Tag Archive for: Grand Parkway Extension

Grand Parkway Extension is Getting There

TxDOT’s Grand Parkway extension (a.k.a. State Highway 99) is rapidly moving east and south toward I-10. As it arcs around the northeast quadrant of the Houston Metro Area, it will open up vast new areas to development. Below is a map showing several already under development.

New Developments Already Under Way

New developments that will take advantage of mobility improvements brought about by the Grand Parkway extension. From City of Houston Plat Tracker. Gray area is City’s Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).

East Fork Crossing: Tale of Two Bridges

Yesterday, as I was photographing different areas near Huffman and New Caney near the San Jacinto East Fork, I captured these shots of the Grand Parkway extension and FM1485. The Grand Parkway is still under construction in this area, but it’s rapidly getting there.

SH99 and FM 1485, looking northeast toward Colony Ridge and Liberty County.
SH 99 and FM 1485 looking north with San Jacinto East Fork running through middle of frame from top to bottom.
SH 99 and FM 1485 Looking east over San Jacinto East Fork

In March, this Grand Parkway in this area was nothing but dirt. By June, they were clearing land down to the Luce Bayou InterBasin Transfer Canal. Now it’s concrete as far as the eye can see. At least from the East Fork.

I’ve taken shots of this area before and am fascinated by the difference in the spans of the bridges. Part of what you’re seeing is the difference between standards for Farm-to-Market Roads and State Highways. But you’re also looking at the consequence of an increase in expected rainfall rates, more upstream development, and learning from experience. FM1485 frequently goes under water nowadays.

Detention Pond under Bridge: Permanent?

One of the curious things I noticed yesterday was a large detention or sediment retention pond under the bridge. TxDOT has rerouted the East Fork around it as you can see in the first and second photos. I wonder if they will keep it as a large detention pond under the freeway when they complete construction. Or whether they will return the river to its normal course and plant trees between the two roads as you see in the distance.

Stay Away During Construction

Traffic detours through this area are a nightmare. Stay away if you can. It took me an hour to get from here to Kingwood yesterday via 1485, 494 and US59 at 2:30 pm. The distance: only 7 miles as the crow flies.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/4/2021

1558 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 776 since Imelda