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State Highway 290 Expansion


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TxDot plans on working on 290. It's gonna be expanded several lanes like I-10. There will be a set of HOT lanes.

The question is where to place them. They want to place them either down the center of the highway like the Katy will be. Or they are gonna put thel along Hemstead Highway. If Hemstead the spot I dunno if they're gonna remove the rail tracks or what.

Either way it's a needed improvement.

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The question is where to place them. They want to place them either down the center of the highway like the Katy will be. Or they are gonna put thel along Hemstead Highway. If Hemstead the spot I dunno if they're gonna remove the rail tracks or what.

Either way it's a needed improvement.

TxDOT is soliciting a project manager right now. This indicates the project should start moving forward soon. The tollway from Loop 610 to Jones road is probably first in line (HCTRA), followed by reconstruction of the Loop610/US 290 interchange to accommodate the tollway (TxDOT). Widening of the US 290 main lanes is probably the lowest priority item.

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http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgcha...12-648P5013.htm

The purpose of this contract is to retain one (1) team as a Program

Management Consultant (PMC) to manage and coordinate all activities

associated with the planning, programming, right-of-way, utilities, design,

construction support and public relations of the US 290/Hempstead Corridor

defined as from IH 610 to FM 2920.

The services to be performed by the PMC will include oversight of the

planning and design process. Consequently, the PMC must demonstrate a

thorough knowledge of TxDOT's latest design criteria, specifications,

policies, procedures and standards. Additionally, the PMC will be available

for consultation during the construction phase of the US 290/Hempstead

Corridor as defined above. The PMC must demonstrate its experience, thorough

knowledge, and understanding in the areas of Project Management, Public

Involvement, Roadway/Interchange design, geotechnical investigation,

Hydrologic/Hydraulic Analysis and Design, Bridge Design, Right-of-Way

mapping, acquisition, relocation assistance and property management, utility

coordination and agreement administration, construction sequencing and

constructability, Electronic Networking and Value Engineering procedures.

Critical to the success of the project moving forward will be the PMC's

ability to foster and facilitate team building/partnering concepts between

agencies, design teams, the public, contractors, etc. which will encourage

an open and honest exchange of information and ideas throughout the entire

process.

The PMC will be required to coordinate all the hydrologic/hydraulic

components of the US 290/Hempstead corridor. TxDOT will provide the PMC

with all of the recent preliminary drainage studies performed for US 290

encompassing the limits of the corridor. These drainage studies have

determined the 10-year and 100-year impacts based on the proposed US 290

development, preliminary closed storm sewer system sizing, outfall locations

and impact mitigation recommendations. The PMC's effort is to review and

recommend any changes to these drainage studies. The PMC will work closely

with TxDOT to address any hydraulic/hydrologic issues.

The work to be performed by the PMC will include, in addition to design

oversight, the development of a sequence of construction plan, conducting

constructability reviews and scheduling of construction contracts. The PMC

shall coordinate, manage and implement an extensive public

involvement/agency coordination program to provide information to the public

regarding the construction of the US 290/Hempstead corridor. The campaign

shall educate the public regarding the need for the reconstruction effort,

scheduling, construction duration and use of alternate routes. This plan is

to remain in effect both through the design and construction phases of the

program. The public involvement shall include but not be limited to Public

Relations/Advertising, Research and Awareness/Attitude tracking. The PMC

will establish a public information web site and maintain it throughout the

duration of the project.

The PMC will be required to coordinate and manage the efforts of multiple

section design consultant teams, which TxDOT will select and hire under

separate contracts. The PMC may provide limited PS&E development to include

such items as Noise Abatement Walls, traffic signal interconnects,

intersection improvements, landscape plans, etc. To provide continuous

service of the ITS Control Systems during construction, the PMC will prepare

PS&E for the interim ITS Control Systems. The PMC will work closely with

the State in developing an interim and final high-mast illumination spacing

plan for the limits of the corridor reconstruction.

As per the U.S Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

circular entitled "Major Project Program Cost Estimation Guidance", the PMC

must demonstrate its ability to manage, and track project costs for

escalation during design and construction. The consultant will be required

to establish a management plan that will control, facilitate, expedite,

review, coordinate, audit and report on all aspects of the development of

the US 290/Hempstead Corridor. Areas of expertise included but not limited

to shall be scheduling, budgeting, design criteria and standards, estimating

and tracking the corridor expenditures.

