Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
editor

290/West Loop/Katy Freeway Interchange

Recommended Posts

US 290 Program Reaches Milestone with First Major Construction Contract

"Construction on the IH 610/US 290 interchange begins this summer."

HOUSTON - The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) took bids earlier today for the US 290 Program's first major construction project located at the IH 610/US 290 interchange. Williams Brothers Construction Company, Inc., had the winning low bid of $151.5 million. The Texas Transportation Commission will award the project at their May 26 meeting.

Work on this first contract, known as Project K, includes constructing an inbound direct connector from US 290 and the IH 610 North Loop to IH 10 Katy Freeway, thus eliminating the traffic weaving currently present on the IH 610 West Loop southbound mainlanes. In addition, workers will reconstruct the IH 610 North Loop from Ella to the US 290/IH 610 interchange. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed early 2015.

The US 290 Program Office opened in October 2006 and it is from there that all design, right-of-way, utility relocation and public involvement is coordinated for the 38-mile corridor from the IH 610/US 290 interchange to FM 2920. The Federal Highway Administration granted the program environmental clearance through a Record of Decision in August 2010, allowing the program to move forward with right-of-way and construction activities. TxDOT's Houston District Engineer, Delvin Dennis, P.E., adds, "The beginning of construction signifies a major accomplishment for the US 290 Program. This long awaited project will relieve congestion and improve safety on a portion of the IH 610/US 290 interchange. Motorists will realize peak travel time savings of nine minutes on eastbound US 290 and six minutes on westbound IH 610."

Although TxDOT is excited to begin the major reconstruction of US 290, the reality of the transportation funding crisis still presents real obstacles for advancing the Program. With the projected cost of the US 290 corridor improvements totaling $2.8 billion, there is still approximately $1.5 billon of the program unfunded. The program's next funded project is tentatively scheduled for construction in late 2012 and will build the outbound direct connector at the IH 610/US 290 interchange, from IH 10 to US 290 and the IH 610 North Loop. There is also funding programmed for fiscal years 2014-2019 which would allow construction at the US 290/Beltway 8 interchange and portions of US 290 between Beltway 8 and W. 34th Street. However, at this time there are no construction funds for the US 290 projects west of Beltway 8.

Despite having currently allocated funding, the US 290 Program continues to move forward with corridor wide design plans, which will allow the projects to be ready to go to construction once funding is available.

For more information regarding the US 290 Corridor Program, please contact Karen Othon, US 290 Public Information Officer at (713) 354-1532 or visit the program website at www.my290.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how we just build and build 3 billion projects with no controversy at all, and when we try to get 900 million for METRO, all hell breaks loose.

Edited by mfastx
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how we just build and build 3 billion projects with no controversy at all, and when we try to get 900 million for METRO, all hell breaks loose.

I honestly don't trust METRO. I understand that we need the light rail systems but METRO is sketchy. I'd be hesitant to give them anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly don't trust METRO. I understand that we need the light rail systems but METRO is sketchy. I'd be hesitant to give them anything.

Well, its debatable that all government entities, including TxDOT, are sketchy. I guess it just depends on how you look at things. But back on topic, I think this will be a great improvement in the 290 corridor and, like any infrastructure project, am in favor 100%.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to Houston in the next week or so, and I'm wondering how the construction looks now. I remember driving on I-10 in 2008 when they weren't quite done with the expansion, and man, it was a mess....I'm wondering if there are any construction barrels, closed lanes, etc.

Basically, how does it look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, how does it look?

Mostly gray and flat.. a little bit of white paint thrown in for good measure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to Houston in the next week or so, and I'm wondering how the construction looks now. I remember driving on I-10 in 2008 when they weren't quite done with the expansion, and man, it was a mess....I'm wondering if there are any construction barrels, closed lanes, etc.

Basically, how does it look?

There are some orange barrels along the feeders. Just popped up in the last two or three weeks. They've also been doing a bunch of traffic counts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. $2.8 billion. For re-construction. God forbid we give that much to public transit.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. $2.8 billion. For re-construction. God forbid we give that much to public transit.

Why would we waste that much on transit that no one would use? 290 carries a huge amount of traffic - those folks aren't likely to use one of Metro's poorly designed schemes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would we waste that much on transit that no one would use? 290 carries a huge amount of traffic - those folks aren't likely to use one of Metro's poorly designed schemes.

I cannot tell you the last time I traveled on 290. I ride the rail at least once a week. However, I guess your opinion matters more than mine...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot tell you the last time I traveled on 290. I ride the rail at least once a week. However, I guess your opinion matters more than mine...

I wouldn't put it that way. More like...

