By Elsa Maxey
In the fall, there will be a southbound U-Turn extension of U.S. 59 at State Highway 99/the Grand Parkway for more access to the U Turn lane. It is intended to relieve traffic backing up to the highway’s off ramp.
This month the Sugar Land City Council authorized a construction contract to ISI Contracting, which was selected among four bidders. The amount authorized is not to exceed $82,260 along with a budget amendment of a little over $10,000 for the extension of a U-Turn deceleration lane at the U.S. 59/Highway 99 site.
Almost two years ago, the city studied concepts along both 59 northbound and southbound frontage roads at SH 99 with an aim at alleviating traffic concerns in the area, reports the city. Extensions on both areas for acceleration and deceleration lanes were provided to TxDOT, but only one of them passed muster. A proposed acceleration lane along the northbound frontage road of U.S. 59 at the Greatwood entrance was nixed. This was due to the need of right-of-way and environmental clearance, which TxDOT said it did not want to pursue, according to the city. But TxDOT concurred with Sugar Land to proceed with the implementation of the U-Turn extension along the southbound frontage road of U.S. 59.
The volume of traffic on the southbound frontage road increases during evening peak hours making it difficult to enter the U-Turn lane because of motor vehicle back ups to the off-ramp on US 59. But this is about to be alleviated.
Construction for about 60 days is expected to begin next month and completion of the U-Turn extension is expected in October. Project financing involves the Sugar Land Development Corporation for the budget amendment, and the contract itself is between the city and ISI Contracting.