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City of Conroe
Director Capital Projects/Transportation
300 West Davis
Foster Drive Widening Project
from SH75 (Frazier Drive) to FM1314 (Porter Road)
The City of Conroe anticipates a significant amount of residential growth along Foster Drive between FM 1314 and SH 75. This growth is corroborated by the H-GAC future land use model. Due to development, daily delay is anticipated to increase significantly, from 54 hours in 2017 to approximately 187 hours in 2025. Projections indicate severe delay in 2040 of 561 hours, in the no build scenario. In addition to the residential development projected along the corridor, the Oscar Johnson Community Center is also proposed for the corridor, on the south side between S. 3rd Street and S. 7th Street. The project would provide improved connectivity to FM1314 and SH75, two major corridors in the City of Conroe.
From a state of good repair perspective, the existing facility no longer meets current standards. The existing asphalt is in poor condition with demonstrated transverse and longitudinal cracking, which is most severe along the pavement centerline. There are several localized occurrences of pavement failure along the edges of the travelway. There are several locations where asphalt patching has been completed in order to repair pavement failure. The functional width of the roadway is perceived to be less than it actually is due to the edge of the pavement failure and the uneven and inconsistent demarcation between the edge of the pavement and the adjacent landscape.
Foster Drive currently does not have any pedestrian facilities; sidewalks will provide safe and walkable connections. Runyan Elementary School is located along the corridor, and sidewalks can provide a safer walking environment. The project is located within the half mile walkshed for the Conroe Connection transit routes. The project is located within the half mile walkshed for the Conroe Connection transit routes.
The proposed project would widen and upgrade 1.63 miles of Foster Drive, from SH75 (Frazier Drive) to FM1314 (Porter Road). The existing two-lane asphalt rural cross-section road would be widened to a four-lane undivided urban cross-section (included with submission materials). The bridge over Stewart’s Creek would also be widened. The intersection of SH75 and Foster Drive would be signalized, also allowing for railroad pre-emption. The existing signal at Porter Road and Foster Drive would be replaced. Improvements include sidewalks, storm sewer, wastewater, and water line improvements. Currently, the corridor has an 8" sanitary sewer and 8" water line along the majority of the corridor. The project would upsize both to 12".
The project is approximately 8,600 feet in length.
Conroe proposes replacing the existing facility with a four-lane curb and gutter urban facility to include pedestrian accommodations. The pedestrian facilities will provide access to the transit routes, as the corridor is within the half mile walkshed of the Conroe Connection routes. The proposed project will increase accessibility to adjacent activity centers, including Runyan Elementary School.
The increased capacity would have congestion, safety and accessibility benefits.
Congestion: Based on an operational traffic analysis, the Foster Drive project would result in a peak hour delay reduction of 10 hours during the AM peak and 6 hours during the PM peak in the 2025 build scenario. The delay would be reduced by 63 hours during the AM peak hour and 30 hours for the PM peak hour in the 2040 build scenario. A supplemental congestion benefit has been provided. This benefit yields a greater figure than achieved using the provided H-GAC methodology.
The intersection at Foster Drive and SH75 is converted to a signalized intersection, which is projected to reduce delay and queuing. Widening the roadway will allow for future development along the corridor and improve perception of level of service for vehicles turning in and out of driveways and exiting or entering the corridor on cross-streets. In addition to delay savings, motorists will experience fuel and emissions benefits from the improved operations as a result of this project.
Safety: There were a total of 25 crashes from 2015-2017 along the corridor. Increasing capacity by adding a through lane, modernizing the facility, and installing sidewalks would prevent crashes and improve safety along the corridor for automobile users and pedestrians using the facility.
Emergency Services: Conroe Fire Department Station 3 is located along the Foster Drive corridor. Increased capacity will improve emergency service access and can assist in faster response times.
Development: The implementation of this project now, rather than after development, will allow for manageable conditions throughout the foreseeable future rather than addressing them after deterioration occurs. This applies to safety, congestion, as well as state of good repair.
Note that alternative congestion benefits have been submitted with this project. The congestion benefit is derived from a traffic impact analysis and demonstrates a higher benefit than current H-GAC methodology.
Less than $100 million
(Expand) Roadway Added Capacity/New Construction/Complete Streets
View Uploaded File: 5b_Resolution of Support and Funding Commitment.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
(d)-list Open-Ended Approval Authority for CEs. 23 CFR 771.117(d) provides a means to approve categorical exclusions that are not specifically included on the (c)- and (d)-lists. FHWA refers to this as “(d)-list open-ended approval authority for CEs,” or more simply, an “open-ended (d) CE.” To qualify as an open-ended (d) CE, a project must meet all the criteria listed in 23 CFR 771.117(a) and the definition of a CE in 40 CFR 1508.4. A project meeting the Section (a) criteria automatically meets the definition in 40 CFR 1508.4. In addition, the project cannot have substantial controversy on environmental grounds.
