On Tuesday, October 24, Texas Department of Transportation (TX-DOT) held it’s first public meeting on the expansion of the Grand Parkway. The meeting was held at Cinco Ranch High School. A deadline of November 8 was set for submitting feedback and comments on the project.
The current proposal expands SH99 (Grand Parkway) from 1093 to I-10 from a 4 lane highway to 6 lanes. Most of the expansion will be into the median and includes adding a cable median barrier. There will also be ramp modifications and adding right-turn lanes at major intersections. This project is different and not affected by the current Fort Bend Mobility Bonds.
The meeting was held as an open house, come and go format. TX-DOT had several representatives available to talk to residents about the project including any right of way issues, noise, and over all construction impacts on the area.
Many of the those in attendance were concerned about current noise levels and what can be done to reduce noise to the neighborhoods along the Grand Parkway. State officials said, the first step in the process is to have an environmental study done, which includes testing noise levels. TXDOT must follow current federal standards for testing and guidelines of noise levels. Once the study is complete, a Noise Workshop will be held. At the workshop, the findings of the study will be discussed along with any remediation that can be done. Those effected by the remediation will then get to vote on a solution.
There was also concern about this section becoming a toll road, as currently it is toll free. TXDOT assured residents no tolls will be assessed on the section of Grand Parkway from 1093 to I-10. The toll free section is part of the long term agreement between the state and the Harris County Toll authority.
As of now, the Grand Parkway expansion is still in the planning and studying phases. TX-DOT wanted to give residents an early look at the plans. The project is not slated to start until 2022 and will take 2 years to finish. After the conclusion of the environmental studies, TX-DOT will hold any workshops needed, such as noise. Then a public hearing will be held in late 2018, this will be where plans will be revealed taking into consideration any results of studies or resident input. Once again residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and give input.