HOUSTON, TX—Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and Rep. Mike Schofield (R-Katy) are pleased to share the latest news on the redevelopment of US Highway 290 and the nearly completed I-610/US 290 interchange. Construction continues this fall and through next year, and 290 is on track for completion in 2018, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The current interim plan from the 610 Loop along 290 out to the Grand Parkway will be completed at a cost of $1.27 billion.
“Everyone can relate to how utterly frustrating it can be to be stuck in traffic when you're simply trying to get from Point A to Point B, especially along 290,” Rep. Bohac said. "But I am pleased to report that substantial progress in being made and the end is in sight. We now have some real relief with the virtual completion of the 290/610 interchange—which is more than 85% finished—and the soon-to-be completed projects along the entire stretch of US 290 in Harris County.”
“The completion of the 290 widening will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people in our area who have been stuck in traffic every day for years.” Rep. Schofield added. “US 290 will always be crowded, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel to a day when the commute to and from work will be a lot more reasonable and a lot less stressful.”
Construction began on the Highway 290 Project in June of 2011 with the I-610/US 290 interchange and has extended to 13 program projects along the 38-mile stretch from the 610 Loop to the Harris/Waller County Line. When finished the US 290 roadway will feature five lanes in both directions between I-610 and SH 6/FM 1960, four lanes in both directions between SH 6/FM 1960 and SH 99 (Grand Parkway), and three lanes in both directions between SH 99 and the Harris/Waller County line. Further, there will be a barrier separated, reversible High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane between I-610 and SH 99.
Additionally, installation of Next Generation Concrete Surface "quiet pavement" is being applied to all US 290 projects. This noise mitigation technique places longitudinal grooves in the concrete pavement, which minimizes the amount of tire/pavement noise.
TxDOT’s ultimate vision for the US 290 Corridor involves the construction of a parallel Hempstead Tollway from Loop 610 to Grand Parkway. Due to current funding conditions, that roadway will not likely be built for 20 years.
The estimated cost of the entire US 290 Program improvements, including construction of the Hempstead Tollway, is $4.7 billion. That includes funding for design, engineering, construction, right of way acquisition and utility relocations. With regard to the Hempstead Tollway, it does not include the cost of designing and constructing the High Capacity Transit Corridor for which they are reserving space.
The reconstruction of US 290 is essential due to the exploding rates of growth in the Houston region. The City of Houston is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States and the largest in Texas. With regional growth-rate predictions at approximately 72 percent between the years 2010 and 2040, traffic congestion and transportation-related problems will follow. Without substantial changes, the current regional transportation network will be unable to provide an acceptable level of service on many travel corridors. In particular, the US 290 Corridor has experienced considerable growth. With the current corridor population at 698,000 and a projected 2040 population of 1.1 million, this corridor is facing serious transportation issues.
On November 4, 2014, Representative Dwayne Bohac was re-elected to represent House District 138. He is a small businessman and lifelong district resident. During the 79th Legislative Session, Rep. Bohac passed legislation officially designating the stretch of US 290 between the 610 Loop and the Harris/Waller County line as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway. New TxDOT signage will be erected bearing the designation upon completion of the Highway 290 Project.