Or the Westpark Tollway could be extended to Wallis. Motorists can split the difference on either driving North to I-10 or down to I-69.
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bwana39

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2023, 09:12:59 AM »

If they're planning on extending the toll road to Simonton why not get some plans on the drawing board to extend the road to a more logical terminus?

A terminus at Simonton would end the toll road just short of a Brazos River crossing. I think it would make more sense to extend the road a little farther due West to the TX-36 corridor -either straight West so motorists can take a short drive North to I-10 in Sealy. Or the Westpark Tollway could be extended to Wallis. Motorists can split the difference on either driving North to I-10 or down to I-69.

Guys... This Is the FBCTRA (Fort Bend County toll road authority). It is unlike the NTTA, CTRMA, etc. FBCTRA is just within Fort Bend County. The Brazos is the county line.  Any extension to I-10 would go into the very rural Austin County whose current population is estimated at around 35,000 people.  It goes to the margin of the FBCTRA
« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 09:15:11 AM by bwana39 »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Westpark Tollway
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2023, 02:08:21 AM »

I'm not talking about extending the toll road to I-10 or I-69. I'm only suggesting it would be better if it at least terminated at a significant state highway corridor. Ending the route in Simonton only looks like wanting to avoid spending any money on highway bridges to cross a river.
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