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Grand Parkway construction continues across Houston area

Friday, June 28, 2013

It really speaks to the extraordinary growth across the Houston area. We've got the Loop, the Belt, and before you know it, the Grand Parkway will be finished.

The Grand Parkway has been on the drawing board for decades, and in the last few years, there's been significant progress, especially in 2013.

The construction underway on the Katy Freeway at Highway 99 is significant. By the end of the year, it'll provide a faster connection from Highway 290 to I-10 for those who live well past Beltway 8.

"One of the major purposes for the Grand Parkway is to help distribute the traffic in the urban core," said Raquelle Lewis with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The Grand Parkway, when completed, will be the longest loop in the country, stretching more than 180 miles.

As the work on the northwest side of the parkway is wrapping up, work on three new sections is just getting underway.

"Construction will be taking place simultaneously on each one of the segments with a dedicated team," said Linda Merritt with Zachry Odebrecht Parkway Builders.

It's a two-and-half year, $1.1 billion project that runs from Highway 290 to 249, 249 to I-45 and I-45 to Highway 59, adding 38 miles to the parkway's north side.

"We'll be connecting communities between these areas, creating greater mobility for the greater region," Merritt said.

The parkway's final completion date is still years away, but these big additions should make commuting Houston a little bit easier in the near term.

Authorities also note that with all the construction, there's big job opportunities.

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