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Actual location of renderings: http://drive288.com/southmore-bridge/    

288 floods by design. That's going to happen regardless of any improvements due to the freeway being depressed and having a low crossing over Brays Bayou. As a 30+ year resident of Riverside Terrace,

Southmore Bridge design

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  • 2 weeks later...

I noticed what look like straddle bents going over the 610 WB feeder just before Almeda. I guess that's for the direct connector from the interchange to Almeda Rd.?

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to TX 288 Toll Lane to Start Mid 2016
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On 3/16/2020 at 1:37 AM, JLWM8609 said:

I noticed what look like straddle bents going over the 610 WB feeder just before Almeda. I guess that's for the direct connector from the interchange to Almeda Rd.?

I would say the connection is not "from the interchange" but rather is from the westbound 610 main lanes. The exit will have a flyover to go over the connections from SH 288. This project will extend the 610 bridge over Almeda to also go over Cambridge. I drove through the area today and all traffic is on the south side of the existing pavement to allow work to start on the new westbound bridge over Cambridge.

 

20200502-alemda-ramp.png

 

20200502-cambridge.png

 

20200502_024-1600.jpg

 

 

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On 5/2/2020 at 5:39 PM, MaxConcrete said:

I would say the connection is not "from the interchange" but rather is from the westbound 610 main lanes. The exit will have a flyover to go over the connections from SH 288. This project will extend the 610 bridge over Almeda to also go over Cambridge. I drove through the area today and all traffic is on the south side of the existing pavement to allow work to start on the new westbound bridge over Cambridge.

 

20200502-alemda-ramp.png

 

20200502-cambridge.png

 

20200502_024-1600.jpg

 

 

Is this part of the 288 project or a separate project?

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1 hour ago, JLWM8609 said:

Is this part of the 288 project or a separate project?

It's a separate project from the 288 toll lanes and adjacent interchange. The $117 million contract was awarded to Williams Brothers in September 2018 (not 2019). I was wondering if the contract actually proceeded since nothing happened for over a year. Now I'm thinking it was delayed to allow the interchange work to be completed, and/or to avoid interference between contractors.

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/09063002.htm

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17 hours ago, MaxConcrete said:

It's a separate project from the 288 toll lanes and adjacent interchange. The $117 million contract was awarded to Williams Brothers in September 2018 (not 2019). I was wondering if the contract actually proceeded since nothing happened for over a year. Now I'm thinking it was delayed to allow the interchange work to be completed, and/or to avoid interference between contractors.

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/bidtab/09063002.htm

I can't tell from the schematic, but are they extending the current Almeda overpass structure, or constructing an all new overpass structure over Almeda and Cambridge?

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Didn't get any pics, but they switched the 288 NB traffic to the new NB lanes today. It'll be a while before people get used to the 610 exit being in the left lane. People were backed up at Yellowstone trying to make a u-turn back to 288 SB to 610.

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On 5/4/2020 at 3:02 PM, JLWM8609 said:

I can't tell from the schematic, but are they extending the current Almeda overpass structure, or constructing an all new overpass structure over Almeda and Cambridge?

I got my own answer today. I saw them demolishing the WB overpass.

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I know the construction has been a mess with the different stages they're doing things in, but I honestly think that after its all finished that this could end up being the best designed highway in Houston. I really like how the entrance, exit ramps for the interchanges come up on the left side, in between the free lanes and the toll lanes so they can both merge together up onto the ramp instead of ending up with a mess like the Katy Tollway where you exit off the toll lanes and then have to cross over a half dozen lanes of traffic to get to the exit on the far right. Sure it'll take a while for some people to get used to the exits being on the left of the main lanes, but its a much smarter transition to get both the toll lanes and the main lanes onto the interchanges for the Beltway, 610, etc.

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You would have thought the pandemic would have allowed them to speed up the construction, but instead its sorta just continued. The Southmore bridge is way passed the promise date, and its just sorta been sitting at the same point for a while. They have finalized entrance and exit ramps during this time, and part of the south 288 in and around pearland, so I wonder if they are rushing to get that done, and then working their way up, which seems like an OK strategy. 

