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charris911

290 Project

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This is the email, I got back from TxDOT relating to improvements to be made on US 290, prior to the Hempstead Tollway and mainlane expansion project.

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From: TXDOT

There are several interim intersection projects on US 290 between IH 610 and Jones Road that have been given the go-ahead, which should help traffic move before the main construction on US 290 begins. Work on the following improvements is scheduled to begin in the later part of 2008:

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Is Melissa Deaver (US 290 Program Public Involvement Manager) the woman pictured at the top of each of the pages on the website? Geez -- it takes some arrogance to plaster your mug shot all over a public web site like that. Or political aspirations (which is worse).

That aside, the single best thing that could happen to 290 in the meantime is to turn the median from 1960 to Barker Cypress into an HOV lane. (Or diamond lanes) But it sounds like that's not happening.

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Yeah. I dont think so, but know if that is here. Regarding the reply, I dont think the outlined improvements will do much, other than allow better flow of traffic onto the freeway (which the freeway is the problem). TXDOT when I called, said it all relates to the West Loop's capacity.

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Yeah. I dont think so, but know if that is here. Regarding the reply, I dont think the outlined improvements will do much, other than allow better flow of traffic onto the freeway (which the freeway is the problem). TXDOT when I called, said it all relates to the West Loop's capacity.

It seems as though a few of the projects will improve flow on the frontage roads, which would indirectly help the freeway by allowing more people to take the frontage roads as an alternative.

Edited by CDeb

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I wonder if they'll ever put an overpass at 290 and Cypress-North Houston Road. That seems like a good location for one.

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I didn't know Cypress N Houston ever hit 290.

Yea it runs behind Cy-Fair HS and Barker Cypress intersects w/ Cypress N Houston. I'm sure they will build an overpass w/ the new freeway, like with Green House and West Green on I-10.

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Yea it runs behind Cy-Fair HS and Barker Cypress intersects w/ Cypress N Houston. I'm sure they will build an overpass w/ the new freeway, like with Green House and West Green on I-10.

Also, eventually Cypress-North Houston will connect all the way to Fry (by Cypress Ranch High School) where it turns into North Bridgeland Lake Parkway which will connect to the Grand Parkway.

In the other direction it runs roughly parallel to 1960 until it hits Jones road.

Edited by aggie0083

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Upcoming Public Hearings

In association with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will hold one Public Hearing over three nights to solicit comments relating to environmental issues presented in the DEIS.

Identical information will be presented at all meetings; therefore, it will not be necessary to attend every meeting. Informational displays and individuals knowledgeable about the DEIS will be available at 6 p.m., with the Public Hearing starting promptly at 7 p.m.

The Public Hearing will be held at the following locations:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sheraton Brookhollow

3000 North Loop West

Houston, Texas 77092

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dean Middle School

14104 Reo Street

Houston, Texas 77040

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Berry Center

8877 Barker

Cypress, Texas 77433

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Yea it runs behind Cy-Fair HS and Barker Cypress intersects w/ Cypress N Houston. I'm sure they will build an overpass w/ the new freeway, like with Green House and West Green on I-10.

An overpass on what freeway?

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On 290 right past Telge, I beleive, past Cy Fair HS. Yea I saw on Fry rd next to that new HS that there was an Intersection with Cypress N Houston.

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On 290 right past Telge, I beleive, past Cy Fair HS. Yea I saw on Fry rd next to that new HS that there was an Intersection with Cypress N Houston.

Yeah, about a mile past Telge and a mile before Barker Cypress.

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Any one attend any of the 290 meetings? I missed the one on the 24th at the Bery center. :angry2:

I was at the Berry Center meeting. It was probably the least contentious public hearing I've ever been to. Just about everyone out on that end of the corridor wants the project, quite a few wanted rail sooner (as do I). There were very few spoken public comments (about 5-6). There were a few of the green types there to nitpick on the DEIS.

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I was at the Berry Center meeting. It was probably the least contentious public hearing I've ever been to. Just about everyone out on that end of the corridor wants the project, quite a few wanted rail sooner (as do I). There were very few spoken public comments (about 5-6). There were a few of the green types there to nitpick on the DEIS.

