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Northeast’s worst traffic, looking ahead

Cleared trees and roadway markings indicate that widening FM 2100 is coming but construction delays and a general lack of access in and out of small sections means traffic delays are also ahead before the congestion can be relieved.

Navigating is more difficult east of Beltway

As Northeast Harris County continues to burgeon, filling roadways with more and more vehicles, locals have spent more and more time going to work and coming home.

With the exceptional aggravation of two crafts crashing into the Interstate 10 bridge, extreme weather, extreme sea fog, larger divots pockmarking US 90 and freak accidents, it has grown difficult to navigate the areas. In February locals were sure authorities had learned lessons about craft hovering just above the I-10 Bridge on the San Jacinto River, when the bridge had to be partially shut down after high water swept a craft into the bridge, doing extensive damage. The locals were just wrong, and in September it again happened. Most of the year the vital Interstate was below capacity. In mid-Summer, a freak wreck plunged an 18-wheeler into the river, killing the driver. Traffic was affected from Mont Belvieu to Humble in each of these cases.

It seemed that any incident in the region stopped traffic everywhere. A protest on the Fred Hartman Bridge snarled traffic throughout and part of Chambers County.

As excitement grows for FM 2100 to be expanded, FM 1942, the single east-west corridor to the oil patch, overtook the Main Street artery for most serious accidents in 2019. Ask any first responder, the amount of traffic related accidents has grown rapidly in northeast Harris County. FM 1942 was a two-lane shell road, but is now handling traffic along a major pipeline throughout. Thanks to a parking lot and expanded industrial installations, FM 1942 rarely flows near 5:00 p.m.

The promise and temporary annoyance of Highway 99 coming in remains mysterious, but overpasses are now visible. About a mile west of Texas 146, a concrete wall juts from a frontage road as one of three new segments of the Grand Parkway begins. The wide-open-spaces-of-country aspect of this vicinity soon will bloom into neighborhoods. Work is about 30 percent completed on the three newest segments of 99, adding about 53 miles of tollway. The expected result not only runs from Highway 59 in New Caney to Highway 146 in Mont Belvieu, but it also implies that FM 2100 in the northern section of Huffman will be calling for completion and construction delays near the Commons in the near future.

Certainly the traffic situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better for commuters — a sure sign that growth is here — but preparation has not been accomplished.