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  1. Got this press release in the e-mail yesterday: Funds Granted to US 290 Corridor Improvements "Projects allow TxDOT to provide congestion relief for US 290 commuters." HOUSTON - The Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Houston District is excited to announce that at its monthly meeting, the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Transportation Policy Council approved the several improvement projects along US 290, which will help ease congestion along the corridor. These projects are moving forward utilizing Proposition 12 bond funding previously allocated by the Texas Transportation Commission. First is the US 290/BW 8 interchange area, known as Project G, which includes (1) the construction of a continuous frontage road along BW 8 at US 290, (2) construction of collector-distributor lanes on US 290 from W. Little York to FM 529, and (3) construction of the US 290 mainlanes and frontage roads from W. Little York to FM 529. Project G totals $144 million and is tentatively scheduled to go to contract for construction in July 2012. Second are the Transportation Systems Management (TSM) projects along US 290 between Eldridge and Cypress Roshill/Fry Road. TSM is a program to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow through freeway operations improvements. These projects, totaling $6.5 million, include: . US 290 intersection improvements at SH 6, Spring-Cypress, Skinner, and Cypress Rosehill-Fry. These will include dedicated right-turn lanes on both sides of US 290 at SH 6, as well as new left-turn lane options. . Intersection improvements on the US 290 eastbound frontage road at Eldridge, including a dedicated right-turn lane onto Eldridge. . Addition of an auxiliary lane on US 290 eastbound between Telge and Huffmeister. . Addition of the US 290 westbound frontage road at Barker-Cypress. TxDOT estimates the TSM projects will go to contract for construction in July 2012. Once these projects are complete, they will enhance traffic flow along US 290 easing the commute for motorists. The reality of the transportation funding crisis still presents real obstacles for advancing the US 290 Program. With the projected cost of the US 290 corridor improvements totaling $2.8 billion, there is still approximately $1.4 billon of the program unfunded. Despite these funding challenges, TxDOT continues to move forward utilizing the resources we have currently to bring congestion relief to commuters.
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