The PMC will perform Subsurface Utility Engineering including utility

investigations, subsurface and above ground, including surveying, prepared

in accordance with AASHTO standards; Utility Adjustment Coordination

including utility coordination meetings with TxDOT engineers and individual

utility companies, communication with utilities, and coordination and

preparation of utility agreements; Utility Engineering including the

identification of utility conflicts, coordination meetings with TxDOT

engineers, individual utility companies and group public utility meetings,

monitoring, managing, and reporting on the utility adjustment agreement

process prior to construction, evaluation of alternatives, plan review for

compatibility of proposed utility adjustments/installations with the highway

design features, compliance with TxDOT's Utility Accommodation Rules, and

reasonableness of cost, review of the utility adjustment phasing, sequencing

and completion time lines, and resolution of utility conflicts; Utility

Monitoring and Verification including the coordination of utility

construction activities, utility installation verification, monitoring,

record management, reporting, and as-built surveying as required by the

State.

The PMC will be responsible to prepare the right of way maps for the US

290/Hempstead corridor and will be responsible for assessing, evaluating,

and directing the work in the right of way to assure the proper disposition

of potentially contaminated material generated by the project. The PMC will

be required to coordinate and manage the efforts of a right of way

consultant team, which TxDOT will select and hire under separate contract.

Additionally, the PMC is to be available to provide expert witness testimony

at right of way condemnation hearings.

A local project office is required to be located along the US 290/Hempstead

Corridor preferably somewhere between IH 610 and BW 8. If the PMC is

located outside of the project area, the Letter of Interest (LOI) will need

to discuss how local presence will be established.

It is anticipated that this project will involve a long term staffing

commitment on the part of the PMC. TxDOT will require that the PMC provide

a Project Manager and two (2) Assistant Project Managers to handle the US

290/Hempstead Corridor program. The team must be structured such that a

full-time person is available to handle the public information/involvement

initiative. The PMC must also show in their organization structure depth of

resources for their hydrologic/hydraulic support staff. The PMC will also

be required to have a minimum of three (3) geotechnical sub-providers and a

minimum of three (3) right of way mapping sub-providers on the team.

The PMC will be required to build, operate, maintain and manage a project

communications network between all project relevant State, Federal and

Consultant personnel (via server, etc.). The network must provide an

effective and efficient means for performing electronic communication (i.e.

internet access). This includes but is not limited to: e-mail

communication and the electronic transfer of all types of files, such as

project reports, correspondence, schedules, spreadsheets, CADD drawing

files, etc. The PMC must also consider file security and timeliness of the

electronic transfers in the design of the system. This will include the

necessary staff to manage, maintain and troubleshoot this system.

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It will be like the katy, but the tolled portion will not be in the center. It is proposed to go along Hempstead highway (along with Metro's future commuter rail). The HOV lane will be removed from US 290 because the toll facility. With capacity of the Toll Road in place, the mainlane reconstruction can wait like MaxConcrete indicates. To me, the biggest headache of US 290 is the interchange with I-610. Reconfiguring this is must to handle the merging and weaving that i induces.

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Guest Plastic

I like it, it's unique. One of Houston' s funniest interchanges.

Maxconcrete.......hahah.

SO if the remove the HOV they'll have more room fo the mainlanes.

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That's the concept. Very little if any new right of way will be needed according to my contacts at TxDOT here in Houston.

The HOV lane will not be removed until the Tollway is completed and operational. They won't be able to add any lanes when the HOV is removed. Just the shoulder lanes that were taken away when the HOV was added.

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The HOV lane is only 19 feet wide with no shoulder on the mainlane side.

You need 24 feet for two freeway grade lanes. Anything smaller will requrie a reduction in speed limit.

I can see the Tollway built, then the HOV lane will just go dormant and not removed until the freeway is rebuilt.

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?

It'll just be empy until the expansion. Also, they'll probably need it to shift traffic over when rebuilding the freeway. It also isn't enough space for Light or Heavy rail. Light rail needs about 50 feet wide of space to run at grade.

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Guest Plastic
?

It'll just be empy until the expansion.  Also, they'll probably need it to shift traffic over when rebuilding the freeway.  It also isn't enough space for Light or Heavy rail.  Light rail needs about 50 feet wide of space to run at grade.

