- Input deadline is March 20 -
Three years later, the Huffman community continues to show up and get involved in the planning of the proposed Farm-to-Market (FM) 2100 improvements project that aims to improve 5.7 miles of roadway in Northeast Harris County. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) held a second public meeting at the May Community Center Thursday, March 5, stating that the intended purpose was to “afford the public an opportunity to review and provide comments on the proposed project.”
The proposed project would improve FM 2100 between Huffman-Cleveland Road and just beyond Sate Highway (SH) 99 (Grand Parkway).
Close to 120 people attended the February 2017 open house-style public meeting, and though the numbers were not finalized or official, TxDOT representatives were hopeful that Thursday’s meeting would bring in similar support or more.
According to TxDOT Public Information Officer for the Houston District, Danny Perez, the project would accommodate anticipated future traffic demand and growth in the area, along with some levels of safety.
“What we try to do is address growth for this community,” Perez said. “We want to make sure that we address the growth, not only for today, but for the years to come, not just on the highways, but also the major roadways with increased traffic.”
Perez stated TxDOT is always looking for ways to improve traffic flow when they see numbers increase on major roads, which often includes road widening. As far as safety, the project will include “adding sidewalks, widening shoulders and adding a raised median with dedicated left- and right-turn lanes at selected intersections.”
Currently, the portion of road that will be improved has two 12-foot-wide lanes, one in each direction, outside shoulders of 0 to 4 feet, no sidewalks, no medians, and right-of-way widths approximately 60-150 feet wide. The improvements proposed include four 12-foot-wide lanes, two in each direction, 12-foot-wide shoulders, 5-foot-wide sidewalks in each direction, 18-foot-wide raised medians, and approximately 200-feet-wide right-of-ways.
According to Perez, all projects have to be “environmentally cleared” before they can move on to the next phase, and hosting a public meeting is a part of that environmental process. After comments are collected and incorporated from Thursday’s meeting, the next predicted steps of the project are a possible public hearing in Fall 2020, an anticipated environmental decision in Summer 2021, begin right-of-way acquisition in Summer 2021, complete final design in Summer 2023, and begin construction late 2023/early 2024. The estimated construction costs of the project are $45 million, which covers 4.5 miles of existing roadway and adding 1.2 miles of new roadway.
Perez shared that the impact during the construction phase is a priority to TxDOT.
“We always try to keep what’s available open,” Perez said. “We don’t close a road and are very mindful of any types of activities to keep the flow going. We will do [the construction] in phases to help minimize impact. Closing the road down is not an option in many communities.”
Perez shared that the process could involve lane reconfigurations, daytime construction and night-time construction to accommodate travelers as best as possible.
Communications with the community is also a priority to TxDOT according to Perez, who requested that anyone with questions or concerns to “please contact” him via telephone. “We want to know what is going on. Call us up, we don’t mind. If you are having an issue, let us know. We want to be mindful of everybody’s needs.”
More information about the FM 2100 project can be found online at the TxDOT website by navigating to the project studies page and selecting the FM 2100 Huffman-Cleveland project or by calling 713-802-5077.