View Uploaded File: 03_Foster Drive Widening Project Schedule.xlsx
The project has been scoped and costed at a pre-design level to include a typical section and line-item cost estimate. A desktop environmental review has been completed. If funded, Conroe is prepared to issue an RFQ to procure an engineering firm to design the project and build the improvements.
The City of Conroe has a TxDOT approved RFQ template which can be used for the design procurement.
A project timeline is included which demonstrates how the project can be let by the proposed year of implementation in 2022. The alternative is to keep Foster Drive in the current condition with existing capacity. In this scenario, the congestion and safety benefits would not be realized. The roadway would continue to deteriorate, and the city would continue to have to pay to maintain the roadway to maintain state of good repair.
Approval from UPRR will be required to widen Foster Drive, just east of SH 75. This will require coordination with Union Pacific as well as the Surface Transportation Board. It is anticipated that this permitting process would take approximately 12-24 months to complete. With a 2022 letting date, the City of Conroe anticipates that this permitting process can be completed prior to letting.
The corridor has approximately 60' of right for way available west of S. 7th Street and between 100' and 120' east of S. 7th Street. In order to accommodate the Conroe minor arterial typical section (80' ROW), additional ROW will be required west of S. 7th street. There are approximately 31 parcels adjacent to Foster Drive west of S. 7th Street that will be affected. Funding to acquire this ROW is being requested as a component of this grant application.
The south side of the facility is encumbered by overhead utility lines just adjacent to the right-of-way. However, it is anticipated that the lines will not be affected by the widening of the facility. If any relocations are necessary, these can be addressed by the City’s existing franchise agreements.
This project has been discussed at several City Council meetings and workshops to include a workshop on May 9, 2018. This workshop included a review of the project and a briefing to Council on coordination with TxDOT as well as plans to submit the project through the H-GAC TIP process. The City Council also approved, during regular session, on June 28, 2018. These meetings are advertised and open to the public for comment.
The City presented the proposed project to the Conroe-Woodlands Urbanized Area (UZA) Mobility Committee on June 5, 2018. As one of the items on the agenda, the public was given an opportunity to comment. No comments were given by the public. Subsequently, the Mobility Committee approved a resolution of support for the project, as well as others (attached). The committee includes UZA representatives from the City of Conroe, The Woodlands Township, Montgomery County and a single representative for the “Small Cities”, which are City of Cut and Shoot, City of Oak Ridge North, City of Panorama City, City of Shenandoah, City of Willis and Town of Woodloch.
If the project is funded, the City will host a public meeting to review the project cross-section.
The corridor passes over the floodways of Silverdale Creek and Stewart’s Creek. Segments of the facility are encumbered by the corresponding 100-year flood zone associated with these floodways. There are also segments of the facility within flood zone X, designated as being outside of the 500-year floodplain. Due to the location of the facility in relation to the flood zone, flood plain management standards will apply. Foster Drive does not touch any wetland areas. The project will require a Phase I ESA and completion of the TxDOT NEPA process. A high-level environmental. The widening would impact the 100-year floodplain but would not impact any wetlands. Minor mitigation may need to occur due to impacts to the floodplain. Due to the lack of significant impacts, this project is anticipated to be classified as a (d)-list open ended CE.
View Uploaded File: Conroe - Foster TIP Readiness Materials.zip
View Uploaded File: 06_Foster Drive Widening Project MPK map.zip
View Uploaded File: 04_Foster Drive Widening Project Budget Worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Safety-Benefits-foster.xlsx
View Uploaded File: delay-benefits-foster.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Emissions-Benefits-foster.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Alternative Benefit.zip
View Uploaded File: Supporting files.zip
Supplemental/Alternative Methodologies documented in zipped file.
901 - 1000
0.01 – 0.10
View Uploaded File: Conroe Foster_lottr-estimation.xlsx
Highway/Freight: The project would result in a peak hour delay reduction of 10 hours during the AM peak and 6 hours during the PM peak in the 2025 build scenario to improve LOS. The delay would be reduced by 63 hours during the AM peak hour and 30 hours for the PM peak hour in the 2040 build scenario. The intersection at Foster Drive and SH75 is converted to a signalized intersection, which is projected to reduce delay and queuing. Widening the roadway will allow for future development along the corridor and improve perception of level of service for vehicles turning in and out of driveways and exiting or entering the corridor on cross-streets.
Transit: The proposed pedestrian facilities will provide access to transit routes and encourage increased transit usage, as the corridor is within the half mile walkshed of the Conroe Connection routes.
Bike/Ped: Foster Drive currently does not have any pedestrian facilities; sidewalks will provide safe and walkable connections.
The implementation of this project is consistent with the City of Conroe Master Thoroughfare Plan. Additionally, the City of Conroe has completed analysis on this project as part of a 2017 Project Assessment, this planning document has been submitted with this application. Additionally, the project is in alignment with the goals of the 2045 RTP, through improving safety, achieving and maintaining state of good repair, and moving people and goods more efficiently.
City of Conroe Master Thoroughfare Plan 2035: http://www.cityofconroe.org/home/showdocument?id=5090
Houston-Galveston Area Council