Transportation

New Study Recommends Millions Of Dollars In Improvements For State Highway 146

The busy thoroughfare east of Houston is seeing a lot more truck traffic but that’s not the only issue.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council said new industrial activity in Baytown could put another 200 trucks a day on State Highway 146. After a yearlong study, H-GAC is now recommending both long-term and short-term projects along 146 from Baytown north to Liberty County.

“Many of these projects should have been done earlier than later,” said H-GAC Transportation Planner Carlene Mullins.

As part of the study, H-GAC looked into why trucks weren’t using the nearby Grand Parkway. Mullins said petroleum industry companies told them it had to do with cost.

“And it’s not the cost of the tolls,” added Mullins. “It’s actually the difference in the length of driving because you have to go out of your way right now to get onto Grand Parkway.”

As for short-term fixes to improve safety and mobility, Mullins said they’re recommending about eight miles of new medians and turn lanes. That’s because the road has lots of driveways and parking lots where vehicles enter into the roadway.

“The medians make it safer to pull over and make a left-hand turn,” explained Mullins. “Whereas if you have a fifth lane there’s no protection. You’re just sitting in the middle.”

As for long-term fixes, one of the things the study suggests is direct connectors at 146 and I-10.

“It would eliminate a lot of traffic that’s under the freeway right now,” said Mullins.

The study estimates that short-term projects would cost between $15 and $20 million. Long-term projects could run as high as $825 million.

H-GAC recently presented findings from the study to officials in Baytown and Mont Belvieu.

Read the State Highway 146 study below: 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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