09/12/11 9:49am

Tuesday morning, not far from the former grounds of Forbidden Gardens, its now-ransacked replica gravesite of Emperor Qin, and his army of one-third-scale terracotta soldiers at the stub-end of Hwy. 99 and Franz Rd., TxDOT and a contingent of public officials will gather to celebrate the groundbreaking of a notable project for Houston: the paving of a $350 million four-lane toll highway with “intermittent” development-ready access roads across an expanse of largely uninhabited prairie land that stretches between Katy and Cypress. When it’s complete, the 180-mile-long Grand Parkway will be Houston’s fourth ring road, cutting through 7 different counties. But none of the planned segments will forge so dramatic a path through undeveloped land as this particular north-south stretch, called Segment E.


11/19/10 12:26pm

HOUSTON EV INCENTIVES: FREE JOLT FOR YOUR VOLT, TOLL RELIEF FOR YOUR LEAF At the unveiling yesterday of plans for the 150-station electric-vehicle charging network NRG Energy will be building in Houston, Mayor Parker announced a few additional perks for local EV owners: Electric vehicles that can drive fast enough will be allowed on Metro-operated HOV lanes for free, and the city will negotiate reduced rates for them on area toll roads. Owners of the new Chevy Volt will be able to get home charging stations installed for free; they’ll also be available at a reduced cost for Nissan Leaf buyers. The city will also be adding to its own small network of charging stations around the city, with 45 new additional juice dispensers for public use. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Video: eVgo

05/12/10 10:57am

FILLING OUT THE GRAND PARKWAY FROM 9 TO 12 O’CLOCK A vote in Commissioners Court yesterday authorized the Harris County Toll Road Association to start looking for consulting firms to coordinate the design of a wide northwest swath of the Grand Parkway, extending from I-10 West just east of Katy to a little past I-45 North. That’s a 39-mile stretch. The toll road, 180 miles in all, would help fill out Houston’s target map — by adding another ring. [Houston Chronicle]

11/12/08 11:57am

Lakes of Avalon Village Subdivision, Spring, Texas

The attorney for Lakes of Avalon Village developer Robert A. Hudson is now saying that economic conditions make it “unlikely” that Lennar Homes and J. Patrick Homes will build on homesites in the path of a new proposed route for Segment F2 of the Grand Parkway in Spring.

But there’s no need to give up hope entirely: Lennar and J. Patrick apparently encountered few difficulties building and selling 60 homes sitting on the new highway’s earlier proposed route, in a different portion of the same subdivision. The developer’s stated reluctance to repeat the trick means the homebuilding market must be pretty tough now.

The new route would swing around the homes that have already been built and into not-yet-developed areas of Lakes of Avalon Village and neighboring Willow Trace.


08/20/08 11:22am

Lakes of Avalon Village Subdivision, Spring, Texas

Some brand-new houses sold by Lennar Homes will be very convenient to the new Grand Parkway!

Robert A. Hudson, a Spring developer who partnered with Lennar on the project, said builders knew the highway might come through the subdivision.

“We are not up there on a daily basis to make sure that the builders make it clear to everybody else,” he said.

Plans for the Grand Parkway have been on the books for 25 years, but only 28 of its proposed 185 miles have been built. Environmental and neighborhood groups have opposed the project.

It would include 11 segments traversing seven counties. The 12.1-mile Segment F2 would cut directly through the Lakes of Avalon Village, a subdivision with several hundred homes located on FM 2920 just west of Kuykendahl Road.

About 60 homes are in the right-of-way and would have to be demolished to make way for the parkway once construction began, [executive director of the Grand Parkway Association David] Gornet said.

Talk about offering transportation options! But it’s not just Lennar . . . J. Patrick Homes also is selling models in the Lakes of Avalon Village subdivision.

But hurry! The subdivision is in “close out”!

After the jump: pics of a Lennar Homes model for sale in this quaint little village in Spring!


04/30/07 10:13am

Westpark Tollway

A teensy item appears in the middle of a long list of projects on the revised agenda of an obscure public agency. The list is voted on, and presto! Nine months years later The Westpark Tollway gets extended all the way to Kirby Drive!

Christof Spieler spots this exciting news—sure to make a lot of West U-area residents take notice—and complains:

Once a project is on a list that gets approved by the TPC, it’s a lot closer to happening. Months or years from now, a neighborhood might object. And they’ll be shown the list and told, “it’s in the plan. It got approved. There’s nothing you can do.” Pieces of paper can have a lot of power.

And this piece of paper came out of nowhere. There was no public announcement, let alone hearings. It was a last minute addition to the agenda. David Crossley of the Gulf Coast institute spotted it only because he was looking through the TPC web site. [emphasis added]

Photo: Flickr user Danburg Murmur