The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would we waste that much on transit that no one would use? 290 carries a huge amount of traffic - those folks aren't likely to use one of Metro's poorly designed schemes.

Yes, I suppose METRO's 270,000+ daily riders are "no one." The reason "no one" uses transit is because we haven't invested money into actually building a good transit system. If I may ask, who exactly used the freeways before they were built?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I suppose METRO's 270,000+ daily riders are "no one." The reason "no one" uses transit is because we haven't invested money into actually building a good transit system. If I may ask, who exactly used the freeways before they were built?

I ride a METRO bus daily. However they don't bring me my food and all the other products I use to live. I can live in Houston and stay alive without METRO. Without roads I'd have to move away or starve. METRO is nice but roads are essential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride a METRO bus daily. However they don't bring me my food and all the other products I use to live. I can live in Houston and stay alive without METRO. Without roads I'd have to move away or starve. METRO is nice but roads are essential.

Wait, if we spend $$$ on expanding transit options then there will be no roads? No wonder so many people are anti-METRO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, if we spend $$ on expanding transit options then there will be no roads? No wonder so many people are anti-METRO.

msfatx said

Wow. $2.8 billion. For re-construction. God forbid we give that much to public transit.

My response was probably not appropriate since msfatx argument was false anyway. A lot of this money is indirectly going to public transit. METRO uses 290 too.

My point was that comparing the amount of money spent on public transit to the amount spent on freeway construction is not reasonable. One of the biggest uses for freeways in the Houston area is public transit. I ride METRO every work day down a freeway. Freeways also have many other uses, including keeping Houstonians from starving to death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

msfatx said

My response was probably not appropriate since msfatx argument was false anyway. A lot of this money is indirectly going to public transit. METRO uses 290 too.

My point was that comparing the amount of money spent on public transit to the amount spent on freeway construction is not reasonable. One of the biggest uses for freeways in the Houston area is public transit. I ride METRO every work day down a freeway. Freeways also have many other uses, including keeping Houstonians from starving to death.

On the bright side, Metro's P&R numbers are probably going to increase substantially for people that live in the area. At least, they will for the next few years. Then again, people will probably just use the HOV and slug it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My response was probably not appropriate since msfatx argument was false anyway. A lot of this money is indirectly going to public transit. METRO uses 290 too.

"A lot of this money" is going to METRO indirectly? Hmmm not sure about that. METRO's park and ride ridership along this corridor will only be improved marginally, considering that they already use the HOV lane anyway.

My point was that comparing the amount of money spent on public transit to the amount spent on freeway construction is not reasonable. One of the biggest uses for freeways in the Houston area is public transit. I ride METRO every work day down a freeway. Freeways also have many other uses, including keeping Houstonians from starving to death.

Really? How on earth did we survive before all of these freeways were built, may I ask? Maybe you should consider the fact that if we gave the same amount of money to transit, there wouldn't be a need to keep constantly our freeways as much?

You are making up things. "One of the biggest uses for freeways in the Houston area is public transit.." METRO's park and ride ridership (for ALL freeways, not just 290) is about 30,000 people. That is about the same amount of people that ride our 7.5 mile rail line. Ridiculous argument.

Edited by mfastx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? How on earth did we survive before all of these freeways were built, may I ask? Maybe you should consider the fact that if we gave the same amount of money to transit, there wouldn't be a need to keep constantly our freeways as much?

Well, considering that Houston's first freeway did not open until the late 1940s, and Houston's population at the time was less than today's population inside the loop, I'd say they survived because they were not needed.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I suppose METRO's 270,000+ daily riders are "no one." The reason "no one" uses transit is because we haven't invested money into actually building a good transit system. If I may ask, who exactly used the freeways before they were built?

How can anyone use something that hasn't been built? Presumably, before freeways, people drove on the surface streets that existed.

Houston has a great transit system, consisting mostly of cars that people drive to the places they want to go. I See no reason to change that.

I resent the heck out of having to pay for that piece of garbage train, built by people who disrespect the taxpayers that pay their salaries. The buses that ran that route previously did a good job at less cost and with less disruption to traffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston has a pretty good transit system in the early 1900s, before all of the rails were ripped up. Houston was pretty compact back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston has a pretty good transit system in the early 1900s, before all of the rails were ripped up. Houston was pretty compact back then.

Also remember that it took almost a month to travel from New York to California, the life we would have now would be vastly different it was for the highway system. Love it or hate it, President Eisenhower did the right call for improving our country with the freeway system.

The only thing that sucked was the fact there was no thought into the local transit systems at the time, but with the population being so relatively low, no one could have foreseen how quickly the population would grow OR age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, considering that Houston's first freeway did not open until the late 1940s, and Houston's population at the time was less than today's population inside the loop, I'd say they survived because they were not needed.

