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CoolBuddy06

288 Expansion

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I read sometimes past that 288 will get four more lanes between 59 and CR 56. I've been looking for more info since then but couldn't get anything. Any news, links, timeline on this?

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Well, I went to the TXDoT public meeting on this, but I don't have any links other than my own blog post on it. They had comprehensive drawings, including some innovative entrances and exits near the Medical Center. The 4 lanes will be a congestion priced toll road. Current plan is construction start by 2010, with completion in stages between 2012 and 2014

Edited by ToryGattis

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Wow, fantastic post!

While I'm disappointed in their decision to build a toll road, at least it'll get some people off the free highway. Also, I imagine buses will use the toll as some sort of psuedo-HOV lane...

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I am sure buses would use it.

Was hoping some sort of commuter rail could be built down the middle. Too many tollways going up in Houston.

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Well, I went to the TXDoT public meeting on this, but I don't have any links other than my own blog post on it. They had comprehensive drawings, including some innovative entrances and exits near the Medical Center. The 4 lanes will be a congestion priced toll road. Current plan is construction start by 2010, with completion in stages between 2012 and 2014

Thanks Tory. Your blog gives great info on the project. My wife and I are typical 288 users. We work deep nights just because of the congestion! We're thinking of changing to days but can't stand the unidirectional traffic, which will start off daily at CR 59 or even Hwy 6 when housing market picks up again. Looks like we'll work nights for some more years.

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Talking about rail. I think that would have been the best. Have a light rail that starts at Hwy 6 or further south, make stops at just 4 places: Beltway 8, Airpot Blvd, 610, MacGregor, and terminates at 59. Rideship will be great. I don't see how it won't break even. The same should have been done to I-10. Or what do you think?

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Talking about rail. I think that would have been the best. Have a light rail that starts at Hwy 6 or further south, make stops at just 4 places: Beltway 8, Airpot Blvd, 610, MacGregor, and terminates at 59. Rideship will be great. I don't see how it won't break even. The same should have been done to I-10. Or what do you think?

I'm not sure i'd want to be dropped off at 59 and 288.

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Talking about rail. I think that would have been the best. Have a light rail that starts at Hwy 6 or further south, make stops at just 4 places: Beltway 8, Airpot Blvd, 610, MacGregor, and terminates at 59. Rideship will be great. I don't see how it won't break even. The same should have been done to I-10. Or what do you think?

What's the advantage over Park & Ride on an HOT that is so much more compelling that it could justify several times the cost and also exclude auto traffic and still make sense?

Edited by TheNiche

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What's the advantage over Park & Ride on an HOT that is so much more compelling that it could justify several times the cost and also exclude auto traffic and still make sense?

You've got a point there Niche. I can't think of an outstanding advantage of rail over buses in surburbs. Just love to see things done that will make people use their cars less. I think rail will do that and that people prefer rail over buses.

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Good, because tollways in both directions are pointless on 288. It works on the Katy Freeway because that's a huge employment center. Pearland? Not even close. Why can't they just add another lane in each direction, as well as a HOV in each direction? If they really want the tollway, maybe build one that changes direction during peak times.

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What some people don't realize is that a full rebuild of 288 with added lanes would mean some side projects would have to occur to handle the extra traffic. A similar thing is happening with the 290 project, as portions of 610 and the I-10/610 interchange will be widened to handle the extra traffic coming off of the new 290.

For example, if 288 was widened to 14 lanes (meaning add 4 toll lanes and 2 more free mainlanes) from its present 8 mainlanes inside the loop, I think TxDOT would want to widen 59 between Spur 527 and Polk and completely rebuild or extensively modify the interchange with 288 to accommodate the 6 extra lanes on 288.

There would need to be other things like additional connector ramps to avoid weaving to and from the proposed toll lanes to exit ramps, and widening of the dual freeway downtown which is only 4 lanes in each direction in its current configuration. That would also mean the interchange at I-45 would need to be rebuilt since those current 4 lanes end there, with 2 of those lanes merging into 1 going NB on 45 and the 2 other lanes merging into 1 going SB on 45. Unless the Pierce Elevated was expanded as well (it would probably need to have the northbound lanes cantilevered over Pierce given its current constraints), I imagine there might be worse bottlenecks than those which exist today.

To do this project and make it as beneficial as possible would mean expanding most of the downtown freeway loop, namely I-45 and 59 since 288 dumps a lot of its traffic there. I don't think TxDOT has the funding for such an immense undertaking since some non-tollway infrastructure would be to be modified as a result of a HCTRA project.

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Which is why I believe adding one lane in each direction, and maybe an HOV in each direction, with rail in the middle is the best thing to do. They could also follow the Katy Freeway model through the Katy area by having an auxiliary lane (for entrances and exits off and in the freeway).

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Which is why I believe adding one lane in each direction, and maybe an HOV in each direction, with rail in the middle is the best thing to do. They could also follow the Katy Freeway model through the Katy area by having an auxiliary lane (for entrances and exits off and in the freeway).

