Update on Katy, Texas Mobility Issues and Improvements

January 6, 2010

This is a reply from Andy Meyers – County Commissioner Pct. 3 – when an inquiry was sent in about the traffic build up on Fry Road at 99 in front of the HEB. This was his reply to that inquiry. I have quoted this reply so that this important information could be shared with my readers. Post any questions about this directly with the County Commisioner’s office as they are the best source for this information. I am merely the messenger….

Interstate 10 is a federal highway and SH 99 (Grand Parkway) is a
state road, both are controlled by the Texas Department of
Transportation (TxDOT) not Fort Bend County.

“The traffic signal at SH 99 and Fry Road is controlled by TxDOT, the
traffic signal in front of HEB on Fry Road was installed by HEB, and
the traffic signal at Fry Road and Seven Meadows Blvd. was installed
by the county.  We conducted a year-long traffic study on Fry Road to
find a solution to one of the worst traffic problems we have in the
county.  We closed one of the left-turns off of Fry Road into HEB and
HEB installed a traffic signal at the second left-turn in order to
keep it open.  The county is working with TxDOT to synchronize the
three traffic signals.  TxDOT needs equipment to accomplish this.
TxDOT, at our request, recently made the center east-bound lane of Fry
Road an optional left turn going north onto SH 99 or straight ahead on
Fry.  Also, at our request, TxDOT made the center south-bound SH 99
feeder lane a right-turn lane onto Fry to alleviate the back up of
traffic on SH 99, which was causing a significant safety issue.  That
puts more traffic onto Fry at a quicker pace.  Most of the Fry Road
east-bound traffic coming out of HEB and Home Depot turns north on SH
99.  We are asking the HEB Shopping Center owner to re-configure the
center’s parking lot so traffic coming off Fry Road into HEB parking
lot does not stack up in the parking lot.  This will allow for more
vehicles in the parking lot lanes instead of the vehicles being backed
up on Fry Road.  The turn-lane and parking lot modifications and
coordinated traffic signal timing should move traffic quicker and more
smoothly.  TxDOT will not allow exits/entrances from/to either the HEB
or Home Depot Shopping Centers as their studies show this would create
safety problems.

The major problem with the severe traffic congestion at Fry & SH 99 is
the HEB store is very popular, one of HEB’s highest grossing stores,
and this creates additional traffic volume.  We initially closed both
left-turns off Fry into the HEB center, but that created bigger
problems at Seven Meadows Blvd. with many drivers making a U-Turn at
the signal to get back to HEB.

TxDOT received funding for two (2) direct connectors (ramps), one
going from SH 99 east onto I 10 and the other going from I 10 south
onto SH 99.  Construction is scheduled to begin mid 2010 and will take
18 months.  Traffic signals at that intersection will be re-timed to
accommodate the direct connectors.

The Fort Bend County/Harris County line is essentially at Kingsland
Blvd. and SH 99.

Fort Bend County has begun construction on Katy Gaston from FM 1093 to
Cinco Ranch Blvd. with a traffic signal at Fry and Katy Gaston.  It
will take about 1 year to complete.

The county has also begun construction of the intersection of
Greenbusch and Katy Flewellen, which will have a traffic signal and
which should be completed within the next 90 days.

The county will begin widening Katy Flewellen to 4 lanes from
Greenbusch/Pin Oak to Katy Gaston in February or March 2010.
Construction will take 12 to 18 months to complete.  The Katy
Flewellen/Katy Gaston intersection is now an “All Way” Stop.

The county should begin widening of Greenbusch (Westheimer Parkway) to
4-lanes from Katy Flewellen to Falcon Ranch Blvd. sometime this
summer.  Work will take 12 – 18 months.  We have to wait until the
pipeline company moves its existing pipeline.

We are identifying intersections in the Katy area for traffic signals.
 One under consideration is Fry Road and Spring Green Road.
Installation of traffic control devices (signals, stop signs, yield
signs, speed limits) are dictated by state law.  We are required to
have an independent Traffic Study conducted and that Study has to
conclude that certain conditions are met before the county can install
a traffic control device.