Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
htownswami

Grand Parkway Expansion

Recommended Posts

This is what I read from TDOT.  

 

SH 99 Segment H,I-1 and I-2

 

 

Final RFP  April 30,2015

 

Proposals Due  October 27, 2015

Contract Execution  March 2016   ( I assume this means start of construction)

Construction Completion Date  October 2020

 

Quincy Allen P.E

Tucker Ferguson P.E

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow they're about to put it to bid, that's interesting.

No, the contract execution is when everyone signs all the necessary documents, and then there's probably a month or so delay and then they'll start after the clearing & grubbing is finished.

Edit: they can execute the contracts but will have to wait for the funding approval to go through and a Notice to Proceed.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a 2020 completion date it sounds like they'd be starting somewhere around the end of 2016, which makes sense. There are already a lot of land deals going on in that area for future residential and office/warehouse. I think if those deals get locked down quicker then the start date will get pushed up. It all depends on how much longer this oil slump will last tbh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wish we could get more aerials of this project.

Me too. The main aerials (barring the fuzzy and incomplete ones from earlier this spring) of the Houston area go back to around spring 2014, taken soon after the Axis Apartments fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted photos taken today, showing progress of the construction

 

http://houstonfreeways.com/photos/grand-parkway-october-2015

 

It looks like the westmost section, from US 290 to SH 249, could be ready for opening soon, by the end of the year. From SH 249 eastward to US 59 there is still a lot of work to be done in certain spots, so I'm thinking those sections will open in spring and summer of 2016.

 

Regarding BigFootSocks earlier comment that the right-of-way width is required to be 400ft: The right-of-way width varies and is 400 feet in some places but definitely not everywhere. Some spots are very narrow, such as at Hufsmith-Kohrville where it is less than 300 feet.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pics!

I meant 400ft on the platted route. As in, there's 400ft dedicated to the route, but not all 400 ft is utilized. Basically, I meant an imaginary line. Kinda like the equator. I could be wrong though!

So looking at ur page I see that you addressed this point. From what I've read of the latest articles on this new segment, it seems TXDOT is taking a very low-cost philosophy for this. The contractor mentioned that there are overpasses for future thoroughfares, but no on or off ramps are built for most of these intersections where no road exists. The recently completed segment E does have on and off ramps constructed for those overpasses with no connection, but most are blocked by temporary barriers.

As for freeway width, I would be very surprised if TXDOT did not purchase the land for a 400ft width route. I would not be surprised, however; if TXDOT saved a few $'s by just reducing the amount of trees that needed to be cleared for this initial opening.

I'm curious if there's some extra cost associated with clearing trees between 45 and 69 due to the heavily forested area between the two. Not sure if there's some park or National Forest there.

Edited by BigFootsSocks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pics!

I meant 400ft on the platted route. As in, there's 400ft dedicated to the route, but not all 400 ft is utilized. Basically, I meant an imaginary line. Kinda like the equator. I could be wrong though!

So looking at ur page I see that you addressed this point. From what I've read of the latest articles on this new segment, it seems TXDOT is taking a very low-cost philosophy for this. The contractor mentioned that there are overpasses for future thoroughfares, but no on or off ramps are built for most of these intersections where no road exists. The recently completed segment E does have on and off ramps constructed for those overpasses with no connection, but most are blocked by temporary barriers.

As for freeway width, I would be very surprised if TXDOT did not purchase the land for a 400ft width route. I would not be surprised, however; if TXDOT saved a few $'s by just reducing the amount of trees that needed to be cleared for this initial opening.

I'm curious if there's some extra cost associated with clearing trees between 45 and 69 due to the heavily forested area between the two. Not sure if there's some park or National Forest there.

I believe part of it is, or at least was, a nature reserve, near Riley Fuzzell Rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If so, then wouldn't TXDOT be forced to get a permit to cut down a certain amount of trees?

I don't know, but he mentions in his blog post that it looks like there won't be room for more than 3 lanes. Do we really think that this side of the GP will really need more than three lanes for the foreseeable future?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree. How many times we hear lots of city mayors talk about new projects like "it will solve problems for the next 20/30/50 years" but turned to be not enough after 3 or 5 years…

To develop a city, you have to build infrastructures to attract motivation somehow, instead of waiting for chances to come. Don't put all arguments on findings, how much funding you can get, no matter public or private, partially depend on how hard you work on it.

