League City: Group recommends moving FM 270 to ease traffic

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by Hayley Kappes / The Daily News

khou.com

Posted on September 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM

LEAGUE CITY — To mitigate traffic at the third-worst intersection in the Houston-Galveston area, a resident advisory group recommended relocating FM 270 farther east, reducing the Five Corners to a four-way intersection.

Connecting FM 270 with FM 518 where the road splits with FM 2094 is one of three options the city has created to reduce congestion at the intersection.

City officials also proposed building an overpass that would connect FM 2094 and FM 518 or building one or two roundabouts at the intersection.

An overpass would produce the best level of service because it removes so much traffic out of the intersection, Peter Polk, an engineer with Occam Consulting Engineers, said. It also would have the least right-of-way impact at the intersection.

A roundabout would less effectively alleviate congestion, especially as League City grows and would require the city to buy additional land surrounding the intersection, Polk said.

Moving FM 270’s point at the intersection would have the least construction impact of the three options since most of the work is off road, Polk said.

The project also is the cheapest of the three options.

Early estimates show the relocation would cost about $4 million, roundabouts would cost $7 million, and an overpass would cost $10 million.

The city has presented the alternatives to the Texas Department of Transportation for review since the department owns all three roads, Rich Oller, assistant city manager of public works, said.

Officials want the department to pay for some of the project’s cost, but the state has not committed to funding yet.

TxDOT was supposed to pay for the initially proposed FM 518 bypass project but lost funding in 2007, for all noninterstate projects.

It could take up to a year to complete an environmental study of the project and two years before construction begins, Oller said.

Some residents were not convinced moving FM 270 would solve the intersection’s problem.

"There’s still five corners there," John Dawson said. "We would be taking one intersection and moving it closer to the other one. It’s still the same thing."

Other residents supported FM 270’s relocation because it would have the least impact on traffic flow during construction.

"Putting an overpass through there would make it a total mess during the construction period," resident Scott Gilbert said.

This story was brought to you thanks to khou.com’s partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.

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