By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County Commissioners are expecting phase one of the FM 1093/Westpark Tollway project to begin this year. “We’re working real hard to keep the (Fort Bend) toll road authority informed,” said County Engineer Richard Stolleis before a workshop presentation from David Milner, Vice President with Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation and Program Manager of the FM 1093 project.
Milner told commissioners on Dec. 18 that the toll road expansion project will take place in two phases. For the first phase the project began development about a year ago with surveys, engineering and mapping reports and other TxDOT requirements including schematic designs. The project’s design is projected to be finished in June with construction beginning in November.This project phase is expected to be completed in May 2015.
It will involve about 174 tons of concrete for pavement, 7.5 miles of sewer lines that will need to be installed and 300,000 pounds of matter will have to be moved, Milner reports. The frontage roads will be over 4 miles, main lanes a little over 2 miles and there will be two overpasses that will cost $60 million plus.
Where’s this Westpark Tollway extension going? Into phase two.
Phase one consists of four lanes of FM 1093 frontage road from SH 99 to FM 1463, four lanes of main toll lanes from SH 99 to Spring Green Road, and a direct connector – east FM 1093 to north SH 99. Phase two is from James Lane to FM 1463, a boulevard section through Fulshear. This second phase will have connecting roads from Cross Creek linking it to phase one work. Also about 4 miles in length, construction will cost less, about $4 million. Milner explained that this second phase is only for the frontage roads and boulevard, “not the main lane roads at this time.” Dates call for environmental clearance in 2014, a completed design May 2014 with construction beginning about two months later in July 2014. This expansion phase is slated for completion in early 2016.
Outreach efforts will continue to take place with impacted property owners, according to Milner, who also said alternatives are under consideration to address public comments from a September public meeting.
The expansion project is funded mainly by TxDOT and the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority. Fort Bend County reportedly encouraged the state to widen FM 1093 due to the area’s growth resulting in a congested road and an unsafe road.