Oh I agree. I'm just saying that it's debatable that the amount of freeways we have (and how big they are) are "needed." Sure, they are "needed," but that's because we don't have a good public transit system. They weren't "needed" when they were buit in the first place, however. Houston just chose to build them, and grew around them.

How can anyone use something that hasn't been built? Presumably, before freeways, people drove on the surface streets that existed.

Precisely my argument. How exactly do you know that "no one" would ride a 2.8 billion dollar public rail system?

Houston has a great transit system, consisting mostly of cars that people drive to the places they want to go. I See no reason to change that.

Well there are some who would rather be able to live without a car, or at least not have to use one everywhere they go. Some people like to have the freedom to choose how they commute, and travel around the city in a reliable fashion.

I resent the heck out of having to pay for that piece of garbage train, built by people who disrespect the taxpayers that pay their salaries. The buses that ran that route previously did a good job at less cost and with less disruption to traffic.

False. Light rail is more cost efficient (and therefore costs less in the long run) than buses. Also, it carries more people, which means it does better then buses. You should try doing some research, instead of talking out of your ass.

Also remember that it took almost a month to travel from New York to California, the life we would have now would be vastly different it was for the highway system. Love it or hate it, President Eisenhower did the right call for improving our country with the freeway system.

The only thing that sucked was the fact there was no thought into the local transit systems at the time, but with the population being so relatively low, no one could have foreseen how quickly the population would grow OR age.

Very true indeed. I support this project 100%, and I think 290 is in real need of an upgrade. Yes, Eisenhower did a good job of implementing nation-wide infrastructure, and I also think that Obama's HSR plan (which sadly will never get built) would improve our country as well.

However, I do NOT think it was the right call in terms of MASSIVELY subsidizing highways and airports, while giving almost NO subsidies to public transit (rail).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drive 290 (opposite direction) daily and I live off I-10...the merging from I-10 to 290 is life threatening so this is needed...however, the enormous amounts of cars shows that another option is needed to take cares off the road.

But its like 290 to Austin...backroom deals were made to stop a freeway going directly to Austin from Houston and I'm not surprised if the long process for a real rail system was systematically planned to drag out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

False. Light rail is more cost efficient (and therefore costs less in the long run) than buses. Also, it carries more people, which means it does better then buses. You should try doing some research, instead of talking out of your ass.

Whoever smelt it dealt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So as someone who commutes from roughly 610/Ella to 610/Post Oak (possibly the shortest worst commute possible), I've been wondering.  I think I found my answer.

 

Are they doing nothing to allow I-10 West traffic to bypass the West Loop North straight to 290?  If so, that makes me sad.  The northbound side gets very congested with folks having to cross all the lanes of 610.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So as someone who commutes from roughly 610/Ella to 610/Post Oak (possibly the shortest worst commute possible), I've been wondering.  I think I found my answer.

 

Are they doing nothing to allow I-10 West traffic to bypass the West Loop North straight to 290?  If so, that makes me sad.  The northbound side gets very congested with folks having to cross all the lanes of 610.

 

I think there will be direct connector ramps going from I-10 to 290, bypassing the West Loop.

 

See http://www.my290.com/images/documents/feis/us290gschmortho_opt4_rev_ovrl.pdf

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats pretty much the plan if I remember correctly. It's a wise move imo and is probably something they learned after building the 610- I-10 interchange. The reason why 610 cutting through the Galleria is so congested is because of people getting off the loop trying to get onto the interchange. By separating that traffic from the rest it should reduce congestion immensely.

 

Now instead of NASCARing it across 5-6 lanes of traffic just to get to 610 or to the I-10 Interchange!! now you will be asked to make that decision before you even get off 290 and before you leave the north part of the loop!

 

EDIT: If you look closely the same will be done for those wanting to get from I-10 to 290! It's asking a lot for people to go flying around that ramp and then move across 5-6 lanes of traffic just to get over to 290. A skill not many are able to master lol and shouldn't be asked too. This bypass in both directions is incredibly smart and we might see this implemented in other interchanges that split off to multiple highways *cough 59, 45, and 288 interchanges cough*

Edited by Luminare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I see wrong with this plan is that it's not "complete" until they build the Hempstead Tollway, which is the only one that connects to the NW Transit Center, plus it cannibalizes Hempstead Road. I kind of hope that doesn't happen in a while, to be honest. I kinda like Hempstead Road.  :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't pass that option of the plan. Instead they will do managed lanes like they have on the Katy Freeway. Honestly that's the best option it's pretty silly to branch out a tollway like that and essentially isolating a huge chunk of area between highway's. Not to mention Hempstead Hwy is still a very busy road and I'm quite sure the community would have revolted if it got turned into a toll road especially since it's a low income area.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't pass that option of the plan. Instead they will do managed lanes like they have on the Katy Freeway. Honestly that's the best option it's pretty silly to branch out a tollway like that and essentially isolating a huge chunk of area between highway's. Not to mention Hempstead Hwy is still a very busy road and I'm quite sure the community would have revolted if it got turned into a toll road especially since it's a low income area.

