By Betsy Dolan
Four hundred million in funding is still available in the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the City of Sugar Land and the City of Missouri City are hoping for a piece of the pie. The TIP will allocate the money, which is primarily federal transportation dollars, toward projects in the Houston region.
The City of Sugar Land has applied for funding in regard to two projects. The first, which would cost $5.9 million, would widen State Highway 6 from 6 lanes to eight lanes from Lexington to Brooks Street. State Highway 6 has already been widened from six lanes to eight lanes from Town Center Boulevard to Kensington Boulevard so the TIP funds would help pay for the second phase of the project.
The second application for TIP funds involves installing six dynamic message signs (DMS) along U.S. 90A, State Highway 6 and U.S. 59. The signs would be similar to the existing DMS signs along U.S. 59. The signs would help the city in managing traffic demands such as accidents and special events and would cost $1.1 million.
Both projects are on the City’s Capital Improvement Program list. TIP funding would pay for 80% of the project’s costs and would require 20% local matching funds.
The City of Missouri City has applied for over $26 million dollars in TIP funds. The first project involves widening FM 1092 (Murphy Road) from 4-lanes to 6-lanes between Lexington Boulevard and State Highway 6. The project is included on the City’s Regional Transportation Plan.
The City would like funds to pay for a warning flashers at the intersection of Beltway 8 and Gessner Road to alert motorists that a train is crossing Gessner Road at U.S. 90A. Motorists would then be able to divert along the Beltway 8 frontage road to U.S. 90A or along Cravens Road to Staffordshire Road which have grade separations for the railroad crossings. Missouri City has also applied for funds to pay for additional DMS signs along Murphy Road and Texas Parkway.
Missouri City has included over $4.1 million in technology and communication upgrades on it’s TIP application. A $3.5 million project would provide fiber optic cable for redundant communication to the existing wireless communications network along sections of Texas Parkway, Murphy Road, Cartwright Road and Sienna Parkway. Fiber optic cable can carry more data at faster rates than the wireless system and is less susceptible to weather events. Six hundred fifty thousand dollars would upgrade existing Naztec controllers to Ethernet Controllers by replacing the face plates, update School Zone clocks and software so they can communicate with the new wireless network, install countdown pedestrian signals at all existing traffic signals and install a communications tower in southern Sienna Plantation.