KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 3, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
A pedestrian underpass at Westheimer Parkway, just west of Cinco Ranch Boulevard, is set to break ground early this month. The underpass will pave safe passage for many students crossing under a high-traffic roadway heading to local schools and for residents going to Central Green and Willow Fork parks, LaCenterra, and Cinco Ranch Library.
Underpass Constructions Starts this Month
The new pedestrian underpass at Westheimer Parkway is part of a multi-phase project, and at completion is estimated to cost about $381,000.
Study Shows Heavy Traffic
“A study by the District’s engineer LJA documented an average daily traffic count of nearly 23,000 cars at the point where the existing trail intersects Westheimer,” says Wendy Duncan, President of the Board at Willow Fork Drainage District.
“Pedestrians and cyclers often cross mid-block rather than take sidewalks to the nearest intersection, potentially endangering themselves if misjudging oncoming vehicle speed or the time it takes to safely cross,” says Duncan.
Students, Pedestrians Can Safely Pass
With the addition of the underpass, students and residents can safely pass under traffic to local schools, parks, LaCenterra, and the Cinco Ranch Library. The underpass with further enhance connectivity of the District’s recently expanded trail system.
“WFDD is funding this project as part of an overall trail safety plan that also includes 11 mid-block crossing and wayfinding signage across the District,” says Duncan.
When complete, the District will have nearly 45 miles of off-street trails for a total of 50 miles of trails, when combined with sidewalks and street-side connections.
Residents took to social media to praise the development. Many questioned the future of more underpasses across the Katy-area such as under Peek, Mason, and Fry.
Multiple MUDs Working Towards Fry Road Underpass
“We are currently working with 6 MUDs in the area to cost share on an underpass at Fry Road and T-103,” explains Duncan. “We are not considering any other underpasses at this time.”
Currently there isn’t an estimated completion date for the project as construction is determined by the weather.
Learn more about WFDD at their website.