Texas State Highway 249

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Texas 249.svgTomball Tollway.svg

State Highway 249
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length: 26.643 mi[1] (42.878 km)
Existed: 1988 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-45 in Houston
  Sam Houston Tollway / Beltway 8
North end: FM 149 / FM 1774
Location
Counties: Harris, Montgomery
Highway system
SH 248 SH 250

State Highway 249, SH 249, the Tomball Parkway, Tomball Tollway or West Mount Houston Road is a generally north–south highway in Southeast Texas. The current northern terminus of the highway is in Pinehurst at the intersection of FM 1774 and FM 149. The Southern terminus is in North Houston at Interstate 45.

Route description[edit]

The section of SH 249 north of its junction with Beltway 8 is referred to by area residents as the Tomball Parkway because it leads to and is the main road through Tomball. Along the east-west section between I-45 and West Montgomery, it is called West Mount Houston Road. West Mount Houston Road, however, actually extends east past the intersection of SH 249 at I-45.

Points of interest[edit]

Tomball Tollway section[edit]

Phase I[edit]

Just opened April 12, 2015, Tomball Tollway Phase 1 is 6 miles (9.7 km) from Spring Cypress Road to FM 2920 with three lanes in each direction that are used to bypass seven stoplights and will only accept electronic toll-tags (EZ Tag, TollTag and the TxTag) as no cash payments will be allowed having a total cost of $1.45 for the entire length of the tollway, while the frontage roads will remain free to all drivers. [2]

Phase II (planning stage)[edit]

Planed extension from Spring Creek to the county line.

History[edit]

Originally a part of FM 149, the highway was given the designation of SH 249 in 1988.[1] The highway's importance grew after Compaq Computer Corporation (now known as Hewlett-Packard) moved its headquarters close to the intersection of SH 249 and Louetta Rd.[3] In 2003, a portion of SH 249 in Tomball was renamed Bus. SH  249B from Hicks Road to Holderreith Road. This is because of bypass that bypasses Tomball on the west side of the city.

Previously, SH 249 was designated between 1936 and 1938[4] from then-SH 73 (now Interstate 10) near San Felipe north to the Brazos River. The route was redesignated in 1940 as Texas Spur 99.[5] The route is now part of Farm to Market Road 1458.

Future[edit]

Current plans call for the highway to extend to the BryanCollege Station area. Upon completion, the highway will be named "Aggie Expressway", after Texas A&M University in College Station. Continued growth in the Bryan/College Station, Conroe and NW Houston regions have congested existing roadways, including SH 105 and FM 1774. Texas A&M University and businesses in the Bryan/College Station area would benefit from faster connections to Bush-Intercontinental Airport, the Port of Houston and the Texas Medical Center. A bypass of Magnolia, Texas is desirable because of the large traffic load every October due to the annual Renaissance fair. Decreased funding for road projects in recent years had stalled the extension of SH 249. However the rapid growth in the area has led to a renewed push in 2012 to build further segments.

Recently funding for a two phase construction of the south segment of SH 249 as a tollway with 3 lanes in each direction has been approved. Phase one would run from just north of Spring Cypress Road, the current terminus of the existing free lanes to just north of the existing Tomball bypass. The existing lanes would become frontage roads and not be tolled.[6] Phase two will extend the tollway into Montgomery County to FM 1774 at Pinehurst. This $335 million project will be overseen by the Harris and Montgomery County toll road authorities.[7] Construction of phase one began in fall 2013, likely in parallel to the construction of SH 99 phases F-1 and F-2. SH 99, the Grand Parkway, will intersect SH 249 around Boudreaux Road. It opened on 12 April 2015.[8] The construction of phase 2 will begin next year.

Plans for the middle segments (Pinehurst-Todd Mission) and north segment (Todd Mission-Navasota) have been revived by the Texas Department of Transportation in early 2013. TxDOT has formed a working group with local officials and stakeholders to discuss alternatives for the SH 249 corridor.[9]

Popular culture[edit]

The Eli Young Band references "Highway 249" in their song 'Always the Love Songs'. Several of the band grew up in Tomball, right off SH 249.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Harris Houston I-45 (North Freeway) I-45 exit 57B
Sam Houston Tollway / Beltway 8 (Frontage Road) interchange; south end of freeway
FM 1960 / Gessner Road Access to Methodist Hosptial Willowbrook
Northpointe Boulevard Last free northbound exit before entering the Tomball Tollway [10]
Tomball Tollway Southern terminus of the Tomball Tollway[10]
Toll gantry for both directions
Electronic toll tags only, no cash allowed
SH 99 Toll (Grand Parkway) / Boudreaux Rd SH 99 (Grand Parkway) is under construction; scheduled to open in late 2015
Tomball
Bus. SH 249 north (Tomball Parkway) / Holderrieth Rd / Alice Rd
Southern terminus of Bus. SH 249 [11]
Tomball Tollway Northern terminus of the Tomball Tollway [10]

FM 2920 / Bus. SH 249 south (Tomball Parkway) – Tomball, Hooks Airport
Last free Southbound exit before entering the Tomball Tollway. [10]
Northern terminus of Bus. SH 249 [11]
Montgomery Pinehurst FM 149 north (The Montgomery Trace) / FM 1774 north – Magnolia, Montgomery Northern terminus of SH 249
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "State Highway No. 249". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. ^ Harris County Toll Road Authority. "Tomball Tollway". Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ Slotboom, Erik (2003). Houston Freeways. OF Slotboom. ISBN 0-9741605-3-9. 
  4. ^ Texas Highway Map (Map). Texas State Highway Department. 1938. 
  5. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "State Highway Spur No. 99". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  6. ^ "HCTRA Projects: SH 249 Phase 1". 
  7. ^ "HCTRA Projects: SH 249 Phase 2". 
  8. ^ "Houston Newsmakers". 
  9. ^ "TxDOT Projects: SH 249". 
  10. ^ a b c d "Tomball Tollway Map" (PDF). 
  11. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "Business State Highway No. 249-B". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 16, 2015.