State Highway 99 Construction Pushes South, Opening Vast Areas to New Development

Construction of State Highway 99 Segment H has pushed far south of FM1960 as you can see in the photo below. The segment extends eastward from Valley Ranch in Montgomery County at US59 eastward to Colony Ridge in Liberty County. At that point it turns southward toward I-10.

Looking ESE. FM1960 extends from bottom center to upper left. The other highway is SH99.

State Highway 99 is also known as the Grand Parkway. It will form a 180-mile circumferential highway traversing seven counties in the Greater Houston area. Conceptualized in the early 1960s, it is divided into 11 segments designated A through I-2.

Yesterday, I followed Segment H past Colony Ridge to FM1960, at which point the helicopter had to return to Intercontinental Airport for fuel.

This NASA image Google Earth shows how much progress TxDoT has made since last December.

Comparing the image above to the latest update in Google Earth Pro on 11/16/2020 shows progress since then.

We followed the construction almost 10 miles through prime farmland. Transportation access will open this whole area up to new development. Along the way, we saw bridges being built where there were no roads. This could have been to let farmers access land that the highway bisected. However, the bridges were far wider than needed for farm equipment. It makes one wonder whether the bridges are also being built in anticipation of future development.

Bridge over no road. Much wider than needed for farm equipment. Note size of construction trucks for comparison.

Also note the size of the bridge below over a gravel road. Someone is thinking ahead!

TxDoT State Highway 99 bridge over gravel road.
Supplying a growing population will take plenty of water. In this photo, you can see SH99 going over the Inter-Basin Transfer Project.

The Interbasin Transfer Project is designed to bring water from the Trinity River to Lake Houston.

Where Inter-Basin Transfer Project joins Luce Bayou, the East Fork San Jacinto and Lake Houston.

All the pieces of a giant puzzle are falling in place to support future growth. The Grand Parkway isn’t about simply connecting two points on a map. The continued rapid growth of Colony Ridge proves that.

A small portion of the thousands of acres now being cleared in Colony Ridge. Photo taken 5/26/2021.

The questions are:

  • What kind of growth will Liberty County attract?
  • Will Liberty County enforce drainage regulations that protect downstream residents?

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/27/2021

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The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.