Residents of The Woodlands who live in the Village of Alden Bridge will soon have quicker access to the various retail outlets in the Egypt Lane area off of FM 1488.
Construction on the extension of Research Forest Drive from Branch Crossing to Egypt Lane began in April and is expected to be complete by early autumn. The project includes the installation of a two-lane road and a traffic light at Egypt Lane.
The extension, which will cost $2.4 million, is funded solely by a 2 percent sales-and-use tax collected in the last year within the boundaries of the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District.
Created in 2003 to oversee the construction of a public road and drainage system through the area of FM 1488 and FM 2978, the improvement district has collected more than $1 million in revenue to go toward its capital improvement projects, thanks to the extra 2 percent sales-and-use tax.
Jane Miller, representative with Allen Boone Humprhies Robinson LLP—which represents the WMPID—said Research Forest has always been on Montgomery County’s major thoroughfare plan and The Woodlands’ master plan.
Although the extension will make for a faster commute between The Woodlands and Magnolia, the potential for increased traffic congestion has Woodlands resident Chuck Vardner concerned about the area’s future.
“I understand that to push Research Forest through to Egypt Lane saves a lot of time to access that area, but at the same time, The Woodlands has been known as a safe place to raise your children and the natural beauty adds to the experience,” he said. “With Research Forest going all the way through, there is little doubt about the increased traffic, pollution and compromising of the quality of life in that area.”
Tom Grayson, WMPID board member, said traffic on Egypt Lane is already an issue due to nearby Ellisor Elementary and because it serves as a short-cut to Home Depot.
“Today’s problem is not the traffic from Research Forest,” he said in an email. “Needless to say this issue is on our radar, but WMPID’s existence and mission are not to be a builder of roads.”