Tomball - Magnolia Edition | October 2021

Paving the way

Timber Hollow 105 homes planned at build-out

Downtown Magnolia With the widening of FM 1488, the Magnolia Economic Development Corp. is planning eorts to revitalize the downtown area, including adding parking and beautifying facades.

Annual daily trac counts have steadily increased along FM 1488 since 2016. Despite the increased mobility expected to come with the expansion of FM 1488, some businesses are concerned about the project as they have had to give up parking and signage for the project.

Escondido Will bring 600 total homes once construction is complete



FM 1488 west of Magnolia Scope: TxDOT is widening FM 1488 from two lanes to four from the Waller County line to FM 1774 in Magnolia. The project was 27% complete as of Sept. 29. Timeline: November 2020-rst quarter 2023 Cost: $29.79 million Funding source: TxDOT



Restaurant Business School Place of worship New residential community






FM1488widening east of city ofMagnolia to begin

a Mexican restaurant on FM 1488, which has been in business in Magnolia for 21 years. Increased congestion The FM 1488 expansion from FM 1774 to FM 149 will widen the road from two lanes to a four-lane highway with a continuous turn lane going eastward through the city of Magnolia, Black said. Construc- tion on the $48 million, TxDOT-funded project is anticipated to last 2.5 years, Black said. The FM 1488 corridor in Magnolia continues to see commercial and residential growth. For exam- ple, the master-planned community Audubon at FM 1488 and Hwy. 249 is expected to bring 4,200 homes, and an HEB-anchored development broke ground in August at FM 1488 and Spur 149. Sam Yager, executive vice president of Sam Yager Inc., developer of Audubon, said he has been work- ing with TxDOT to design the project, including eliminating metal guard rails and adding wider pedestrian and bicycle crossings across FM 1488. “One of the primary goals that Audubon had with respect to the proposed road project was to make the roadway corridor more attractive, safer and avoid future construction projects that might slow trac in the future,” Yager said in an email. Riley said he believes the widening is necessary because of increased congestion along FM 1488 as a result of the booming development. From 2016-19, the daily average number of cars driving on FM 1488 steadily increased, according to TxDOT data. The intersection of FM 1488 and FM 149 saw 3,125 more cars in 2019 than 2016, a 21.2% increase, data shows. “If you look at the growth with the extension of [Hwy.] 249 especially at 1488 that’s coming there, then by all means 1488 should be extended and expanded to four lanes through Magnolia,” Riley said. Segment 1B of the Hwy. 249 extension was com- pleted in March, extending the tollway from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to FM 1774 in Plantersville. In Magnolia, the FM 1488 widening will be led by TxDOT with the city’s only responsibility being the relocation of utilities along the highway, City

Counting Cars

The number of average daily vehicles along the FM 1488 corridor increased from 2016-19 at three major intersections in Magnolia. Counts for 2020 dropped slightly during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The long-discussed widening of FM 1488 east- ward through the heart of Magnolia is nearing its start, and while the project is expected to improve mobility, it has been met with concerns from busi- nesses owners losing their parking and signage. The expansion will widen FM 1488 from two to four lanes between FM 1774 and FM 149. It is out for construction bids, and once contracts have been awarded, construction will start within 90 days, Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Emily Black said in an email. Meanwhile, on the west side of the city, a project to widen FM 1488 westward from FM 1774 to the Waller County line began in November 2020, per TxDOT information. “[FM] 1488 is nally getting some of the attention that I think it really deserves and I think is really needed,” Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commis- sioner Charlie Riley said. The widening projects could give the city more exposure in attracting potential businesses and tourists, Magnolia Economic Development Director Rachel Steele said. Steele said there are eorts by the city to revitalize the downtown Magnolia area, including adding parking and improving business facades, starting in 2022. “There are a lot of amenities in Magnolia that I think people are going to start to realize because they’ll have some extra time [not sitting in trac],” Steele said. However, some business owners on the north side of FM 1488 east of FM 1774, where the new lanes will be added, said they are worried about the con- struction’s eect on their businesses. “I know we need more [lanes] because Magnolia is growing, and it’s good for business, but the con- struction is going to aect our business very, very bad[ly],” said Rene Benitez, owner of Las Fuentes,


FM 1488 at FM 1774


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

19,779 21,033 23,780 22,343 19,695

+12.96% from 2016-19

FM 1488 at Buddy Riley Boulevard


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

13,159 13,856 14,733 14,797 13,325

+12.45% from 2016-19

FM 1488 at FM 149


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

14,713 15,980 16,801 17,838 16,054




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