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Grand Parkway, West Segment

Created and last updated July 25, 2001

Also see: Grand Parkway future plans and status

Today, only one section of the Grand Parkway has been constructed: the west segment. This section opened on August 31, 1994. I was at the opening ceremony and I still have a commerative insulated Grand Parkway beverage holder ("koozie") that was distributed at the event, which was well-planned by local real-estate interests. A large gathering of vehicles lined up near the Brazos River bridge. After the ceremony, we drove the Grand Parkway.

Only about 3 miles of the west section is a full freeway, and the rest is designed to be easily upgraded to a freeway. New housing developments at the north and south ends of this section have been booming. That includes Cinco Ranch on the north end, and Greatwood, New Territory, and Riverpark on the south end. In the middle, subdivision development is just starting to gain momentum. The westward extension of the Westpark Tollway will accelerate activity. South of the current southern terminus, development was proceeding so quickly that authorities had to act quickly to preserve right-of-way. The alignment for the southwestern segment was recently approved.

Real estate developers along the Grand Parkway have been nicely landscaping the roadway. In the long run, most of the Grand Parkway will truly be a parkway - an oasis among all the commerical clutter and billboards of Houston.

On March 29, 2001, the Texas Transportation Commission authorized $28 million for contruction of interchanges on the Westpark Tollway at the Grand Parkway and a nearby intersecting road. I don't know the scope of work, but it probably includes a section of Grand Parkway main lanes and possibly connector ramps.

West Grand Parkway

West Grand Parkway West Grand Parkway
This insulated beverage holder was one of the goodies distributed at the opening ceremony for the Grand Parkway on August 31, 1994.

Grand Parkway west Grand Parkway west

Images start at the north and proceed southward

Grand Parkway west
A. Just south of Interstate 10, the Grand Parkway consists of feeder roads only. This view looks south along the feeder. Photo taken 20-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
B. The freeway starts at the Cinco Ranch real estate development. Photo taken 20-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west(high resolution 121k)C. This view looks north towards the Cinco Ranch exit. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
(high resolution 164k) D. This view looks south from the Westheimer overpass. The wooded area in the background is along Buffalo Bayou, which is close to its original headwaters in this region. Photo taken 20-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
E. Typical Houston suburban houses under construction in Cinco Ranch. On the right side of the photo, embankment for the Grand Parkway overpass can be seen. Usually land near a freeway is held in reserve for future commercial development. Since this section of the Grand Parkway does not have feeders, homes are being constructed right next to the freeway. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
F. This view looks north from the Fry Road overpass. Buffalo Bayou is in the background. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west(high resolution 137k) G. This view looks north at the FM 1093 intersection. The freeway section stops at FM 1093 and there is a traffic light. The roadways are depressed below grade to go underneath the railroad, which is on the overpass structure. The railroad is now abandoned, and the track has been torn out to make way for the Westpark Tollway. The Westpark Tollway interchange will be in this general area. I don't know if it will be exactly in the area of this view, or slightly southward. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
H. Like all depressed sections of roadway in Houston, a pump station is needed to remove rainwater. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
J. Looking south, just south of FM 1093. Notice the very short section of main lanes. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
K. South of 1093, the main lanes are constructed between intersection locations, but the traffic must exit at the intersections. This is how the South Freeway (288) was constructed. Slowly, overpasses are being added to the South freeway, upgrading it to freeway status. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
L. There are two stop signs along this section of the Grand Parkway. This is one. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
M. As the Grand Parkway approaches the US 90A, it traverses through prison property. The prison can be seen in the background. The Grand Parkway is a 4-lane undivided roadway in this section. That configuration is perfectly adequate for current traffic demands. Of course, there is no roadway access in the prison compound. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
N. Another view of the 4-lane undivided through the prison property. View looks north. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
O. Driver's view at the intersection with US 90A. The Grand Parkway feeder roads and US 90A are depressed below grade to go underneath the railroad tracks. The main lanes will go over the railroad tracks. View looks north. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
P. South of US 90A, the Grand Parkway enters the New Territory real estate development. The developers have nicely landscaped the sides of the roadway, as this driver's view shows. View looks north. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west(high resolution 133k) Q. This view looks north along the Grand Parkway right-of-way from just north of the Brazos River crossing. The main lanes will be built in the wide grassy median. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west(high resolution 153k) R. This view looks south along the Grand Parkway right-of-way from just south of the Brazos River crossing. South of the Brazos, feeder roads only are built. However, the land along the parkway will not be commercialized, and the housing developer of the Riverpark community has planted a row of trees along the edges of the right-of-way. The overpass in the background is at the Southwest Freeway, which is the current terminus of the Grand Parkway. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

Grand Parkway west
S. This view looks across the right-of-way at Riverpark Boulevard. Housing construction can be seen in the background. Photo taken 21-July-2001.

 
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