UPDATE: Water line leak found; Westbound lanes open on Research Forest Dr.

By: San Jacinto River Authority SJRA
| Published 09/14/2019

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- UPDATE 9/16/19: SJRA and its contractors remain on site 24/7 on the eastbound lanes of Research Forest Drive to repair damage to a 30-inch water line.

The leak was found late Sunday night and appears to be isolated to a 20-foot section of underground pipe. The damaged pipe section will be removed and the line will be temporarily capped. The excavation will then be filled and the road will be temporarily repaired with asphalt and put back in service while permanent repairs are planned.

Paving of the eastbound lanes of Research Forest Drive is expected to occur Tuesday. SJRA has a command center at the site and continues to work closely with Montgomery County Precinct 3 (Precinct 3) and the Montgomery County Constable’s Office. The Woodlands is not anticipated to have any interruption of water service during the process. Businesses are not expected to be significantly impacted as this section of Research Forest Drive has no direct entry sites or driveways that are obstructed.

All partners are monitoring a weather system that is expected along the Gulf coast tonight into Tuesday. Localized heavy rainfall of 2 to 6 inches is expected by Wednesday.

These repairs are a result of a major water line break that occurred in The Woodlands under the eastbound lanes of Research Forest Drive near Technology Forest Friday afternoon. Precinct 3 and SJRA recommend drivers avoid the area if possible. Alternative routes include Woodlands Parkway, Lake Woodlands Drive, Texas 242, and FM 1488.

Conroe ISD, The Woodlands Township, Woodlands Water, and other partners have been notified of the latest developments. Please continue to check SJRA on Facebook San Jacinto River Authority SJRA for updates.



UPDATE 9/15/19 9 P.M.: Westbound lanes on Research Forest are now open between New Trails and Technology Forest.

Contractors remain on site on the eastbound lanes 24/7 to repair damage to a 30” water line. The Woodlands is not anticipated to have interruption of water service.

After the pipe under the eastbound lanes is repaired, pavement will be repaired and then the lanes will be reopened.

Commissioner James Noack- Montgomery County Precinct Three and SJRA recommend drivers avoid the area if possible. Alternative routes include Woodlands Parkway, Lake Woodlands Drive, 242, and FM 1488. Please see our accompanying traffic map.




A major water line break occurred in The Woodlands under the eastbound lanes of Research Forest Drive near Technology Forest Friday afternoon. San Jacinto River Authority, Montgomery County Precinct 3, and Montgomery County Constable’s Office are all working closely to restore the area. The Woodlands is not anticipated to have interruption of water service.

The cause of the break is not known at this time. The leak has been isolated and work has begun to repair the underground line. Valves have been closed to reduce pressure and flow to the water line that is about 11 feet below Research Forest Drive.

“While we are unclear on exactly how long traffic will be disrupted, we feel confident that we are looking at days and not a week,” said Jace Houston General Manager of the San Jacinto River Authority. “We’re working with the county to get the westbound lanes open soon; eastbound will take a little longer. Our top priority is to reopen all lanes on Research Forest Drive as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Alternate Routes Encouraged. Travelers are encouraged to avoid Research Forest Drive if possible. If traveling in the area over the weekend:

• Traffic will be heavy in the area, particularly at New Trails and Technology Forest.
• East-west traveling motorists are recommended to avoid this stretch of Research Forest Drive
• Use alternative routes such as Woodlands Parkway, Lake Woodlands Drive, and SH 242
• Plan ahead for Sunday travel
• Have an alternate plan for school travel Monday morning.

Traffic information and alternate routes will be updated frequently.

Conroe ISD, The Woodlands Township, Woodlands Water, and other partners have been notified of the latest developments. Please continue to check San Jacinto River Authority on Facebook San Jacinto River Authority SJRA for updates.

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