State officials looking to expand Grand Parkway near Westpark Tollway as county looks to build some access roads

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 3/24/22

At a recent Katy Area Chamber of Commerce event, Fort Bend County Pct. 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales shared a photo he took while traveling southbound on the Grand Parkway towards the Westpark Tollway. Looking southbound, the traffic looked heavy, but at least it seemed to be moving.

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State officials looking to expand Grand Parkway near Westpark Tollway as county looks to build some access roads

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At a recent Katy Area Chamber of Commerce event, Fort Bend County Pct. 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales shared a photo he took while traveling southbound on the Grand Parkway towards the Westpark Tollway. Looking southbound, the traffic looked heavy, but at least it seemed to be moving.

Looking at the northbound traffic, it seemed a different picture, with plenty of cars and no indication that the traffic was moving.

“He said, ‘This is unacceptable,’” Dwayne Grigar, project manager in Morales’s office, said.

Morales and Grigar have been talking with state officials about picking up the pace for expanding the Grand Parkway to reduce traffic congestion. Grigar said the Texas Department of Transportation plans to add a third, inside lane on the Grand Parkway to help relieve traffic. He said the letting process, by which the bids are solicited and chosen and the work actually begins, is expected later this year.

The department said the additional lanes would run from north of FM 1093 to south of I-10. The number of lanes would increase from four overall to six overall. Shoulders would be widened from six to 12 feet. For those lanes running between Highland Knolls Boulevard to south of I-10, a concrete median barrier would be added.

North of Westheimer Parkway to Highland Knolls Boulevard, the grassy median would remain and no concrete barrier would be required, the department said. The existing frontage road configuration would remain the same.

The department said noise barriers have also been recommended as a result of a noise analysis for the proposed improvements.

Frontage road construction is another matter.

According to Morales, the only frontage road that exists today runs northbound from FM 1093 to Fry Road. But other, planned frontage roads are being administered, designed and constructed with Fort Bend County funds, with the Texas Department of Transportation providing inspection services during the construction.

Seven sections of frontage road are either in design or are under construction, Morales and Grigar said. They are:

  • A 1.04-mile northbound road from Fry Road to Westheimer Parkway, in the design phase.
  • A 0.68-mile northbound road from Cinco Ranch Boulevard to Bay Hill Boulevard, in the design phase.
  • A 0.57-mile northbound road from Westheimer Parkway to Cinco Ranch Boulevard, in the design phase.
  • A 0.57-mile southbound road from Cinco Ranch Boulevard to Bay Hill Boulevard, in the design and construction phase.
  • A 0.55-mile southbound road from Westheimer Parkway to Cinco Ranch Boulevard, in the design and construction phase.
  • A 1.04-mile southbound road from Fry Road to Westheimer Parkway, in the design phase.
  • A 0.70-mile southbound road from FM 1993 to Fry Road, in the design phase.

Grigar said by adding the access roads, a driver no longer has to get on the freeway if, for example, he is driving between Westheimer Parkway and Fry Road. It will ease traffic congestion.

“It will help,” Grigar said.

Grand Parkway, road construction, Forr Bend County, Texas Department of Transportation

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