His point was that bi-directionality is unnecessary. The traditional reversible-lane HOV or HOT model works nicely along this corridor...for the time being.

As for rail, the freight line along FM 521 gets only moderate use and should be a priority not only for commuter rail service to Brazoria County but to the Richmond/Rosenberg area. ...that is, if commuter rail makes the slightest bit of sense. And I don't think it does (two cents).

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His point was that bi-directionality is unnecessary. The traditional reversible-lane HOV or HOT model works nicely along this corridor...for the time being.

As for rail, the freight line along FM 521 gets only moderate use and should be a priority not only for commuter rail service to Brazoria County but to the Richmond/Rosenberg area. ...that is, if commuter rail makes the slightest bit of sense. And I don't think it does (two cents).

While I agree that line isn't as busy as others, there has been an uptick in rail traffic along there (and others) over the past few months.

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I use 288 daily and the traffic is hardly unbearable. At peak rush hour, the interchanges for 59 and 45 can get backed up, but again, the additionally lanes really aren't needed. Plus, I'd hate to see them tear out the vegetation that was recently planted in the median. The areas with the trees looks so much nicer than the barren parts.

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I use 288 daily and the traffic is hardly unbearable. At peak rush hour, the interchanges for 59 and 45 can get backed up, but again, the additionally lanes really aren't needed. Plus, I'd hate to see them tear out the vegetation that was recently planted in the median. The areas with the trees looks so much nicer than the barren parts.

Lady Bird Johnson had a hand in the plantings inside the loop. I think additional lanes and/or rail would be benefitial south of the Loop. There could be a southward continuation of the Red Line. How fast can those existing trains go on open stretches?

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Lady Bird Johnson had a hand in the plantings inside the loop. I think additional lanes and/or rail would be benefitial south of the Loop. There could be a southward continuation of the Red Line. How fast can those existing trains go on open stretches?

I believe their top speed is around 60-70 mph.

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yes there has been some news on this over the past few months..



"The scope of this study is 26 miles of State Highway (SH) 288 from US 59 in Harris County to County Road 60 in Brazoria County.

Current Conditions

The current roadway features 2 to 4 general purpose lanes in each direction separated by a grassy median.

Proposed Improvements

  • Construction of toll lanes within the existing grassy median
  • Direct-connector improvements at Interstate Highway 610 and at Beltway 8
  • New overpasses at select existing at-grade intersections
  • Improved access to the Texas Medical Center

Partners

This study is a partnership between TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration."


http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/sh288.html



looks like the 288/beltway interchange is going to be made into a 5 stack interchange. its about time.. i wonder what they will do at the 610 interchange? possibly another 5 stack? its a little more "confusing" of a situation though.

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looks like the 288/beltway interchange is going to be made into a 5 stack interchange. its about time.. i wonder what they will do at the 610 interchange? possibly another 5 stack? its a little more "confusing" of a situation though.

 

Schematics were on display at the March 2013 public meeting and can be found here

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/sh288-exhibits.html

 

According to a recent posting on the HGAC web site, TxDOT is attempting to proceed with building the 4-lane 2-way facility (2 lanes each way) "ultimate" design rather than building an interim reversible 2-lane facility.

 

It looks like the Loop 610 interchange won't be a five-level design even in the "ultimate" design. The current main lanes will become toll lanes and the main lanes will go on new structures. I seem to recall from the meeting exhibit that the main lanes overpass everything below, but the online schematic looks like the new SH 288 main lanes structures are one level above Loop 610.

Edited by MaxConcrete

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Schematics were on display at the March 2013 public meeting and can be found here

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/sh288-exhibits.html

 

According to a recent posting on the HGAC web site, TxDOT is attempting to proceed with building the 4-lane 2-way facility (2 lanes each way) "ultimate" design rather than building an interim reversible 2-lane facility.

 

It looks like the Loop 610 interchange won't be a five-level design even in the "ultimate" design. The current main lanes will become toll lanes and the main lanes will go on new structures. I seem to recall from the meeting exhibit that the main lanes overpass everything below, but the online schematic looks like the new SH 288 main lanes structures are one level above Loop 610.

it looks like the 610 interchange may in fact be a 5 stack and Houston might be getting its first (and the nations first) 6 stack interchange.. (at Beltway 8 and 288).

610 has the main lanes of 288 running under 610, with 2 levels of flyovers above 610, and then another level of ramps going over everything else that will be the 288 toll lanes. then for the beltway interchange from bottom to top is the feeder roads, 288 overpass, beltway 8 overpass, then 288 toll lanes, with 2 levels of flyover ramps above that connecting beltway and 288. those will be some HIGH overpasses. i think the 5 stack at i10W and Beltway is 110' so a 6 stack could be 130' easy.

(about 3/4 the way down)

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_toll_lanes/rfq/preqs_052113_presentation.pdf

Edited by cloud713
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