50 ft, that can't be right. THe lightrail downtown runs in a single lane of what used to be for cars. I know that's not 50 ft. You can fit 2 cars inside an HOV lane so therrfore you could have 2 lightrail tracks.

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50 feet is the preferred ROW in areas that can accomodate it. This allows two tracks for nine foot wide cars, a station, and room to keep people away from the trains, as well as get service vehicles to the tracks.

However, the trains can and often do run in less than 50 feet of space. Since the cars are only 9 feet wide and have no open windows and run on track, they could function in as little as 20 or 25 feet. But, METRO does not want to constrain itself if it doesn't absolutely have to.

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I don't see how Metro is gonna put these trains down the highway corridors. There's absoloutley no roon on I-10,I-45, or 59.

DOuble Decker highways is the only soloution.

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I don't see how Metro is gonna put these trains down the highway corridors. There's absoloutley no roon on I-10,I-45, or 59.

The current prevailing view with light rail and promoting urban development is that you want to run the light rail right through the activity center. Think of the University (east-west) line proposed by Metro. You don't run it along the Westpark corridor because there's not much going on there. You run it on Richmond because that's where the activity is. Never mind that Westpark has a rail corridor set aside and light rail will negatively impact traffic flow on Richmond, especially from Shepherd to Main. The prevailing view among "urban planners" and promoters or new urbanism is that you don't run rail in the middle of a freeway.

I tend to agree with the urban planners. Light rail is negligible in terms of transportation benefit, so if you're going to spend a lot of money you might as well get some other benefit. If there is an urban development benefit, then that's a plus. Of course there will be more train-vehicle collisions, but the public seems to accepting of that. But I don't like the idea of using scarce traffic lanes for light rail, especially in cases like Richmond between Shepherd and Main.

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RUnning rail along the freeway is perfect.

FOr a commuter train you don't need too many stops.

Noway I'd runit down Richmond. Now a monorail down Westheimer would be nice.

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Monorail is extremely expensive and inefficient. Just look at the problems Las Vegas is having.

Commuter rail corridors have been chosen. The hardest part is cooperation with the existing railroad companies since they will most likely share the tracks. This is the biggets hindrance to commuter rail. Commuter rail shouln't go right through urban centers. The typically stop just outside and pass right by. Look at London and other large European cities. New York and Chicago even have this setup.

LRT is a concept of future urban density growth where current roads become overload anyway. Most inner city major thorough fares have little capacity when the increase density comes. The concept of removing vehicular capacity along Richmond is supposed to be an increase in people moving capacity with a train. The LRT is mostly seen as putting infrastructure in now for a future expansion. The placement of LRT can also encourage future expansion in the interior of the city.

Look at the new developments being proposed along the east-west line.

The Metropole, the HISD land purchased for a mixed-use development, and several blocks being sold by Wulfe and Co. near and in Midtown close to the rail.

I think the east-west rail will see more initial development around it than the current Red Line.

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  • 3 years later...

Culberson asks fed to pay for U.S. 290 expansion, commuter rail

By AUDREY M. MARKS

Updated: 05.15.09

Citing the exploding growth rate in greater Houston area and an increase in the number of motorists, U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, requested $267 million for two local projects from the federal government Thursday to improve mobility in the region.

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Culberson asks fed to pay for U.S. 290 expansion, commuter rail

By AUDREY M. MARKS

Updated: 05.15.09

Citing the exploding growth rate in greater Houston area and an increase in the number of motorists, U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, requested $267 million for two local projects from the federal government Thursday to improve mobility in the region.

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Wait, isn't this the same congressman who was against the Richmond line, or something, for funding reasons?

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Yes, he was VERY against the light rail and was instrumental (along with DeLay) and making sure the original line went without matching federal funds.

That said, the man gets $$$ from suburban interests (construction firms, builders/developers, government contractors, and Repubs who live out the 290 way). I imagine even the most conservative folks realize that their decision to move way out on 290 might continue to SUCK unless there are options for transit. I am sure the builders of Bridgelands would also LOVE to say you can commute via rail...

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the man gets $$$ from suburban interests (construction firms, builders/developers, government contractors, and Repubs who live out the 290 way). I imagine even the most conservative folks realize that their decision to move way out on 290 might continue to SUCK unless there are options for transit. I am sure the builders of Bridgelands would also LOVE to say you can commute via rail...

