Update on Construction and Traffic Management for FM1093 in Fulshear
The traffic situation in the City of Fulshear with the current TXDOT construction project on FM 1093 between Bois d'Arc / Charger Way and FM 359 has become another gross example of why local control always trumps centralized decision making. TXDOT's delays and impacts upon our commuters, our families, and our LCISD students has become an impossibility to excuse. My office and I have worked with FBC Engineering and local project managers to address all of the issues over the last days and weeks. Today, we held an update phone call with TXDOT's area supervisor Grady Mapes, and FBC Engineering reached out to the onsite construction manager as well. Here is where things stand, and where they need to improve.
TXDOT confirms that they hold a standard clause with the project construction firm requiring the construction firm to provide additional traffic enforcement personnel. From our own observations and dozens of anecdotal reports from residents, these personnel are not on site during peak hours and weekends. I have been directly told by the TXDOT Area Engineer that these personnel were not on site recently. That has been pointedly addressed as far up as the President of the construction firm. Another item that will be fixed and addressed - traffic personnel should also NOT be sitting in cars, but actively signaling traffic or manually controlling the signal lights.
TXDOT confirms that they will have extra personnel all day Thursday, until they have figured out the optimum solutions and number of personnel needed on site. This will be closely monitored during school zone / dropoff times and rush hour. I will personally have staff out there speaking to these individuals and gathering a report.
Further, engineers are aware that recent road closures, such as the western two lanes of Charger Way, have negated the effects of the camera sensors that are installed. Those cameras needed to be realigned and put back into full operation for signal timing during off-peak hours. This was addressed today by TxDOT’s Traffic Signals department, and they have informed us that for the immediate future they are looking at keeping the signals in manual mode, so that officers can better facilitate mobility through the area.
I have repeatedly reached out to TXDOT for assistance with problem the traffic issues, as has the City of Fulshear. Although our area does not currently have a State Representative to advocate for us, we have been in contact with State Senator Lois Kolkhorst and her staff to assist.
From our office, I have offered to partner with our Precinct 3 Constable's Office to provide additional law enforcement personnel during peak hours to move traffic through manual signal adjustments at the lights. TXDOT knows that I am willing to cover these additional costs, in order to get residents moving. TXDOT has also confirmed that Constable Thompson / Fulshear law enforcement can do the manual light changes by hand if the contractor is not holding up their end of the bargain.
When Fort Bend County built its portion of the road up to Cross Creek Ranch, intersection improvements were communicated well in advance through multiple FBC public information channels. Our county employees from Engineering and my office both monitored signal adjustments, often making same-day changes according to traffic needs - even during periods of complete intersection closures.
We are familiar with this road, with the people who drive on it, and what must be done to keep traffic moving at a reasonable expectation. We too regularly drive this road and we share your frustrations. I am very sorry for how the delays have lengthened as TXDOT and LCISD have closed lanes and shifted traffic patterns. This has had a negative impact on all of our families, and I am working with the state to fix this.
We expect better communication and planning out of our state partners in these infrastructure projects. It's disappointing that this situation has become so critical. I have made it extremely clear to TXDOT and the contractor, that there is deep resentment from the community; anger which I believe is justified. My promise is that Precinct 3 will continue to make this a top priority for all county departments that can assist, which includes engineering and law enforcement. The City of Fulshear is aware of the situation and has been actively working on this also. We thank Mayor Groff and city staff for their continued help.
It's time to end talk about things that "can't be done," and time to hear what things "can be done" from our state partners. I believe they have made good-faith attempts this week toward that goal.
As always, my personal cell phone is 832-338-1199, and I am available to you for questions or concerns. Enough is enough - TXDOT's road and construction work must improve. We'll keep pressing with them to make sure those improvements happen. Thank you for your patience.
There was a packed house and a lengthy agenda this week at Fort Bend County Commissioners Court. The court took action on a bundle of essential decisions ranging from flooding block grant funding to 2017 mobility bond engineering selections.
The agenda's first public item was the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program concerning infrastructure and housing applications for 2016 floods. One Richmond citizen stood to comment in favor of increased attention and funding for continued flooding problems from three years of historic floods.
Next, the Court moved into agendas for the county Drainage District, among other things: approving a historic site property tax exemption for the Darst Home in Richmond, a 10-year tax abatement for an economic redevelopment zone in Needville, and two additional equipment expenditures for drainage maintenance within the County.
