State planning to expand U.S. 90 and other area roads to improve mobility

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/10/22

While funding for it hasn't been settled, the Texas Department of Transportation hopes to expand U.S. 90 between Brookshire and Katy, officials said in a Jan. 6 briefing.

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State planning to expand U.S. 90 and other area roads to improve mobility

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While funding for it hasn’t been settled, the Texas Department of Transportation hopes to expand U.S. 90 between Brookshire and Katy, officials said in a Jan. 6 briefing.

Sue Theiss, director for advanced project development for the Texas Department of Transportation, and Catherine McCreight, senior transportation planner, spoke at the briefing, which took place at the Tru by Hilton Katy Houston West, 200 Ernstes Road. The Katy that Chamber of Commerce hosted the briefing.

Presently, U.S. 90 has one lane in each direction, with eight-foot shoulders and an open and closed drainage system. But with growing commercial development between Brookshire and Katy, the roadway has become more dangerous because it must accommodate a growing amount of traffic.

Theiss said the U.S. 90 expansion would run 10 miles from I-10 in Brookshire west to where it intersects with FM 1463 in Katy. The proposed design calls for two new travel lanes, a raised median, and a shared use path. It also calls for dedicated turn lanes at intersections, and would convert the open drainage ditches to a closed storm sewer system.

Another public hearing is expected later this spring, after which officials will prepare responses to public feedback and make other decisions on how best to move ahead. Theiss said the project has no start date because the funding has not been settled.

The U.S. 90 expansion project is one of several being planned for the Katy area. The department plans to expand State Highway 99 between I-10 and FM 1093 this fall. The length of this project is approximately 5.9 miles. The project calls for adding one travel lane in each direction, modifying ramps in several locations along the highway, and adding right turn lanes at major intersections, Theiss said.

The department plans to expand I-10 between FM 359 and Mason Road in late 2023. The length of this project is approximately 13 miles. The project calls for adding two managed lanes and two general-purpose lanes between FM 359 and where U.S. 90 becomes Katy Mills Boulevard. The project also calls for extending the frontage roads from Peterson Road to U.S 90/Katy Mills Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin in 2023.

While the Katy area is growing west towards Brookshire, it is also growing north. One project north of the city is the expansion of FM 529 from State Highway 99 to FM 362. This particular project kicked off in 2018. A public meeting is set for early 2022, and construction expected to begin in late 2025.

Department officials are also working on a comprehensive concept called REAL (for regional express access lanes). The concept behind REAL is for the establishment of hub centers around the Houston area. Each hub center would have access to various modes of transportation, and a commuter could choose his or her best option to reach a given destination.

McCreight said for the Katy area, an idea under consideration is to establish hub centers at Katy Mills Mall, in Brookshire, and a spot in the industrial corridor between the two cities. In this way, commuters who work at one of the industrial plants in the corridor can more easily get to work.

Texas Department of Transportation, U.S. 90, road construction, State Highway 99

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