I know its early in the game but did they address aesthetics? I'd like to see more landscape and architectural features than the basic utilitarian 290 that we have now. I've noticed a lot of the rebuilt freeways in Texas have incorporated this into the design (ie. North Central Expressway in Dallas, I-10 Project in Houston, Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock, 183 in Austin, etc). Did this issue come up?

Edited by mrfootball

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I know its early in the game but did they address aesthetics? I'd like to see more landscape and architectural features than the basic utilitarian 290 that we have now. I've noticed a lot of the rebuilt freeways in Texas have incorporated this into the design (ie. North Central Expressway in Dallas, I-10 Project in Houston, Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock, 183 in Austin, etc). Did this issue come up?

Aesthetics weren't specifically addressed at the meeting, but they are addressed in the DEIS:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/...S%20Sec%205.pdf

It's pretty general, but most of that will mostly likely be tackled in detailed design.

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So, the Grand Parkway/US 290 interchange is going to be a stack. just like the I-10/Grand Parkway interchange?

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They need to fix that inbound exit for FM 1960. Very dangerous. Often gets very backed up...even into the mainlanes.

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What should they do? Add two lanes to exit? Traffic on 59 gets backed up (outbound in the evening) to Highway 6 because there is only one lane exiting.

Edited by Trae

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Looks like the people coming from Hwy-6 will come out better than the people coming from 1960. Lot better entrance/exit to both 290 and Hempstead HOT. Although the 1960 traffic will have to go through the 1960/290 intersection at least they will not have to share it with the people going to Hwy-6.

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Yea it runs behind Cy-Fair HS and Barker Cypress intersects w/ Cypress N Houston. I'm sure they will build an overpass w/ the new freeway, like with Green House and West Green on I-10.

According to schematics there will not be an overpass @ Cypress N Houston. I noticed that Jones will be extened though to W Little york eventually. I am curious to were Jones Rd will intersect with Fm 529 y W Little York.

I also like how they incorporated a bypass on the feeder for Fm 529 so that you dnt have to stop @ Senate or Beltway 8. It looks like the tollway will be built over some new buildings on 529 and Brittmore as well as a new Neighboorhood next to Cy-Falls.

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TEXAS TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION ALLOCATES $314.6 MILLION TO ADVANCE US 290/HEMPSTEAD CORRIDOR PROGRAM

Published 11/20/2009 - 1:19 p.m. CST

Rate This Article:

1

HOUSTON – The Texas Transportation Commission has approved an allocation of $314.6 million in Proposition 12 funds to advance construction on the IH 610/US 290 Interchange, Phase I of the US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program.

Approved by voters in November 2007, Proposition 12 authorizes the issuance of $5 billion in general obligation funds for transportation projects. In mid-2009, the Texas State Legislature authorized TxDOT to go to contract on approximately $2 billion of those voter-approved funds for non-tolled highway projects. The US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program was identified by TxDOT’s Houston District and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) as a corridor project of statewide significance, and was one of several projects submitted for consideration to the Texas Transportation Commission in October 2009.

The approved allocation will advance planning, design, right of way acquisition and construction activities on several segments of the IH 610/US 290 Interchange. Currently ranked 13th on the 100 Most Congested Roadway Segments in Texas, the IH 610/US 290 interchange is the congestion point for three major thoroughfares in the Houston District, IH 10, US 290, and IH 610. Work on the interchange project will include reconstructing and widening both the IH 610 North Loop and US 290, as well as constructing direct connectors between those facilities and IH 10. As a stipulation for the use of Proposition 12 funding, the IH 610/US 290 Interchange reconstruction project must be scheduled for letting by May 2011.

For more information regarding the US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program, please contact the US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program Public Information Office at (713) 354-1532 or at (713) 354-1556. Additional information is also available on the Program website, www.my290.com

----------------------------

This will be one of the most advanced freeway systems in Texas complete with Commuter Rail, Bike Lanes, Tollway and expanded lanes. Let's get this baby on the fast track.

Edited by mrfootball

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http://www.chron.com...it/6734353.html

...last week that the Texas Transportation Commission gave the nod to begin spending money on a massive reconstruction of the northwest artery. Or, at least, the first part of the first phase of a massive reconstruction. The $315 million allocation will allow work to begin on rebuilding the interchange of U.S. 290, Loop 610, and Interstate 10. The next 18 months will be spent acquiring rights-of-way and moving utilities. Drivers should start seeing construction in May 2011...

