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Highway 290/West Loop/Katy Freeway Interchange


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The new ramp from 290 East to I 10 is awesome! It's worth going out of your way a bit just to try it out. From the exit point on 290 to where you join up with I 10 heading towards Downtown is a distance of three miles, almost all of it elevated. I'm not positive, but it may be the longest freeway exit in the country. There's a discussion on the transportation forum in Google groups (misc.transport.road), but none of the examples cited there are longer than two miles or so.

 

    

      

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/U-S-290-plans-change-to-single-managed-lane-5859418.php?cmpid=twitter-premium&t=842f3cee94

 

So this was dropped this morning. I actually like the redesign, but I don't understand why they can't do it like what they did for the Katy Freeway?!

 

I swear these people are completely inept...

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/U-S-290-plans-change-to-single-managed-lane-5859418.php?cmpid=twitter-premium&t=842f3cee94

 

So this was dropped this morning. I actually like the redesign, but I don't understand why they can't do it like what they did for the Katy Freeway?!

 

I swear these people are completely inept...

 

By ensuring a continued congested HOV/HOT lane, METRO and TxDOT will have a more vocal local incentive to initiate commuter rail service sooner rather than later.

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  • 1 month later...

Can we move to redesignate 290 as an Interstate now that it links up to two parents on either end? Some work would need to be done between Houston and Austin to bring the road to Interstate standard, but it would be useful to rebrand the highway as an Interstate.

 

IMO it would make more sense to upgrade SH 71 between Bergstrom Airport and Columbus to Interstate standard, and designate the corridor as a spur of I-10.

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IMO it would make more sense to upgrade SH 71 between Bergstrom Airport and Columbus to Interstate standard, and designate the corridor as a spur of I-10.

 

Since TxDOT seems gung-ho on suffixing every branch of I-69, why not have I-69D branch off downtown from I-69 and multiplex with I-10 to Columbus and along 71? :P

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According to a TXDOT exec I know, the single lane HOV/toll is still up in the air. They would like multiple lanes; the problem is the BW8/290 interchange. There's not enough space in the middle of 290 to put multiple lanes without tearing down the flyovers which TXDOTS definitely will not even consider due to its $150 million price. The options they are considering for multiple lanes are double-stacking the lanes OR elevate the lanes off 290 and then around the interchange under BW8; somewhat like the proposal that's on my290.com

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Well, I could see one alternative is building it OVER the existing five stack, making it a six-stack, but I have no idea if the engineering is okay for that, or swing it over the Hempstead Tollway ROW (if it ever gets built, the infrastructure could be recycled). So it would go off at around Senate (going over where Carpet Texas used to be, and swing back in near Little York P&R). Perimeter Park Drive's crossing would be closed, but it could be closed either way.

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Does it need to be rebuilt?

I think the master plan did involve that, yes, but not for many years hopefully. The one at Katy Freeway and Beltway 8 opened 1989 and dismantled...2006, lasting, what 17 years?

The Beltway 8 and US-290 interchange will be approaching a quarter century sometime this year, by the time it ends up being dismantled, it won't seem too much out of the ordinary.

Edited by IronTiger
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Can we move to redesignate 290 as an Interstate now that it links up to two parents on either end? Some work would need to be done between Houston and Austin to bring the road to Interstate standard, but it would be useful to rebrand the highway as an Interstate.

 

 

I don't see this happening anytime soon, but it would be cool if 290 in our area became an extension of I-27 from Lubbock as part of the Ports to Plains highway. From Lubbock southward, I-27 would split at Midland and Odessa, rejoin south of Midland and Odessa, jog over to San Angelo, then follow US87 to TX71 to 290 into Austin and Houston. Alternate routes could take I-27 through Big Spring or Colorado City before going into San Angelo.

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I think the master plan did involve that, yes, but not for many years hopefully. The one at Katy Freeway and Beltway 8 opened 1989 and dismantled...2006, lasting, what 17 years?

The Beltway 8 and US-290 interchange will be approaching a quarter century sometime this year, by the time it ends up being dismantled, it won't seem too much out of the ordinary.

Yeah that one didn't last long but was "necessary" to rebuild due to how big I-10 got. I actually was checking this out on Google Earth the other day using the time function. The old ramps started and exited on the left sides of the new span of the freeway. Kinda crazy to see how big it was widened.
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  • 5 months later...