The Court then completed consecutive agendas for several of the Fort Bend County Appraisal Districts. The purpose of these agendas were to outline the terms of the County's assistance in providing administrative support for the districts. Court also took actions to install community-requested solar-powered speed signs at locations within Cinco Ranch. These speed signs are funded through CAD funds generated from local sales and use taxes, instead of property taxes from the county's general fund.
As the Court returned to the full agenda, they approved specific items relevant to Precinct 3 constituents, including: a traffic control plan for Section 10 of Harvest Green subdivision, the reappointment of commissioners to the Board of Emergency Services District #1, and the administrative steps for the installation of solar-powered radar signs within the requested areas. The commissioners also approved several items for the Vanbrooke development north of the city of Fulshear along FM 359, including: thoroughfare plans, TxDOT participation in improvements to FM 359, and plats for subdivision roads and lots within the community.
Other noteworthy Court approved items elsewhere in the county merit inclusion for this report. In Precinct 4, Commissioner James Patterson made a special point to thank FBC Elections for their work in organizing an upcoming election of five directors for Levee Improvement District #7 in the New Territory community - an area where unbelievably destructive flooding erosion has already forced emergency repairs to the Jodie Stavinoha Bridge on the Grand Parkway. LID #7 faces further critical decisions regarding the future of their flood control system to protect property from the power of the Brazos River.
The Court also approved action for a Health & Human Services grant application to the State of Texas for the county's FY2019 Immunization Program and a Public Transportation grant application to the Federal Transit Administration for funds totaling $4,206,855 with $899,107 in local match funding, and $663,549 in transportation development credits in lieu of local match.
Finally, as is part of their regular fiduciary duties, the Court approved over two dozen purchasing items including several contracts related to the construction of Phase 2 of the FM 1093 / Westpark extension, and approved recommendations for the selections of the most highly qualified providers of engineering and surveying services for the 2017 Mobility Projects which voters passed overwhelmingly in last November's elections. The County will now enter into negotiations with these selected engineering and surveying firms to expedite construction of the voter-approved bond projects, so we can get our citizens moving!
Fort Bend Commissioners Court meets every 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesday of the month at 1:00pm in the historic Courthouse in Richmond, TX. All meetings are open to the public. The full agenda and video of the Court's meeting are available online from our county website. For any questions, please contact our office at 281-238-1400. The Precinct 3 Commissioners Office is located at the County Annex at 22333 Grand Corner Drive in Katy. This and more information about Precinct 3 can be found online - www.PrecinctThree.com
The January 23rd regular meeting of Fort Bend County Commissioners Court held several items of note for Precinct 3. As many of you know, our County Commissioners also comprise the board of the Fort Bend Drainage District and the major item on our agenda yesterday afternoon was to approve a statement of qualifications to work on accelerating the desilting of Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou in the vicinity of Fry Road, eastward into Barker Reservoir. Fort Bend County is providing LIDAR data and cross-section drainage reports to an outside vendor who will add a greater number of trucks and daily capacity to the desilting work.
Several other items were approved by the Court, all of which will address mobility needs for residents of Precinct 3. These include:
- Acceptance of a 45 mph speed limit for Jordan Road between FM 359 north of Fulshear, and the Waller County line.
- Authorization to purchase a small parcel of land for Phase 2 of the FM 1093/Westpark Extension west of Spring Green / FM 723.
- Authorization to purchase three parcels of land for the expansion of Katy Flewellen Road.
- Finalizing contractual obligations and deadlines for the construction of Cane Island Parkway, Phase 1 between FM 1463 and I-10.
- Finalizing one of our last contracts for engineering services on the construction of Spring Green Roundabout near Crossover Road and Katy Flewellen.
The full agenda and video of the Court's meeting are available online from our county website.
As we undertake an extremely busy year in the county, let me say again that it is truly an honor to work to serve you. My staff and I are available to you at 281-238-1400 and our office is located at the County Annex at 22333 Grand Corner Drive in Katy. Much more information about our Precinct can be found on my website - www.PrecinctThree.com
Moving forward in 2018, my staff and I will be issuing regular updates for our residents on the work of Fort Bend County Commissioners Court meetings. The Court meets every 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesday of the month at 1:00pm in the historic Courthouse in Richmond, TX. All meetings are open to the public.
While county-related traffic issues have been overtaken by the recent flooding events caused by Harvey, we wanted to follow up on an important road and traffic issue in the north/west Cinco Ranch area.
Today, the Fort Bend County Commissioner's Court approved the TEMPORARY road closure of Skyridge Crossing Lane, from Crossover Road to Blackstone Canyon Lane.
This closure will remain in effect until the construction of Crossover Road is complete.