Take a look at highway system and conditions in China, we should feel ashamed.

if you build it, they will come.

so, make it 3 lanes- do it right the first time :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right, obviously. However, I doubt taxpayers would be pleased with paying extra money for two additional lanes that we would end up paying to use anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(sigh...) I imagine that digging out the narrow underpasses must be cheaper than building overpasses, notwithstanding that when the inevitable widening beyond three lanes to a side occurs it's going to cost a lot more money to accomplish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the section south of 290 and I-10 (Section G?), I'm not sure if the frontage roads are permanently canned or not, but I did do some looking at the plans of the Grand Parkway and I think that they are going to be there, though just not yet.

 

They are going to be sunken and not at-grade crossings, much like the original Beltway 8/I-10 interchange when the railroad still paralleled it. This would mean that the frontage roads would be sunken, but not the mainlanes, which would have to be bridges, and those already have permanent signage.

 

The section north of 290 has a "stub" point just near where the westbound frontage road curves off into the northbound frontage road.

 

Since 290 was significantly widened with lanes being shifted around all the time, it's possible that the mainlanes may have been rebuilt to support something being under them.

 

Probably one of the things preventing the building of frontage roads right now is that it would have been sort of useless...they would be used only for local access, and the two roads it would connect to are just essentially dead-end turn-around points.

 

The only evidence I could see for "frontage roads being axed" is that they seem to have built drainage structures near where the road would go over, just north of the Mound Road (the more northern one) stub, and the fact that the median between the 290 mainlanes and the frontage roads already seem to be used as drainage.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt they're going to put frontage lanes in IT. That would require building a bridge span for both sides of 290, bringing the support columns down for the Grand Parkeay overpasses, and getting approval from the RR company (UP? BNSF?) to build bridges for the rail crossing over these "sunken frontage roads." That alone will never happen because RR companies are notoriously difficult in negotiating that sort of thing. They won't put in an at-grade RR crossing unless they are highly motivated, or an existing crossing is removed.

It's just not gonna happen. The 290 west frontage road has an entrance into the GP ramp already. That alone says enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the I-69 to I-45 segment was on schedule for completion at the end of 2015. I know the wet Spring slowed things down, but since late May it has been fairly dry. I wonder if penalties will be invoked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Photos taken Saturday

 

20160130-0004.jpg

Looking east at FM 2920. Crews were installing lane striping at this location.

 

20160130-0011.jpg

Looking east with the Hardy Toll road interchange ahead. This is section G, which will not be ready for opening on Feb. 8. There's still a lot of work to do, such as installing guardrails and the wire rope barrier. I'm thinking that all effort is focused on section F-2 right now, and they'll resume on section G when section F-2 is ready.

 

20160130-0018.jpg

Interchange at the Hardy Toll Road. The Hardy Toll Road was completely closed this weekend for work at the interchange.

 

20160130-0025.jpg

Looking east along the Grand Parkway

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know where I can find the toll amounts for traveling on say Segment D to the end of F2? Surely something that is set to open within a week would have posted toll amounts somewhere online, but I haven't found any yet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know where I can find the toll amounts for traveling on say Segment D to the end of F2? Surely something that is set to open within a week would have posted toll amounts somewhere online, but I haven't found any yet.

 

http://communityimpact.com/houston/cy-fair/news/2015/10/14/three-grand-parkway-segments-near-completion-cyf/

 

You couldn't be more right--information on toll rates seem rather hard to come by. This four month old article has an image--that's about the best I found.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's three photos from my drive along the Grand Parkway yesterday. I checked it out between I-45 and Telge. I didn't feel like going all the way to 290. You can see that they still need to change the BGS for exit 70B In I-45 NB to read Grand Parkway. The first time I drove through, I passed it and went back to make sure I didn't miss the sign.

post-3723-0-65758800-1454967807_thumb.jp

post-3723-0-62545900-1454967828_thumb.jp

post-3723-0-04752500-1454967855_thumb.jp

Edited by JLWM8609
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://communityimpact.com/houston/cy-fair/news/2015/10/14/three-grand-parkway-segments-near-completion-cyf/

 

You couldn't be more right--information on toll rates seem rather hard to come by. This four month old article has an image--that's about the best I found.

