KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
April 8, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy continues to grow, and infrastructure works to keep up. TxDOT plans to widen a section of FM 529 that will provide relief to new master-planned communities, but many residents don’t think it’s being done quick enough.
West Houston, especially the Katy area continues to grow immensely. New master-planned communities such as Elyson at 99 and FM 529 are rapidly growing with newcomers flocking to the area.
TxDOT to Widen FM 529; Residents Express Concern on Timeframe
TxDOT is making plans to widen roads to meet the growth in that area. A $123.4 million project is in development that will turn a section of FM 529 from its existing 2-lanes to 6-lanes with a raised median. This will involve the road between 99 and Katy Hockley Cut Off Road.
Currently residents of the rapidly growing Elyson community struggle getting safely out of the neighborhood entrances.
“The intersection is so dangerous, especially in the mornings,” says Anam Akhtar. Traffic lights are part of the TxDOT plan, but construction isn’t scheduled to start for another 6 years.
"I can be patient for the road expansion, but the traffic lights are needed immediately," says Holly Gil. "There have been too many accidents already and that will only increase with additional people moving into the area."
In far less than 6 years, the area is expected to quickly expand causing the congested roadways to increase in risk and traffic. Major retailers have already purchased land or broken ground at the 99 and FM 529 exit. The Target sign is already up in front of the super store’s construction and HEB recently announced a store as well.
Katy ISD to Build 3 New Schools in Area
Katy ISD has already committed to build three new schools at the east of Katy Hockley Road and Logenbaugh. According to the District website, these schools include #45 elementary school (opening Aug. 2023,) #18 junior high (opening Aug. 2024,) and #10 high school (opening Aug. 2024.)
“6 years is too long for a project especially with the amount of accidents and traffic coming, three schools in the next two years and no infrastructure to support it,” says resident Chet Slonecker.
Katy ISD is the fastest growing public-school district in the state. They recently reached 90,000 students and project passing 100,000 by 2026, with many moving into this area.
“There was no way 529 wouldn’t be widened at some point,” says resident Ashley Jensen.
“6 years from now is way too long,” adds Jensen. “It needed to be expanded before the other side of Elyson began. But the government will eventually expand it, and it’ll be too small.”
Jensen believes it will always be a work in progress as the area grows.
Katy Magazine reached out to TxDOT for more details on the timetable of this project and if traffic lights would be set up sooner to help the area before the expansion. We did not get a response.
The $123. 4 million project will include both federal and state funds.