Townsen Blvd. construction end-date uncertain as officials eye weather conditions
Although the end of the Townsen Boulevard expansion is in sight, a projected completion date remains elusive as city officials wait to see how weather conditions pan-out.
Inclement weather continues delaying completion of the nearly $3 million project in Humble, city officials said.
Originally, project’s completion was slated for fall 2018, but officials later thought construction was on track to finish in July. As of mid-September, Townsen has been under construction for about 280 days.
The expansion widens Townsen Boulevard from two to four lanes between FM 1960 to where it curves towards Hwy. 59 — making it a four-lane roadway from Hwy. 59 to FM 1960.
For the most part, that stretch of Townsen Boulevard has two lanes open in each direction, but as of Wednesday, orange barrels were still lining the road and in some places, narrowed traffic to one lane.
“The barrels should have been removed by now, but because of the rain, it’s been too wet to restripe the road,” said Barry Brock, Humble director of public works. “We plan to restripe from Hwy. 59 to FM 1960, including the eastbound and southbound double-turn lanes.”
Once that restriping occurs, two cars will be allowed to turn in the same direction simultaneously. Flashing turn signs have already been installed for traffic going either direction. Reflective delineator poles will be installed to guide people at that corner.
One purpose of the expansion is to accommodate traffic from the new middle school behind Walmart — Jones Middle School in Aldine ISD.
“It’s better to have four lanes rather than two lanes,” Brock said. “It helps improve traffic conditions.”
School zone signs have also been installed. The signs are a newer style recommended by engineers. Flashing bright lights surround the sign’s entire perimeter. The style stands out more than traditional school zone signs, Brock explained.
The city’s contract with Joslin Construction is for about $2.7 million, Brock said, but the final price will not be known until final quantities are met.
An additional feature for Townsen Boulevard that the city of Humble is waiting on are approximately 100 streetlights to line Townsen from Hwy. 59 to FM 1960.
“They were engineered by CenterPoint and we were given an approximate three-month delivery time,” Brock said. “We should be about 30 days away from that.”
The road expansion, restriping, new signage and streetlights are intended to improve mobility and safety for Humble-area commuters.
“After the street lights are installed, it will be lighted to see the road and turn lanes better,” Brock said. “Also, instead of narrowing down to one lane at that point, cars can stay in their existing lanes.”