 

I think one of the signs said tolls were $1.11 for cars. I can't remember what the other rates were for larger vehicles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was $1.11 and increased by $1.11 for an extra axel.

In other news, my trek from the beginning of the entrance ramp off 45 to the end of the exit ramp to 290 Eastbound took just over 20inites. 20:20 to be precise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed on this project and on the US290 and I-45 South projects that TxDOT (in the Houston District at least) is switching to using longitudinal tined grooves in concrete as opposed to the transverse tine which produces that drone or whistle you hear while traveling on it. Longitudinal is much quieter than transverse, almost new asphalt quiet. Most folks probably won't notice that, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it's on my mind, does anyone know why the powers that be decided to put an asphalt overlay on a section of the Grand Parkway that was recently constructed? There's a section south of the Brazos River that opened around 2013-14 and had an asphalt overlay placed over the concrete in 2015. You usually don't see asphalt overlay on concrete unless the concrete pavement is over 20 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only concern I've got about rain grooves running with the direction of travel is whether it will induce tramlining (def:  squirrelyness as the tires try to track the groove).  Not a big deal in a car usually, but on a motorcycle it can be a bit... unsettling.  Two wheel types who have driven across a steel grate bridge know this sensation - it was also a "feature" of some freeways in times past when really big rain grooves were cut into older concrete pavement.  It won't put you down, but it sure feels like it's about to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed on this project and on the US290 and I-45 South projects that TxDOT (in the Houston District at least) is switching to using longitudinal tined grooves in concrete as opposed to the transverse tine which produces that drone or whistle you hear while traveling on it. Longitudinal is much quieter than transverse, almost new asphalt quiet. Most folks probably won't notice that, though.

 

Yes, TxDOT-Houston does seem to have switched to longitudinal grooving. The first signs of the switch came at a public info meeting for US 290 just before construction began, where they announced it would be used for noise reduction. Now it is appearing in all projects.

 

I agree, the Grand Parkway is almost as quiet as asphalt, even though the grooves are quite deep. (You can easily see the grooves in many of the photos in the driving tour I posted.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

imagine if all of this wasted money was used on  a commuter rail from the woodlands into downtown

 

As much as that would be cool and potentially necessary for the coming decades, that would actually service less people than this does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

imagine if all of this wasted money was used on  a commuter rail from the woodlands into downtown

 

I think the answer is you need both, not one or the other. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was $1.11 and increased by $1.11 for an extra axel.

In other news, my trek from the beginning of the entrance ramp off 45 to the end of the exit ramp to 290 Eastbound took just over 20inites. 20:20 to be precise.

 

A complete guess, but time from 59 to 45 would have to be ~15 minutes max.  I used to do cycling rides with a group out of Cypress, and it took at least hour to get form Kingwood to a spot really close to the 290/99 interchange where we started the rides.  This might shave 30 minutes off that trip.

 

Getting across the north side of the Houston sprawl takes a long time in a lot of traffic any time of day/week. These newest segments will be used heavily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Tea time question for the transportation Haifers. Once segment G is complete this spring the Grand Parkway will be in excess of 85 miles which makes it longer than Beltway 8 and I -275 ring.  The Grand Parkway of course is not a ring but more like a giagantic "C".  Is it considered the longest "ring road" in the U.S or not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon final buildout, when they designate the parts of 146 and Fred Hartman bridge as part of the GP, then it will not just be the longest "ring freeway" in the U.S., but the longest in the world.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon final buildout, when they designate the parts of 146 and Fred Hartman bridge as part of the GP, then it will not just be the longest "ring freeway" in the U.S., but the longest in the world.

I want to say Beijing (or Moscow?) has a ring road that's longer than the planned Grand Parkway. But it will definitely be the longest in the country..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that is built it will out distance the new Moscow ring road by about 400 km. Ours is somewhere in the area of 300 km. Hope we don't get into a ring road contest. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...