Consultant: Bypass may not be best option
An engineer with a firm hired to study how to improve League City's busiest intersection said that building a bypass around FM 518 might not be the best option.
That's what Occam Consulting Group engineer Peter Polk announced Thursday night at a public meeting on what to do about the Five Corners intersection, where FM 518, FM 270 and FM 2094 come together near Clear Creek High School.
The firm has been hired by League City to determine which option is best for the intersection and has come up with multiple alternatives to building a bypass. Those including adding lanes or roundabouts or constructing a flyover.
During the meeting in Council Chambers, Richard Oller, the city's utilities and public works director, reiterated that the city and Galveston County have put all phases of the proposed bypass on hold.
Oller said it might take six to eight months to determine the top three solutions for the intersection.
We're not done," Oller said. We've just got a good start."
Resident Scott Gilbert, an opponent of the potential bypass, said he believes the best solution for now would be extra right-turn lanes on eastbound and westbound FM 518 as well diverting FM 270 to FM 518.
We're stuck with it, we're hosed and we've got to make the best we can out of a bad situation," Gilbert said.
Resident Mark McNiel praised the city for hiring Occam to come up with alternatives to the proposed bypass, which he opposes. He challenged the city to think about what transportation will be like in 25 years.
Is it necessarily the right thing to have a bypass?" McNiel said. Are we going to be truly traveling the way we do today?"
Resident Steve Weinberg said the proposed bypass, which he is against, would end up generating many new problems for the city. He urged the city to carefully consider the issue and said he is open to the flyover option.
Looking at traffic alone is not the way to handle it," Weinberg said. You've got to consider the issues with the people, the children and the noise and the other aspects of it."
City Council on Tuesday approved spending $20,000 to hire Occam to study the intersection problem. Even before it was contracted for the work, Occam started working on those alternatives about two weeks ago, Oller said.
The current options are:
building a first-phase FM 518 overpass from FM 270 to FM 2094;
building a second-phase FM 518 overpass from FM 270 to FM 518;
building a single roundabout;
adding two roundabouts;
constructing a flyover like the NASA bypass.
Occam will rank the alternatives based on factors such as cost, safety, environmental impact and construction time, Oller said.
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