TxDOT seeks comments on proposed FM 529 widening
Monday, April 08, 2019
By: Karen Zurawski - Houston Chronicle
The Texas Department of Transportation is proposing to widen FM 529 between the Grand Parkway and FM 362 and will take public comments on the project on April 30.
The meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. will be an open-house format with no formal presentation at Patricia E. Paetow High School ninth-grade center, 23111 Stockdick Road in Katy.
The deadline to comment on the project is May 15. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a written comment or send comments to TxDOT Houston District Office, director of project development, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, Texas 77251. People also may visit http://tinyurl.com/yxgp6e3h for information.
FM 529 is a two-lane undivided roadway, one lane in each direction, with four-foot outside shoulders and open ditches. The proposed project would widen it to six lanes with a raised median between SH 99 and Katy Hockley Cut Off Road and to four lanes with raised median from Katy Hockley Cut Off to FM 362.
TxDOT started studying the road widening in July 2018, said Emily Black, a TxDOT spokeswoman. Initially, the road segment from SH 99 to FM 362 also was going to be four lanes, but that changed because of anticipated growth.
“Residential and commercial growth along FM 529 within Harris County is expected to increase rapidly over the next 25 years,” explained Black. “The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) has identified several planned developments along FM 529 that would generate approximately 6,400 housing units by 2045.”
Other factors include Katy’s fast-growing population and scheduled expansion by the school district.
Black said, “Katy Independent School District has identified a 157-acre site, adjacent to Katy Hockley Road north of FM 529, on which would be constructed new junior high school and high school campuses.”
“Widening from two to four lanes between SH 99 and Katy Hockley Cut Off Road would not be adequate to accommodate the projected traffic volumes for the year 2038 and 2045,” she said. “The projected Average Daily Traffic(ADT) for the year 2038 is 52,450 and projected ADT for the year 2045 is 59,800.”
The estimated construction cost is $120 million, said Black. TxDOT will likely need about 88 acres of right of way.
“The exact amount is not known at this time,” said Black. “The north/south/center options will be presented to the public during the public meeting on April 30. Once we get further into the project design the exact amount of ROW can be calculated,” she said.
“Construction timing is dependent on project funding,” continued Black. “The project is currently unfunded.”
She listed the next steps for the project:
Review and consider public comments (spring 2019)
Develop proposed recommended alternative (spring - winter 2019)
Finalize the environmental analysis (fall 2020)
Publish draft environmental assessment (fall 2020)
Conduct public hearing (fall 2020)
Finalize environmental assessment (winter 2020)