Waller County: FM 1488 is getting a makeover!

WALLER COUNTY, Texas – The Texas Department of Transportation Houston District is proposing to widen FM 1488 from BU 290 to Joseph Road in Waller and Harris counties.

Waller County keeps on growing! It sits just 40 miles from downtown Houston and only 9 miles from the Grand Parkway, and with Prairie View A&M University next door, what used to be quiet back roads are now main arteries that need a major makeover to handle all the new traffic. This includes FM 1488, which has quickly become a major east/west connection for graduations and football games.

Current conditions

The existing roadway is a two-lane, undivided roadway with 12-foot travel lanes and 5-foot shoulders. Open ditches are located on the north and south sides of the roadway. Flush medians are located within several of the communities located within the project area.

Current right-of-way (ROW) widths are typically 80 feet, with a maximum width of 120 feet.

The proposed improvements include:

  • Widening the right of way to approximately 220 feet wide.
  • Converting the two-lane roadway between BUS 290 and US 290 to a four-lane roadway 18 feet raised median with curb and gutter.
  • Widening the roadway from two lanes to four lanes, with 12 feet outside shoulder and four feet inside shoulders
  • Constructing 40-foot depressed grassy medians with openings at major intersections
  • Keeping the drainage as an open ditch.
  • Five curves located on FM 1488.
  • Reconstructing bridges over stream crossings to accommodate the proposed travel lanes.

Next steps

  • Consider Public Meeting Comments and Refine Alternatives
  • Continue Environmental Analysis
  • Hold Second Public Meeting
  • Finalize Environmental Analysis and Draft EA
  • Public Hearing – Present the Preferred Alternative for Review
  • Final EA Approval
  • Environmental Clearance
  • Complete Final Design and Begin Right-Of Way Acquisition

According to TXDOT, the project will cost a little more than $200 million dollars to expand the last 20-mile segment of FM 1488 from Montgomery County to Hempstead. Right now, they have a tentative plan to kick off construction in 2024.

About the Author:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.