Construction projects to facilitate population swell
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 23:03
In preparation for population increases, the city of College Station and Texas A&M are working on several projects to alleviate future traffic congestion.
According to the 2012 City of College Station Demographic Report, if the population of College Station increases by a mean growth rate of 3.06 percent each year, the number of residents is projected to reach 144,268 by the year 2025 — up from the current estimated population of 97,300.
Projected Texas A&M enrollment increases will contribute to College Station population growth, including the “25 by 25” Initiative that is set to increase engineering enrollment from 11,000 students to 25,000 students by the year 2025.
“Texas A&M University and the cities of College Station and Bryan work together on an ongoing basis to facilitate traffic flow throughout the area in order to accommodate residents as well as visitors,” said June Broughton, communications manager for Transportation Services at A&M.
One project adopted by the College Station City Council is the city’s Thoroughfare Plan.
According to the City of College Station Transportation Planning website, the Thoroughfare Plan provides a long-term vision of the major street network necessary to meet future travel needs.
“This plan is updated and modified regularly to include land use changes, construction of roadways and new developments,” said Troy Rother, traffic engineer superintendent for the city of College Station.
College Station and Texas A&M officials envision an improvement in traffic flow through reduced student dependency on vehicular transportation by providing convenient and accessible housing within walking distance of areas frequented by students.
Two multi-story, residential developments located in the Northgate District — The Rise at Northgate and The Stack at Legacy Point — are in varying stages of construction.
“These projects will allow a multitude of students to live at Northgate and access campus, restaurants and entertainment on foot or bicycle,” Rother said.
With an increase in pedestrian traffic, measures are being taken to improve the safety of students and residents of College Station.
The recently completed University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project added a traffic signal at University and Boyett and provides another safe pedestrian connection between Northgate and campus.
The underpass at Wellborn and Old Main — the Old Main Drive-Wellborn Safety Enhancement — serves as an additional connection between main campus and west campus, providing further alleviation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The project is scheduled for completion in September.
Significant changes to the intersection of the Wellborn Road and George Bush Drive intersection are also in early stages of development, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
“We are planning to build a grade separation with Wellborn and George Bush and the railroad,” said public information officer for Texas Department of Transportation Bob Colwell.
Colwell described the grade-separation design as a “three-layer cake,” with motor vehicle transportation on separate levels from pedestrian traffic.
“For pedestrian and bike traffic, this is very significant because it will separate them from all vehicles and the railroad,” Colwell said.
The project is still in the design phase and there is no target construction date.