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Transportation Planner - RPS Infrastructure
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Joint Projects Manager – Harris County Engineering Department
1001 Preston Ave., 7th Floor
City of Houston
Houston Public Works
From Loop 494 to Laurel Springs Lane
Hamblen Road is a two-lane undivided Major Collector that connects Loop 494 in the west with River Bend Drive in the east. Currently, Hamblen Road does not provide pedestrian or bicycle facilities. The City of Houston Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP) envisions Hamblen Road as a Major Collector with a four-lane segment from Loop 494, realigned to connect to the Sorters-McClellan Road / Loop 494 intersection to Laurel Springs Lane. In March 2015, the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority published the Kingwood Area Mobility Study, which concluded that an improvement and realignment of Hamblen Road should be a priority to improve the mobility and safety in the Kingwood Area.
Hamblen Road has an at-grade railroad crossing between Laurel Springs Lane and Loop 494, which has proven to be unsafe and interrupts the flow of traffic creating delays. In May 2014, a pedestrian was killed after she was hit by a train at the rail crossing.
A safety analysis was conducted for a 5-year period starting from 2013 to 2017. Crash data was collected from the TxDOT Crash Records Information System (C.R.I.S) Query. A total of 28 crashes involving 57 vehicles and 74 people were recorded in the 5-year period within the project limits (Loop 494 to Laurel Springs Lane). A crash frequency and trend analysis for the study period indicated that crashes have been rising in the past five years.
The crash rate by roadway mileage indicates 10.29 crashes per mile in the project limit. The estimated study segment crash rate (258.30 VMT) was higher than the rural average but slightly lower than the urban average.
Crash patterns indicated that a cluster of 13 out of 28 crashes were reported adjacent to the intersections of Hamblen Road and Loop 494 and Hamblen Road / Hamblen Road Underpass. These two intersections are 100-feet apart. The proximity of these intersections may cause confusion for drivers and present safety hazards based on the reported crash patterns.
The proposed realignment would improve safety by connecting Hamblen Road directly to a signalized intersection at Sorters-McClellan Road / Loop 494. Therefore, with the proposed realignment the closely spaced intersections mentioned above would be closed to traffic. The realignment would increase capacity by expanding Hamblen Road from a two-lane undivided cross section to a four-lane undivided cross section. The proposed grade separated crossing of the railroad will eliminate the possibility of train-pedestrian and train-vehicle collisions and reduce delays associated to vehicle stopping and waiting until a train pass through. This project also includes the construction of a hike and bike trail parallel to the realignment, satisfying the need for pedestrian and cyclist accommodations along Hamblen Road.
The Hamblen Road Project consist of a improving the existing roadway from a two-lane undivided facility to a four-lane urban roadway. It would also realign Hamblen Road to connect directly to the Sorters-McClellan Road / Loop 494 intersection and construct a grade separated railroad crossing, allowing uninterrupted access to the surrounding neighborhoods. The improvement will include construction of a 12-foot hike and bike trail, running parallel to the roadway.
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility, connectivity, and capacity by realigning Hamblen Road and upgrading from a two-lane undivided roadway to a four-lane undivided cross section.
• Improve Mobility and Connectivity: This realignment would improve mobility and connectivity by connecting directly to Sorters-McClellan Road. Sorters-McClellan Road crosses IH 69, and provides access to the southbound Eastex Freeway Service Road.
• Increase Capacity, Improve Safety and Reduce Delays: The construction of a grade separated railroad crossing would provide uninterrupted flow of traffic and eliminate conflict points at the existing closely spaced intersections on Hamblen Road near Loop 494. It would also eliminate the potential threat of vehicle-trains and pedestrian-train collisions. The three primary advantages of the grade separated railroad crossing would be the increase of capacity by having uninterrupted flow, improvement of safety by eliminating the possibility of train-vehicle collisions and reduction in delays associated with vehicle stoppage for train crossings. Upgrading the cross section from a two-lane undivided roadway to a four-lane undivided cross section would also improve capacity.
• Improve Travel Time: The elimination of intersections and grade separation of the rail crossing along the route would also improve the travel time and safety along Hamblen Road, including emergency response time.
Less than $100 million
(Manage) Access Management/Safety/Grade Separations
View Uploaded File: Hamblen Road support-and-funding-letters.pdf
Environmental Assessment (EA)
View Uploaded File: Hamblen Rd_TxDOT Letter of Acknowledgment.pdf
This project has been included in 2017 Houston Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan and in the Kingwood Area Mobility Study. The Kingwood Area Mobility Study created a Capital Improvement Plan with the purpose of providing mobility options for the Kingwood area residents. The realignment and improvement of Hamblen Road was prioritized as an alternative to improve mobility and safety to the Kingwood Area Residents.
The 2017 Houston Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan classifies Hamblen Road as a major collector. It envisions a widening with a minimum right of-way of 100-feet width and the acquisition for a realignment connecting Hamblen Road directly to Sorters-McClellan Road.
View Uploaded File: Hamblen Road location-map.pdf
View Uploaded File: Hamlen Road project-budget-worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Safety-Benefits-Template - Hamblen Road Application.xlsx
View Uploaded File: delay-benefits-template - Hamblen Road Application.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Intersection-Improvements-Emissions-Benefits- Hamblen Road Application.xlsx
View Uploaded File: BCA Template Data Methodology.docx
View Uploaded File: Intersection-Improvement-Emissions-Benefits Calculations.zip
The Attached Word document "BCA Template Data Methodology" describes the source of all data input to the safety, delay, and emission benefit templates. Additionally, it describes the process for calculating/estimating Average Vehicle Delay and Daily Travel Demand for the intersection emissions template.
1 - 500 Jobs
0.21 – 0.30
View Uploaded File: lottr-estimation-template - Hamblen Road Application.xlsx
The construction of a grade separated railroad crossing would provide uninterrupted flow of traffic and eliminate conflict points at the existing closely spaced intersections on Hamblen Road near Loop 494. For all vehicles (automobile and freight) traveling east-west on Hamblen Road, delays associated with train crossings would be eliminated. Upgrading the cross section from a two-lane undivided roadway to a four-lane undivided cross section would also add capacity. The benefit cost analysis also shows that the redesigned Loop 494 / Sorters McClellan / Hamblen Road intersection would operate more efficiently with the improvements.
This project also includes the construction of a hike and bike trail parallel to the realignment. Because no pedestrian or bicyclist facilities currently exist along the current Hamblen Road alignment, this improvement provides a significant upgrade to nonmotorized safety and comfort. Hamblen Road is a key part of the future walking/biking network in the area. Future projects will provide nonmotorized connections extending from Hamblen Road to the Bevil Jarrel Memorial Bridge, providing a biking/walking route across the San Jacinto River.
Houston Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan (MTFP)
Houston-Galveston Area Council