The work will include adding segregated, direct connector ramps to reduce the merging of cars exiting 290 onto the West Loop. For example, one ramp will take vehicles from 290 straight onto I-10 (eastbound or westbound) without making them first join the southbound main lanes of the West Loop.

sad.gif

Widening 290 is still in the future, planners hope. But funding has not been identified for those later phases, and TxDOT in general is facing a depletion of funds unless it finds more revenue soon. Planners are already telling me that raising the gasoline tax will be a big issue in the next legislative session.
Edited by lockmat

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Duplicate thread

Show us the way. Where is the other one? PM mod to have merged.

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The section of 610 connecting 290 and I-10 will have a cross-section with 34 lanes in a right of way that maxes out at 800 feet (0.15 mi) in width.

Looks like fun!

As for the 5-mile Gulf Freeway project mentioned in the article (which is really only a 4-mile project), I'm afraid that it's not going to be enough. It'll only displace the congestion to a bottleneck further down the road...and prevent smart folks from using the feeder underpasses as extra freeway lanes. To have the intended impact and anticipate near-term growth, they would need to take it at least to the NASA bypass...preferably to FM 518.

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Awesome (sorta sarcastic), so if nothing messes with the North Loop construction project it will wrap-up just days before construction starts with the 290-610-10.

While I realize the outcome is going to be helpful and hopefully make traffic flow faster, I'm NOT looking forward the mess of construction.

*mumbling something about no pain, no gain*

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Charles Kuffner has a good chron.com blog entry with an informative 30 minute interview with a woman from Citizens' Transporation Coalition.

http://blogs.chron.com/kuffsworld/2010/06/whats_going_on_with_us290.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+houstonchronicle%2Fkuffsworld+%28Reader+blog%3A+Kuff%27s+World%29

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These two projects are not mutually exclusive. HCTRA will develop any planned toll road that is toll-viable. If both roads are toll-viable, then they both get built. It has nothing to do with prioritizing certain non-financial factors over others; that's just the HCTRA following the legislatively-authorized rules that it is bound to.

They couldn't mention that in the article, of course, because it would mean that there's not a controversy.

For the record: there's not a controversy.

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These two projects are not mutually exclusive. HCTRA will develop any planned toll road that is toll-viable. If both roads are toll-viable, then they both get built. It has nothing to do with prioritizing certain non-financial factors over others; that's just the HCTRA following the legislatively-authorized rules that it is bound to.

They couldn't mention that in the article, of course, because it would mean that there's not a controversy.

For the record: there's not a controversy.

If I remember right, tha't not true according to the interview Kuffner had that I posted a few posts back. Not sure if it's the same interview that T2THC posted.

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If I remember right, tha't not true according to the interview Kuffner had that I posted a few posts back. Not sure if it's the same interview that T2THC posted.

What about it isn't true? I scanned over the CTC comments after you'd posted the link, but didn't bother listening to the thirty-minute interview.

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What about it isn't true? I scanned over the CTC comments after you'd posted the link, but didn't bother listening to the thirty-minute interview.

In the interview, the woman said something about HCTRA reallocating funds away from Hempstead for some reason.

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In the interview, the woman said something about HCTRA reallocating funds away from Hempstead for some reason.

HCTRA issues bonds to raise the funds they need for any given project.

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These two projects are not mutually exclusive. HCTRA will develop any planned toll road that is toll-viable. If both roads are toll-viable, then they both get built. It has nothing to do with prioritizing certain non-financial factors over others; that's just the HCTRA following the legislatively-authorized rules that it is bound to.

They couldn't mention that in the article, of course, because it would mean that there's not a controversy.

For the record: there's not a controversy.

Fact, TxDOT has repeatedly told the public that the Hempstead Managed Lanes will be constructed before US-290 construction begins, to give people travel options and minimize disruption during construction.

Fact, Harris County has not committed to the managed lanes and Txdot has not clearly stated a plan B if the managed lanes are not built. The 290 project team has stated they have some ideas for temporary HOV lanes but not much will happen if anything.

List of HCTRA Projects

IMO there's no project more toll-viable(Maybe the South Sam Houston widening)

In the interview, the woman said something about HCTRA reallocating funds away from Hempstead for some reason.

Robin Holzer"... Last year in June of 2009 Harris county cut there allocation for Hempstead in half to just a little over a billion dollars and they redirected most of that money toward construction of the proposed Grand Pkwy..."