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Apparently the workers have been getting sick

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Texas-288-tollway-opening-pushed-to-end-of-year-15450155.php

Quote

 Since March, dozens of workers have tested positive for the coronavirus or quarantined as a precaution.

“If one person is sick or has a fever, it affects that entire crew,” Edwards said.

 

At peak in late June, Edwards said 74 workers were sick, representing 10 percent of the workforce.

 

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6 hours ago, X.R. said:

You would have thought the pandemic would have allowed them to speed up the construction, but instead its sorta just continued. The Southmore bridge is way passed the promise date, and its just sorta been sitting at the same point for a while. They have finalized entrance and exit ramps during this time, and part of the south 288 in and around pearland, so I wonder if they are rushing to get that done, and then working their way up, which seems like an OK strategy. 

 

The Southmore bridge was torn down at least a few months before I moved away from that area in July 2018... I hadn't been over there in a while, so when I was driving down 288 the other day I was shocked to see it still wasn't finished. I think I remember them saying it would be closed for about one year, and now it's been well over two.

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According to that Chronicle article, it should open "soon" but there's a separate pedestrian bridge that won't be open - so if you want to walk across the freeway tough luck

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When work wraps up in a few months and motorists make their way onto the lanes, they will do so under far different conditions than when the project was conceived. Freeway traffic remains about 10 percent below typical volumes — significant enough along Texas 288 that the northbound morning commute just inside the Sam Houston Tollway has been virtually delay-free. Even if congestion increases slightly, traffic could move smoothly enough to keep drivers in the free lanes.

 

Edwards said the private firms behind the tollway, part of a $2.1 billion, 52-year deal with the state, still are assessing the effect any changes in demand will have on the revenues raised by the project in the early years.
Conceding past estimates were too ambitious, builders of the tollway in the center of Texas 288 from Interstate 69 to Brazoria County say the pay lanes will open by the end of the year, as some minor work continues into 2021

 

While they say its because people are getting sick, and I don't doubt they are and that is terrible (and raises a separate discussion if construction should have been allowed during COVID), the real reason is probably the above: that they "overestimated" demand and because of COVID/stay at home work/layoffs the economics of the project is thrown into whack. So now they might want to slow play it and potentially dial back some because the estimated tolls is lower.

 

I think the damning thing is that "even if congestion increases slightly," because of all the work they've done on the free lanes, traffic will be smooth and they'll have a tollway that is used at a lower rate than their estimation, probably much lower. What a great article, some good insight into how traffic is affecting tollways. 

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42 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

While they say its because people are getting sick, and I don't doubt they are and that is terrible (and raises a separate discussion if construction should have been allowed during COVID), the real reason is probably the above: that they "overestimated" demand and because of COVID/stay at home work/layoffs the economics of the project is thrown into whack. So now they might want to slow play it and potentially dial back some because the estimated tolls is lower.

 

I think the damning thing is that "even if congestion increases slightly," because of all the work they've done on the free lanes, traffic will be smooth and they'll have a tollway that is used at a lower rate than their estimation, probably much lower. What a great article, some good insight into how traffic is affecting tollways. 

 

Unlikely they are dialing back the construction schedule because tolls might be less than expected.  In addition to the possible daily delay penalties imposed by the contract, they don't start collecting tolls until the project is done.  They have already committed/borrowed the money to build it.  Their payoff is collecting tolls. No doubt, they are more eager than anyone to get the thing completed and operating.

Edited by Houston19514
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On 8/3/2020 at 10:57 PM, cspwal said:

According to that Chronicle article, it should open "soon" but there's a separate pedestrian bridge that won't be open - so if you want to walk across the freeway tough luck

 

The Southmore bridge opening looks imminent. Traffic lights have been installed but not powered up. Tonight as I was driving past, I could see all the street lamps on the bridge and at the intersections were all illuminated. As far as walking across, I saw some of those orange, water filled jersey type moveable barriers to create temporary sidewalks on the road bridge while the pedestrian bridges are under construction.

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I noticed this last week. Unless that braided ramp on 610 is going to have a steep drop off, that sign assembly looks too short. The braided ramp project is separate from the 288 project so maybe the 288 project didn't take that into consideration. 

