March 29, 2004
WIDENING OF WOODLANDS PARKWAY
THE WOODLANDS, TX - (March 29, 2004) - The widening of Woodlands Parkway in The Woodlands Town Center is now underway, fulfilling the first phase of a plan that will result in Woodlands Parkway being a six-lane divided roadway from I-45 to Kuykendahl Road and a four-lane divided roadway from Kuykendahl west to FM2978, according to Alex Sutton, senior vice president of development for The Woodlands Operating Company, L.P.
"Construction of a third westbound lane utilizing the outer shoulder of the roadway from I-45 to Grogan's Mill Road has begun, " Sutton said. "With the exception of some minor trimming of vegetation, the center median should be left undisturbed.
"Going eastbound, a third lane will be added from Six Pines Drive to I-45 only," Sutton said. "Dual left turn lanes will be constructed at Six Pines. The addition of a third lane both east and westbound at the Woodlands Parkway/East Panther Creek intersection is also scheduled to be completed this year."
"This is a phased project, and over a period of three to four years we plan to fill in the gaps to complete the six lanes to Kuykendahl and four lanes to FM2978," he said.
The widening of Woodlands Parkway has been recommended in Environmental Impact Studies conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "As early as the 1970s, population and traffic estimates indicated that six lanes would be necessary to minimize traffic delays in the more frequently traveled areas of The Woodlands," Sutton said. "That plan was approved by HUD in 1981."
The right of way for the six-lane roadway has been reserved for over 20 years, and that information was disclosed to the residents whose property borders the construction area.
Recent traffic counts on Woodlands Parkway indicate that 48,000 vehicles per day travel in the vicinity of Lake Woodlands.
Major roadway improvements including the completion of Lake Woodlands Drive, Gosling Road into Harris County, and the southbound I-45 director connector have further helped to alleviate traffic congestion on Woodlands Parkway. Plans are also underway for a new Park & Ride facility in the Village of Sterling Ridge, with a capacity for 600 - 1,000 cars. Completion is slated for 2006.
"Our goal is, and always has been, to provide the safest and most efficient means of improving traffic flow throughout The Woodlands with the least disruption to surrounding residents. This project is no exception," Sutton said.
The Woodlands is a 27,000-acre master-planned community located 27 miles north of downtown Houston. It is a project of The Woodlands Operating Company, L.P., a limited partnership of Morgan Stanley and The Rouse Company.