Houston, TX -- As we enter the heavy summer travel season, Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) shares the latest update on the major redevelopment of Highway 290 and the opening of an important piece of the project involving the Grand Parkway Interchange (SH 99).
"Everyone who has spent any time in Houston 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. "With our longest and busiest travel season of the year fast approaching, it is worth noting that we now have some real relief with a recently completed project along Highway 290 at the intersection of Grand Parkway."
An important piece of getting the Northwest Freeway moving is directly related to the newest phase of the Grand Parkway, a 15-mile, four-lane toll road providing nonstop travel between I-10 West and US 290. This project cost $320 million and was completed in 27 months. “On my way in from College Station a few weekends ago, I traveled this new segment from Cypress to my home off I-10, and compared to my typical Beltway 8 route, this was heavenly,” Rep. Bohac said.
When completed, the Highway 290 project, which seeks to reduce traffic in Northwest Houston, will extend 38 miles from the Harris/Waller County Line all the way to the 610 Loop. This artery serves as a major transportation route to multiple economic centers, including Downtown, Uptown and the Texas Medical Center. The entire proposed project by TxDOT (in partnership with the Harris County Toll Road Authority) will cost $4.7 billion and includes a parallel Hempstead Tollway along the Hempstead Highway. The interim plan from the 610 Loop along 290 out to the Grand Parkway will be completed by 2017 at a cost of $1.8 billion.
The interim plan for the design of 290 calls for four general-purpose lanes with two- or three-lane frontage roads and two or three reversible managed lanes in the middle carrying high-occupancy vehicles (very similar to I-10 between the Loop and Katy). Further, the 290 project includes “flyover” direct connector lanes that will allow commuters to go directly from 290 at 34th Street and from the Loop at T.C. Jester to I-10 without having to weave through the convergence at the Loop, as has been the traditional route.
"Northwest Freeway/Highway 290 reconstruction is critical to the future success of Houston and Harris County," Rep. Bohac said. "With nearly a quarter of a million cars per day going through the 290/610 interchange and with over 1500 accidents per year, this construction--though frustrating and confusing at times--is mission critical to get 290 moving. Like most commuters, I dread the Northwest Freeway at rush hour.”
"With our state population expected to grow 50% by 2040, transportation and infrastructure is something we cannot ignore if we expect to keep the Texas economy moving," Rep. Bohac said. "If transportation is not the #1 issue, it needs to be 1b or 1c."
On November 6, 2012, Representative Dwayne Bohac was re-elected to represent House District 138. He is a small businessman and lifelong District 138 resident. During the 79th Legislative Session Bohac renamed the stretch of 290 between the 610 Loop and the Harris County Line the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.