So for those of us who drive 290 regularly, you might have noticed that work seems to have come to a complete stop between Pinemont and Gessner...which might seem odd to us, since the lanes are barely wide enough for a car and a 18-wheeler, and you'd think TXDOT would love to have this project fully under construction.

 

However, what's really happening is...oh no wait it actually has stopped construction. Like, completely. There are no reports on any local news site, but the contractor for this segment (Segment H) has defaulted and this segment is now under control of the surety insurance contract, who will now begin the process of determining the amount of work completed, how much the former contractor has been paid, and how much the contractor owes for the work completed so far. Once this is finished, TXDOT will rebid the segment, and hopefully in a year's time, this segment will be back under construction. 

 

 

Yay for lowest bids!

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However, what's really happening is...oh no wait it actually has stopped construction. Like, completely. There are no reports on any local news site, but the contractor for this segment (Segment H) has defaulted and this segment is now under control of the surety insurance contract, who will now begin the process of determining the amount of work completed, how much the former contractor has been paid, and how much the contractor owes for the work completed so far. Once this is finished, TXDOT will rebid the segment, and hopefully in a year's time, this segment will be back under construction. 

 

Two Mexican firms which are new to the Texas highway construction scene won large contracts on the US 290 project, OHL and Tradeco Infrastructura. It appears that Tradeco is the firm which defaulted, based on the empty progress report

ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/cmd/cserve/distinfo/cisrpts/005009070.pdf

 

I was somewhat concerned when the firms won the bids because both were an unknown quantity in terms of quality and schedule delivery. (Well, they are unknown in Texas, obviously established in Mexico.) I'm definitely more comfortable with known and proven firms like Williams Brothers or Webber.

 

So on the one hand, it is unfortunate that the default is going to cause a delay and probably a financial cost. But on the plus side, Tradeco Infrastructura will no longer be doing work in Texas, which I view as a good thing since there are plenty of local firms which do a good job, at or below the official estimates most of the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So for those of us who drive 290 regularly, you might have noticed that work seems to have come to a complete stop between Pinemont and Gessner...which might seem odd to us, since the lanes are barely wide enough for a car and a 18-wheeler, and you'd think TXDOT would love to have this project fully under construction.

 

However, what's really happening is...oh no wait it actually has stopped construction. Like, completely. There are no reports on any local news site, but the contractor for this segment (Segment H) has defaulted and this segment is now under control of the surety insurance contract, who will now begin the process of determining the amount of work completed, how much the former contractor has been paid, and how much the contractor owes for the work completed so far. Once this is finished, TXDOT will rebid the segment, and hopefully in a year's time, this segment will be back under construction. 

 

 

Yay for lowest bids!

Not to brag, but Dug sure took his time with this one...

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Work-halts-on-segment-of-U-S-290-widening-6338308.php

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  • 2 months later...

When are they going to finish the connection from I-10 to US-290 west? They completed the other connection less than a year ago, which is wonderful, but returning home was a nightmare last night (going from Pearland). After several missed exits, I was able to get on 610, then failed to change over the four lanes in time, leading me to go back over the 2-3 lanes to exit at Ella, had to turn around underneath the bridge, then stayed on the 290 frontage road, then had to turn right on 34th because there was some sort of accident or construction there (emergency lights, EB 34th totally blocked), then turned right, took Watonga up to Pinemont, and STILL had to do the "death merge" with zero acceleration lane.

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  • 2 months later...
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It looks like it's finally open, at least being able to go right to turn on 290. Honestly, the news makes it sound like the "go right to go left" is unintuitive, but it's not, since left hand exits are a menace that have yet to be eradicated from the freeway system.

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2 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

I do believe that it's only temporary though...

True. The permanent configuration will allow traffic from I-10 to 290 to completely avoid the 610 mainlanes. Currently, traffic from I-10 to 290 still has to join the 610 mainlanes, there's just no more mad dash to the left lanes to get to 290.

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True, but I meant the current ramp that just opened is only temporary. Once that flyover is complete for the I-10 to 290 lanes, the 610 traffic headed north will split from 290 on the left side again. It looks like this ramp is only temporary, or it will remain open for 610 traffic that wants to exit at Durham or Mangum.

