Updated: Jul 7, 2022
The Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Rail District (GCRD) in 2017 authorized a corridor study to review, compare, and evaluate potential transit mode choices adjacent to the Westpark Tollway. The study area extended from FM 1463 east of the city of Fulshear in Fort Bend County to the Interstate 610 West Loop including the future Uptown Transit Center in Harris County. This report focused on review of previous studies within the corridor, the project’s need and purpose, environmental constraints mapping and fatal-flaw analysis, and mode choice alternative evaluation including coordination meetings with key stakeholders as well as working sessions with an advisory committee.
Project Background and Description
The Gulf Coast Rail District (GCRD), in cooperation with the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), conducted a scope of work for the Westpark Corridor Study in 2017 to review, compare, and evaluate potential transit mode choices in the undeveloped ROW adjacent to the Westpark Tollway. The extension of the Westpark Corridor Study is needed to address increasing traffic demands and congestion associated with continued population and employment growth, long-distance commutes to major activity centers within the region, and lack of multi-modal options within the corridor. The prospects of extending the METRO study was raised in a meeting between Fort Bend County Mayors and the GCRD.
Project Study Limits
GCRD’s study would provide an extension to METRO’s in-process analysis for a BRT transportation spine from northeast Houston through the University area of the University of Houston and Texas Southern University, and the Rice University Ion complex (where it crossed the Main Street Red Line light rail system), through the Uptown District to the west side of Houston where it would end at Wilcrest. GCRD would examine the continuation of the BRT into Fort Bend County to at least Fulshear.
GCRD will examine at a minimum right-of-way, alignment, station locations, use agreements, ridership estimates, costs-capital and operating and environmental consideration.
Harris County, Metro, Fort Bend County, and the municipalities located along this corridor west of the Grand Parkway (Fulshear, Weston Lakes, and Simonton.