Construction is less than two years away on FM 1960. The FM 1960 Mobility Project will significantly impact the areas of Humble, Atascocita, Huffman and Kingwood.
That impact will begin to be felt on the day construction begins, if not sooner. When completed, 36 months after construction begins, it will greatly improve mobility in an area that has steadily grown more congested, inefficient and dangerous. However, during the construction, there will be disruptions and delays to traffic.
This article provides an overview of the project, its objectives and time lines of events as the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) moves beyond the planning stages. As the construction work gets underway, The Tribune will update progress, expected next steps and anticipated impacts on traffic during each phase of the project.
Fall 2019 to bring construction
On April 25, TXDOT released a written presentation to describe the overall project that is now in its final planning stages. It states that the needs and purposes of the project are to: improve roadway for increased population and traffic volumes; improve mobility; increase safety; accommodate future traffic; reduce traffic congestion; and construct turn lanes, signalized intersections, shared use-lanes and sidewalks to increase pedestrian and vehicle safety.
FM 1960 will be widened from its existing, four-lane roadway to a six-lane roadway, including one lane in each direction 18 feet wide for shared use. The project is 6.4 miles long. It begins east of Highway 59 at Townsen Boulevard and goes to the McKay Bridge over Lake Houston. It includes a grade separation at Atascocita Road, West Lake Houston Parkway and Farmingham Road. Also included will be an 18-foot-wide raised median and 5-foot-wide sidewalks in each direction along both sides of the right-of-way. The planned date to start construction is the fall of 2019. It is expected to take 36 months to complete. Before actual construction begins, much must be done, including completion of environmental studies and appropriate right-of-way acquisitions in 2018 and 2019. The environmental studies will evaluate the impact on the right-of-way acquisition, the displacement and relocation of 13 commercial and four residential locations and the impact on any wetlands, waters and floodplains. The studies will include traffic noise considerations that may be needed along residential areas.
The overall proposed time line for the project is: completion of environmental studies: Fall 2017; right-of-way acquisition: 2018-2019; anticipated construction begin date: Fall 2019; anticipated construction: 36 months; and anticipated construction cost: $98 million.
During the 36-month construction time, there is sure to be a significant traffic impact in terms of congestion and perhaps minimal detours, especially during construction of the grade separation at Atascocita Road, West Lake Houston Parkway and Farmingham Road.
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