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On 5/18/2016 at 10:49 AM, BigFootsSocks said:

True, but I meant the current ramp that just opened is only temporary. Once that flyover is complete for the I-10 to 290 lanes, the 610 traffic headed north will split from 290 on the left side again. It looks like this ramp is only temporary, or it will remain open for 610 traffic that wants to exit at Durham or Mangum.

 

The direct ramp from I-10 to 290 will ultimately connect to the flyover being used for the temporary exit from 610 NB. You're right that 610 NB traffic will once again have to split to the left to get on 290 in the final configuration of the interchange. 610 NB to 290 traffic exiting at Durham or Mangum will have its own exit ramp just past the split from 610. 

http://www.my290.com/images/documents/maps/2015/Projects-J-1-J-2-and-K-I-610-US-290-Plan-View.pdf

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  • 1 month later...

So before anyone freaks out or loses their minds, let me explain what's going on at Antoine...

 

First, a little back story; this specific segment was awarded to a Spanish Contractor (not the same as the Mexican Contractor that defaulted across Texas). For the past 6 or so months, you may have noticed a serious lack of activity on this bridge, as did we all. Recently, you may have finally seen work crews back at it over this stretch...but wait! What the hell?! They're taking the NEW beams off?! 

 

Yeah. So, basically, the Spanish Contractor screwed up the bridge. Actually, that's not the best way to describe it; the Contractor f uuuuuucked up on this bridge; the beans are too short, the columns aren't in the correct place, and the plates that beams rest on are also shot. 

 

TxDOT, being the smart group of people they are (not being that sarcastic btw), told the Contractor he's responsible for tearing out the bridge and replacing it with his own money...which would essentially bankrupt the company.

 

Now, I'm not sure if the Contractor has found a way to fix the columns, but the beams are currently coming out as we speak. I'm also not sure if a Bankruptcy is immenient, but seeing as they're dismantling the bridge without going into default, there's a good sign we won't get a significant delay like we did for Segment H. Let me repeat; THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE WE WONT SEE SERIOUS DELAYS. 

 

Understood? Good. Please return to your regularly scheduled hot takes and freak outs over this insane Freeway. :)

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  • 3 months later...
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On 4/11/2019 at 2:07 PM, Triton said:

Does anyone have a schematic of what the Hempstead Highway will look like?

 

I think it's remaining as-is for now, with maybe the new high speed rail line cantilevering over it. The Hempstead Tollway was supposed to be built along Hempstead Highway, but it got deferred and the plans were changed to put a 3 lane reversible managed lane facility down the middle of 290. TxDOT and Harris County couldn't reach an agreement on who would manage the managed lanes, so they were scrapped in favor of a single lane, reversible HOT lane that existed before the widening. In addition to that, TxDOT is considering making one mainlane into a HOV lane during offpeak hours to offer HOV access in both directions after the whole 290 project is finished. All of that being said, I think the Hempstead Tollway is part of the ultimate plan, but who knows? Perhaps it'll be built alongside the high speed rail line.

Edited by JLWM8609
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  • 8 months later...
  • 10 months later...

The FM 1960 bridge over US 290 is now open! I don't know exactly when it opened, but Saturday a week ago (10/31) it was still closed, and crews were busy doing the final finishing tasks.

 

It's nearly two years since the official opening ceremony on December 15, 2018. Regular closures for pavement texturing on the entire length of main lanes was ongoing until around Spring 2020 (and very annoying). There is still work needed to be done at ground level of the FM 1960 intersection, but the project could be finally, completely done by the end of this year or early 2021.

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They need to do something similar to 1960 at 59 in Humble. The city of Humble and whoever owns the mall and surrounding properties would probably balk at such a proposal though. But there's ample space on the sides due to the huge ditches, and 1960 goes up to go over the railroad already. Having an elevated structure from the railroad overpass all the way to Townsen would speed up traffic and help with congestion at the freeway where Atasocita bound flows get tangled with flows in and out of Deerbrook Mall and vicinity.

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23 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

awesome. Now, if they could do that all the way to Galveston....

 

Putting overpasses on all major intersections will kill the businesses there and will not happen. It is sacrificing local people for the benefit of passers-by.

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On 11/9/2020 at 6:50 PM, Boojel said:

 

Putting overpasses on all major intersections will kill the businesses there and will not happen. It is sacrificing local people for the benefit of passers-by.

That ship sailed long ago when traffic shifted from Old Galveston Road to the current alignment back in the 50s.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Highway 290/West Loop/Katy Freeway Interchange

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