I'm not sure that a volley of circumstantial ad hominems is called for.

Just look at the geography of his district. It's as good an explanation as there ever was. His constituents want better mobility (and I'd suspect that that desire trounces party affiliation), and arranging the funds for I-10 really helped his last campaign. Doing the same for 290 certainly couldn't hurt.

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I'm not sure that a volley of circumstantial ad hominems is called for.

Just look at the geography of his district. It's as good an explanation as there ever was. His constituents want better mobility (and I'd suspect that that desire trounces party affiliation), and arranging the funds for I-10 really helped his last campaign. Doing the same for 290 certainly couldn't hurt.

I was going to say that.... now that the district has seen how nice I-10 is, they are FED UP with 290's crappiness and congetion. And keep in mind... he's not supporting light rail, he's supporting COMMUTER RAIL in one corridor.

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I find it interesting how it could be predicted the suburbs would grow so much but the need for rail couldn't be predicted. It's funny Culberson and many of his constituents could not see a need for rail in the 90's but can somehow see a need for it now. Traffic was bad on 290 then, and it confounds me they could not see that it was only going to get worse. Why don't they just widen 290 and toll eveything else like they've been doing up until this point? Why the sudden enlightenment on the positive aspects of rail in a city this size? What is different now on 290 than it was a decade ago? If the need for a expanded Katy Freeway could be predicted, why not the need for rail? Rail to and from Northwest Harris county, now there is a novel idea. It's unfortunate Culberson just figured that out.

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Why the sudden enlightenment on the positive aspects of rail in a city this size? What is different now on 290 than it was a decade ago? If the need for a expanded Katy Freeway could be predicted, why not the need for rail? Rail to and from Northwest Harris county, now there is a novel idea. It's unfortunate Culberson just figured that out.

I was wondering that myself. I figure that throwing in a vehicle that rides along rails as some aspect of a project makes the whole project seem more appealing to the opposing political party, which is totally and completely in charge right now.

I'm not sure that it really matters what Culberson, himself, thinks about the economic appropriateness of commuter rail. From his varied stances on light rail, it is clear that his stated opinions change based on the political necessity of the moment. They reflect whatever stance is necessary to benefit the majority of people in his district given the circumstances that he faces. ...and you know, I'm not sure whether I'd rather have an ingenuine politician that tries to adapt himself to please his constituents or a principled politician that by his very nature reflects his constituency. It's like comparing Culberson with somebody like Ron Paul. Given the choice, I like Paul's ethics better, but I think I'd rather have Culberson representing my interests.

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I say demo Northwest Freeway and make folks commute in and out of town on Old Hempstead Highway. Serve them right for moving out there. Idiots!

I wonder if he's also going to help HCTRA get funding for the tollroad next to the train?

There has to be an alterior motive. No rethuglican in their right mind would ever promote mass transit. Someone needs to watch his contributors and see what new groups are supporting him.

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I say demo Northwest Freeway and make folks commute in and out of town on Old Hempstead Highway. Serve them right for moving out there. Idiots!

Well that's class. People following their American dream and you call them idiots. I'm sure these people are more than happy with where they live.

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Well that's class. People following their American dream and you call them idiots. I'm sure these people are more than happy with where they live.

Give him a break. With only 46 posts, he's got to start bashing those evil Republican suburbanites to build his cred around here.

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...in the 90's but can somehow see a need for it now. Traffic was bad on 290 then...

I traveled up and down 290 a few times in traffic back then, if traffic was just 'bad' I can only imagine what it is now. yikes.

I'm glad st arnolds is moving near downtown, I won't have any reason to go anywhere near that god-forsaken highway after that.

Edited by samagon
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Culberson asks fed to pay for U.S. 290 expansion, commuter rail

By AUDREY M. MARKS

Updated: 05.17.09

Citing the exploding growth rate in the greater Houston area and an increase in the number of motorists, U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, requested $267 million for two local projects from the federal government Thursday to improve mobility in the region.

Edited by mrfootball
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He's my congressman, I live right off Richmond and he was hell-bent against funding Richmond rail. What changed?

He's gotten tons of negative publicity (especially on here ) in regard to his previous positions. Maybe he's decided to side with those he represents? Just a thought.

