BACKGROUND -- HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people travel up and down US 290 between IH 610 and FM 2920 in Waller. In the future, thousands more will join in that traffic flow because the population growth rate of the Houston region is exploding.
In fact, it is growing so fast that the population is expected to increase by approximately 29 percent between the years 2010 and 2040. For the US 290 corridor section between IH 610 and FM 2920, the current population of about 688,000 is projected to expand to 964,000 in that time frame.
With that kind of rapid growth, there will obviously be many more people driving beside you each day. And, with that, comes additional problems. If the corridor remained the same as it is today, that would mean you and countless other US 290 motorists would experience significant amounts of traffic congestion and other aggravating transportation-related headaches. That's why we're already looking ahead to fix those problems for you.
The US 290 Program, which entails reconstruction of US 290 and construction of the parallel Hempstead Tollway, covers a corridor of varying width that is approximately 38 miles long, extending from the interchange area of IH 10/IH 610/ US 290 northwest to FM 2920. In August 2010 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the plan to build both roadways.
But due to funding challenges, that ultimate concept is not currently feasible. TxDOT and the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2012 to work together on an interim solution for US 290. This partnership allows us to accelerate the construction schedule on the US 290 projects between I-610 and SH 99 (Grand Parkway), and these projects will be under construction by 2014 with a targeted completion date of 2017. TxDOT will provide $1.4 billion and HCTRA $400 million in funding for a total cost of $1.8 billion. The proposed improvements for the interim solution will build four general purpose lanes both inbound and outbound with three or two reversible managed lanes in the middle carrying high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and tolled traffic. Click here to learn more about the Interim Managed Lanes and click here to learn details about each project portion.
The ultimate project is anticipated to be constructed by 2035, which would include the Hempstead Tollway. The ultimate program vision is described below.
The overall vision for the US 290 Program includes:
Construction Project Status
Project K-Began in June 2011 at IH 610/US 290 interchange, will build direct connector from US 290 to IH 10.
Project J-1-Began in February 2013 at IH 610/US 290 interchange, will build direct connector from IH 10 to US 290.
Project G-Anticipated to begin in spring 2013, will build improvements at US 290/Beltway 8 interchange.
Transportation System Management (TSM) Projects-Began in October 2012 and will improve several US 290 intersections from Eldridge to Cypress Rose Hill-Fry.