Good. I mean, to me, Hempstead Highway (along with OST) are representations of "old fashioned highways" complete with old motels in need of some restoration. It's one of the areas of Houston that I had never been on before and was happy to do so. As for the widening, that would sure make it nice to go on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shhhhhhhh.... be vewy, vewy quiet about Hempstead Highway.  Let's not let people know how to find it, so it can continue to be an escape valve:ph34r:

 

Instead, let's remind everybody that Hempstead Highway has stop lights on it.  Stop lights adjacent to (not really particularly) sketchy neighborhoods.   :doh:  You never know when a train will show up.   :doh:  There's nothing to see here.  Now get back on the Northwest Freeway and move along, move along.  That's righhhhhhht... there you go...

 

That is all.  (*static*)

 

(Edit:  my mom will no doubt be pleased that my theater no longer looks like it's one with an "X" on the marquee.)

Edited by mollusk
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shhhhhhhh.... be vewy, vewy quiet about Hempstead Highway. Let's not let people know how to find it, so it can continue to be an escape valve. :ph34r:

Instead, let's remind everybody that Hempstead Highway has stop lights on it. Stop lights adjacent to (not really particularly) sketchy neighborhoods. :doh: You never know when a train will show up. :doh: There's nothing to see here. Now get back on the Northwest Freeway and move along, move along. That's righhhhhhht... there you go...

That is all. (*static*)

(Edit: my mom will no doubt be pleased that my theater no longer looks like it's one with an "X" on the marquee.)

Yeah and it's always full of traffic so don't even bother using it just stay on 290 you'd rather be in bumper to bumper traffic up there it's totally awful and congested and not empty down here on Hempstead Highway...trust me I wouldn't be the kind of person who hogs a little known traffic secret from my fellow Houstonians...

But seriously stay away. Hempstead is ours.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you live more north of 290 then I suggest finding a way to get on TC Jester. You are flying going down that way :P. Hempstead Hwy is actually surprisingly quick at least in the morning commute. The evening though.....forget it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you live more north of 290 then I suggest finding a way to get on TC Jester. You are flying going down that way :P. Hempstead Hwy is actually surprisingly quick at least in the morning commute. The evening though.....forget it. 

 

Until you get to 610 and the awesomeness there.Northbound TC Jester at 610 is 3 cars per light, and two lights minimum to turn left. I have dreams of forcing a TxDOT manager to drive that area over and over for a month.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you live more north of 290 then I suggest finding a way to get on TC Jester. You are flying going down that way :P. Hempstead Hwy is actually surprisingly quick at least in the morning commute. The evening though.....forget it. 

 

My love for Hempstead Highway dropped a notch when I had to make a sudden right lane change to avoid an 18 wheeler stopped in the inner lane to try to make a turn. In retrospect, it would've been a lot smarter to keep on the right (less turns there, after all), but I was still in "highway" mode, so to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like those of us who continue south on 290 to the loop through the Galletia area are now squeezed down to one lane?? That's going to get ugly. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like those of us who continue south on 290 to the loop through the Galletia area are now squeezed down to one lane?? That's going to get ugly. . .

 

Wait, I thought the 290 ramp only went to Interstate 10 so that you wouldn't need to change over 3-4 lanes in heavy traffic in a short time. Since when does 290 go to the Galleria area?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, I thought the 290 ramp only went to Interstate 10 so that you wouldn't need to change over 3-4 lanes in heavy traffic in a short time. Since when does 290 go to the Galleria area?

 

He means 610.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like those of us who continue south on 290 to the loop through the Galletia area are now squeezed down to one lane?? That's going to get ugly. . .

 

Wait, I thought the 290 ramp only went to Interstate 10 so that you wouldn't need to change over 3-4 lanes in heavy traffic in a short time. Since when does 290 go to the Galleria area?

He said "290 to the loop "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently 610 South after getting off of 290 it's 2 lanes. All 610 traffic that is coming from North 610 is now on two lanes (I believe) that are on a new portion of the highway. The interchange from 290 to I-10 is two lanes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...it looks like for now, the HOV lane that connects to NW Transit Center is still intact, and the new ramps go under that and connect to the pre-existing Interstate 10 ramps? Do I have that right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...