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First off, my comment about demolishing 290 and letting them suffer was TONGUE IN CHEEK. Dang folks you take things so literally around here.

Second, it was the party of DeLay and Culberson who fought tooth and nail to prevent Houston from having rail anywhere. Remember when Main Street was propose Tom DeLay did everything he could to block it. So metro built it without federal funds. If you're offended by my terminology, get over yourself. We wouldn't be in this situation if the likes of DeLay and Culberson and others would support what is best for the people, not just their deep pocket contributors.

I doubt the 290 support is anything other than money. The opposition to Richmond was driven by 2 factors. 1 Afton Oaks and 2 certain businesses along Richmond. Afton Oaks reached deep into their pockets to voice their opinion. Businesses used scare tactics to try and convince people that businesses along Richmond would go under. And I would be willing to bet a couple of dollars that the businesses who opposed the rail on Richmond were owned by republicans.

The key to the issue with Culberson is to follow the Benjamins. Dollar to donuts he's got some big bucks supporting him in the 290 initiatives.

two different types of rail altogether. and two different groups of people that it affects (one being very vocal)
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We wouldn't be in this situation if the likes of DeLay and Culberson and others would support what is best for the people, not just their deep pocket contributors.

Wait, which situation is that? The situation where all of METRO's proposed light rail lines are getting federally funded and built? Or were you actually on topic and referring to the situation where 290 is congested, somehow implying that they were to blame for the inadequate capacity of a freeway planned when they were children and built decades before they held their political positions?

Or was that statement some kind of dry wit that's just over my head, and you are yourself a Republican posing as a Democrat in order to discredit the intellectual capacity of Democrats? I'd consider that plausible.

The key to the issue with Culberson is to follow the Benjamins. Dollar to donuts he's got some big bucks supporting him in the 290 initiatives.

In this one post you have accused politicians of bribery three times. Present your evidence.

Edited by TheNiche
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Second, it was the party of DeLay and Culberson who fought tooth and nail to prevent Houston from having rail anywhere. If you're offended by my terminology, get over yourself.

again....two different types altogether. neither are against rail ANYWHERE if you look at their votes. both have voted money for rail. i'm not the one who's having problem with terminology. all rail is not the same.

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The situation where all of METRO's proposed light rail lines are getting federally funded and built?

The University Line also? I thought the Environmental Impact study on that one was still pending, at least that's what I read in the Chron a couple of weeks ago.

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The University Line also? I thought the Environmental Impact study on that one was still pending, at least that's what I read in the Chron a couple of weeks ago.

That is correct, but Culberson got the specific concessions he wanted and now supports it. And the University Line will undoubtedly score better than the other lines that the Feds have already approved funding for. So the EIS would seem to just be a formality at this point.

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So the EIS would seem to just be a formality at this point.

I thought a full EIS was a requirement to get federal funding of any sort?

I seem to recall this in all the back and forth with the east end line. I haven't heard anything of results of environmental impacts on any of the lines. But, the University line controversy was going on well before I moved back so I could be wrong.

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Speaking about DrFood's comment, many businesses now have operations in northwest Harris (such as Hewlett-Packard on 290). Also the Pakistan consulate is over there. In other words, not everyone in NW Harris commutes long distances.

Edited by VicMan
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I thought a full EIS was a requirement to get federal funding of any sort?

I seem to recall this in all the back and forth with the east end line. I haven't heard anything of results of environmental impacts on any of the lines. But, the University line controversy was going on well before I moved back so I could be wrong.

Yes, that is correct. However, the Final Environmental Impact Statement is prepared to meet standard FTA requirements even though the key outcomes in terms of ridership and cost are already estimated beforehand. As such, the completion of the study is certainly an important step which is on the project's critical path if federal funding is being sought, however it doesn't really have all that much inherent meaning. The controversies specific to the University Line have been resolved, the line has political backing, and it has already been established that its ridership is going to be significantly higher than any of the other light rail lines which have already been funded. ...so unless you anticipate that the amount of federal spending on mass transit is about to dramatically decline, it's pretty well in the bag.

If anything goes wrong at this point, it'll be because METRO shot itself in the foot somehow (which happens a lot), not because the feds were too picky.

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  • The title was changed to State Highway 290 Expansion

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