 

20200823_152405.jpg

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That's a registration sticker, not inspection, and registration requirements have been suspended due to the pandemic (and until 60 days after the governor ends the emergency declaration) so there is no need to spend the money on registration at the moment.

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5 hours ago, rechlin said:

That's a registration sticker, not inspection, and registration requirements have been suspended due to the pandemic (and until 60 days after the governor ends the emergency declaration) so there is no need to spend the money on registration at the moment.

Technically, it's both registration AND inspection, since you can't get the registration without the inspection. Stupid change to the law that screwed me out of the free year of inspections over the life of a car by getting it done a month late every year. I suppose that is the epitome of a first world problem.

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As with many of the State of Texas responses to the pandemic, the actual effects of the orders and proclamations are less than clear, less helpful than they sound, and contain a bit of a Catch-22. 

 

While the registration requirement is abated for the time being, it does not appear that the inspection requirement was likewise abated.  Registration stations have been open throughout this whole ordeal.  Once your vehicle is inspected, you can renew registration online.  With the paranoia ingrained from growing up adjacent to the Villages (and the VoPos) followed by the Ps moving to Jersey Village, and coming of driving age as a long haired hippie type freak during the Herman Short / Harry Caldwell / prisoners in the bayou / throw down guns era, and knowing that the status of your registration, insurance, and inspection are all now tidily stored in a DPS database that any beat cop can access at any time the mood strikes them, IMHO the prudent thing is to go ahead with the renewals if you're going anywhere that the cops are often looking for a reason to pull people over.  Same thing applies if you have personal characteristics and / or a vehicle that make you more vulnerable to being stopped for "investigation" of the possibility of suspicion of suspicious activity (i.e., a pretext stop).

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If you're ever in Houston
Well, you better do the right
You better not gamble
Yeah, you better not fight at all.
Or the sheriff will grab ya
And the boys will bring you down.
The next thing you know, boy
Oh, you're prison bound.

 

Oh, let the midnight special
Shine a light on me.

Ledbelly wrote his version of that song while stuck in the TC Jester Unit in Sugar Land

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8 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

If you're ever in Houston
Well, you better do the right
You better not gamble
Yeah, you better not fight at all.
Or the sheriff will grab ya
And the boys will bring you down.
The next thing you know, boy
Oh, you're prison bound.

 

Oh, let the midnight special
Shine a light on me.

Ledbelly wrote his version of that song while stuck in the TC Jester Unit in Sugar Land

Couple of corrections:

 

The TDCJ Jester Unit was named after Beauford Jester, a Texas Governor from 1947 to 1949, long after the song was recorded. TC Jester was the Pastor of the Baptist Temple on 20th Street in Houston.

 

Lead Belly was imprisoned in the Central Unit in Sugar land. 

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I love how they spent all this money and all this time, dug something of a pond around the lowest part of 288, and after the initial rain from Beta 288 was flooded again. I don't know how many people at work and in my personal life was like "they spent how much? and took how long? and it still flooded after some rain?"

 

It seemed like they were finally working on the portion of 288 closest to the 610 interchange this weekend since they closed all northbound lanes but one on Saturday and Sunday. It looked like they were putting up signage and working on some road elements. Given the length of time, I don't care what txdot says, as someone who was living near and around Pearland, and has family and friends in Pearland, the 288 construction ruined my pre-covid commute and many weekends. I don't want to imagine what i-45 construction would do to the city. I compare it to 1-45 cause, as stated above, this company has a financial interest in completing a widening of a  relatively short stretch of highway (with some additional exits and bridges being reworked) and its taking forever and a day. Imagine gov't money not only widening by burying, lol. 

Edited by X.R.
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On 10/16/2020 at 11:23 PM, JLWM8609 said:

Anyone know when the Southmore overpass is reopening? I thought its opening would be imminent back in August. It's been looking ready to go with street lights, traffic lights and all installed since late August. 

From what I can tell, looks like 288 is going to open any day or any week now. I saw police officers and probably construction workers smoothly driving down the tollroads yesterday. Most of it clearly looks finished.

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