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Posted on: October 26, 2023

The Woodlands Township is awarded a $7.5 million grant for 5-mile pathway project

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (October 26, 2023) - The Texas Transportation Commission has announced the allocation of a substantial federal grant to The Woodlands Township, furthering its commitment to sustainable, multi-modal transportation infrastructure. This grant, totaling $7,471,861, is set to drive the development of a 5-mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway project, enhancing accessibility for residents located on both the west and east sides of I-45.

This remarkable funding, representing 80% of the overall project cost, will empower the creation of a pathway commencing at FM 1488 and extending parallel to Hwy. 242. The pathway will then take a northward trajectory along Trade Center Blvd., ultimately culminating at Harper’s Landing Blvd., where it will integrate with Harper’s Landing Park. The remaining 20% of the project cost, equating to $1,867,965, will be provided by The Woodlands Township as part of its commitment to this transformative initiative.

Recognizing the importance of adding this transit corridor to the community’s extensive pathway system, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has worked diligently on both the planning and funding aspects of the project.  Chairman of the Board Dr. Ann K. Snyder noted, “Anticipating a successful grant application process, the Board included the Township’s funding obligation in the 2024 Budget, demonstrating its commitment to the well-being and accessibility of the community.”

“I would like to commend the staff’s dedicated efforts that resulted in the Texas Transportation Commission awarding the Township this grant,” said Chairman Snyder. “These funds will allow the Township to proceed with a major transit project that has long been desired by residents to safely bike or walk along Hwy. 242 and to connect Harper’s Landing with the rest of the community.”

The federal grant funds administered by the Texas Transportation Commission were specifically designated to bolster bicycle and pedestrian planning and infrastructure projects across the state. Project proposals underwent meticulous evaluation to determine eligibility, adherence to technical standards, and fulfillment of specific selection criteria. The potential benefits of these projects to the state and their role as enhancements to the surface transportation system played a pivotal role in the selection process, ultimately favoring The Woodlands Township as a deserving recipient of this vital funding.

SH 242, commonly identified as College Park Drive, presents a unique challenge in the community. This high-speed six-lane arterial road, with speeds ranging from 45 to 50 mph, lacks continuous bicycle and pedestrian facilities along the route. This absence creates a physical barrier that hinders people's ability to access vital goods and services along SH 242 without the need for vehicular transportation. Compounding this challenge is the presence of I-45, which further isolates the Harper’s Landing neighborhood from the broader Woodlands Township. This neighborhood finds itself on the opposite side of both roadways, making the situation even more complex.

This transformative project will not only enhance accessibility, but it will also pave the way for a genuinely multi-modal transportation facility, benefiting both our community and the TxDOT Houston District, responsible for the oversight of SH 242.

The need for this connection has been voiced by the community for many years and it is included in The Woodlands Township Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. It is a testament to the dedication of all stakeholders involved that the Township is now poised to bring this essential project to life.

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The Woodlands Township is a special purpose district, providing fire protection, environmental services, parks and recreation, economic development, enhanced law enforcement services and more to over 120,000 residents and 2,000 businesses. Located 27 miles north of Houston, Texas, The Woodlands Township is committed to supporting the highest quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors. Please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov to learn more.

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