A major expansion of Texas 6 is among hundreds of transportation projects included in the Texas Transportation Commission's 2019 Unified Transportation Plan.
The 10-year plan, which was approved Thursday, includes two projects that would expand capacity and make other improvements to Texas 6. The two projects totaling $216 million in planned funding would widen Bryan-College Station's main north-south thoroughfare to six lanes, with other improvements potentially including new interchange designs, collector and distributor roads and bicycle/pedestrian accommodations.
According to a TxDOT press release, Texas 6 would be expanded to at least three lanes in each direction. The first $174 million project would expand the highway from Texas 21 to Texas Avenue South and is anticipated to begin in September 2021. The second project would continue the improvements south to Texas 40. That project is estimated to cost $42 million and begin in September 2024.
"We're just excited about the opportunity and grateful that there are funds that are coming to help us with our traffic needs," said Chad Boehne, deputy district engineer for TxDOT's Bryan District.
TxDOT says project development will begin by having public meetings in conjunction with the Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization. Boehne said he'd expect those meetings to begin by the end of the year or early 2019.
The Texas Transportation Institute's 2017 ranking of the state's most congested roadways put the portion of Texas Avenue from Villa Maria Road to Deacon Drive at the No. 99 spot. MPO Executive Director Dan Rudge said the TxDOT Bryan District made the argument that improvements to Texas 6 would help with that congestion on Texas Avenue, and the Texas Transportation Commission concurred.
Rudge said a large part of the improvements could come in the form of interchanges and frontage roads. TxDOT and the MPO will be relying on the public's input to better understand what changes they're interested in.
"We'll put them in some sort of priority order, and in the design process will figure out how much we can do with the given amount of money," Rudge said.
The Texas Transportation Commission and TxDOT use the Unified Transportation Plan to guide project development for the next 10 years, and authorizes projects for construction, development and planning activities.