PDF Summary

CTC Comments

"The current proposal for US-290 is predicated on concurrent plans for the Hempstead lanes. In its 2008 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), Harris County allocated $2.05 billion to the proposed Hempstead Managed Lanes over five years. However, in its 2009 CIP, Harris County cut the Hempstead allocation in half, to just $1.08 billion, despite only a 12% decrease in HCTRA’s overall budget from $5.2 billion to $4.6 billion

."

Note: It dose state "As of this writing, the public cannot know what Harris County’s Hempstead Lanes commitment will be in its 2010 CIP, scheduled for public hearing on June 22, 2010. It is unclear whether the County will restore its commitment to build the Hempstead project timely.

So maybe no controversy, after all, if the funding is allocated back to Hempstead come June 22, 2010. If not then sounds like a problem if the FEIS is based on Hempstead managed lanes being built 1st

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Fact, TxDOT has repeatedly told the public that the Hempstead Managed Lanes will be constructed before US-290 construction begins, to give people travel options and minimize disruption during construction.

Fact, Harris County has not committed to the managed lanes and Txdot has not clearly stated a plan B if the managed lanes are not built. The 290 project team has stated they have some ideas for temporary HOV lanes but not much will happen if anything.

List of HCTRA Projects

IMO there's no project more toll-viable(Maybe the South Sam Houston widening)

That seems like it would be intuitive, but the most financially sound toll road alignments are those that do not compete directly with other freeways. They are typically crosstown routes like the Beltway provides and such as the Grand Parkway would provide. The Westpark was doable because it improved upon radial access in a way that neither I-10 or US 59 were very effective at. And the I-10 managed lanes were made possible by the participation of numerous other agencies, which kept certain costs manageable. The Hardy Toll Road, on the other hand, never lived up to financial expectations.

Also bear in mind that whereas the Hempstead corridor is already built up, the path of the Grand Parkway is still mostly rural, making ROW acquisition, engineering, and construction faster and less expensive. Grand Parkway Segment E is also already further along in design and engineering, meaning that it could be completed and open for vehicles possibly years sooner.

So maybe no controversy, after all, if the funding is allocated back to Hempstead come June 22, 2010. If not then sounds like a problem if the FEIS is based on Hempstead managed lanes being built 1st

HCTRA did reel in its long-term capital budget in 2009 as a reaction to the worst part of the financial crisis so as to ensure that certain financial ratios and their debt ratings could be maintained. And yes, in doing so they did appear to place more priority on projects that could be finished sooner. It didn't matter especially much, however, since groundbreaking on major projects was still years into the future. For all practical purposes, what I'd stated earlier is still true. Neither project is mutually exclusive of the other. Each project's timing to completion may be significantly different, but that was going to be true with or without long-term funding commitments in the 2009 fiscal year.

What is much more critical to the time line is that Prop 12 funding will allow TxDOT to proceed on reconstruction of the I-10/I-610/US 290 interchange and improve the freeway out to 34th Street...without federal funds or an FEIS. That's a HUGE project unto itself, and only after it is substantially complete can HCTRA's Hempstead project can tie into it without creating a huge new bottleneck.

The Grand Parkway Segment E could be complete before that, adding an element of relief, however small, and serving a crosstown route, before the Hempstead project would even be physically viable.

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Last night KHOU mentioned that the Toll Road Authority said "No" to TXDOT on toll roads for both the 290 and 288 corridors. I can't find any links (quickly).

Back to the drawing board, I guess?

  • Like 1

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So it's maybe just delayed then, I guess. Oh well.

I have to say that some of the little things they've been doing on 290 lately (extending some exit lanes, mainly) have made a noticeable improvement in traffic. And the extension of the 4th lane west of Beltway 8 to just past Jones Road (westbound) that opened up yesterday has had the biggest impact of them all, at least so far. It's really helped ease the biggest Westbound bottleneck (the BW8/290 interchange).

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No new updates but here are a few recent articles on the expansion.

Work on 290 to start by next summer

TxDOT: U.S. 290 work would cost $4.6 billion

From that first link: "Funding, however, has only been identified for half of the project. Proposition 12, approved by voters in 2007, will provide for inbound improvements. The agency is currently looking for sources of funding to cover outbound improvements."

wow. that sounds awkward.

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