CONSTRUCTION FAQ

Why is inbound US 290 at I-610 currently down to only two lanes?

Inbound US 290 is now two lanes approaching I-610 to accommodate the existing US 290 construction phasing. When the work is complete, there will be three lanes going to I-610 West Loop southbound, and two lanes going to I-610 North Loop eastbound. 

 

Where is construction occurring now?

As of fall 2017, construction is occurring on all of our 13 projects, a total of 38 miles from I-610 to near the Harris/Waller County line.

Please visit our Overview Map to learn more about each project.

 

How will I know about any detours and closures?

Information about detours and closures is posted on our website and sent out through e-mail blasts as well.
Join our e-mail list here.

 

The outbound US 290 exit to Dacoma Street and Mangum Road is permanently closed, will a new one be built in the future?

A new outbound US 290 exit to Dacoma and Mangum will be built as part of our Project J-2 construction. It will be located closer to the I-610 interchange than the previous one, which means motorists will be able to exit before Dacoma. In the past, those motorists had to exit before Mangum and U-turn if they wanted to access Dacoma. 

 

With the reduced size of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane during construction, stalls or accidents can back up traffic quickly in the HOV lane – what is TxDOT doing to improve incident response?

TxDOT has heard this concern from many stakeholders and has partnered with METRO, Houston TranStar and Miller’s Wrecker Service to safely clear incidents in the HOV lane during peak traffic hours in the mornings and evenings. 

 

Will there be a new southbound I-610 entrance ramp since the one from W. 18th Street was closed?

Yes. Our program plans will replace that entrance ramp with one a little farther south that drivers can access from the I-610 southbound frontage road past Hempstead; however, it will not be operational until 2017, once the one reversible managed lane carrying High Occupancy Vehicle/High Occupancy Tolled (HOV/HOT) that TxDOT is proposing is constructed in the area.

 

Will TxDOT route traffic onto neighborhood streets during freeway closures?

No. TxDOT will announce and sign the appropriate detours for each closure required. All of the detours will be via state system roadways and frontage roads. On occasion traffic may have to be detoured onto city streets, but drivers will not be routed through residential neighborhoods.

 

What about right of way (ROW) needed for US 290 projects?

In 2016, TxDOT acquired the last of the 373 parcels needed for US 290 construction. The ROW acquisition process for the Hempstead Tollway cannot begin until funding becomes available.

 

I thought the plan was to expand US 290 and build the Hempstead Tollway along Hempstead Road -- is that going to happen?

Current funding conditions mean TxDOT is not able to build US 290 and the Hempstead Tollway at the same time. TxDOT still plans to build the tollway, but that will not likely happen for 20 years. Construction began on the US 290 Program in June 2011, and TxDOT will deliver interim improvements on US 290. TxDOT is proposing a design for the initial US 290 construction phase which includes one additional general purpose lane in each direction from I-610 to SH 6, with a one-lane reversible High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/Toll lane in the center of US 290 from I-610 to SH 99 (Grand Parkway).

Improvements to make the facility safer and more efficient will include mainlane shoulders to accommodate vehicle emergencies. TxDOT held public meetings regarding this proposed revised lane configuration on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at the Berry Center in Cypress, and on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at the Sheraton Brookhollow hotel at the I-610/US 290 interchange. 

The US 290 interim configuration does not impact the ongoing construction as it will be constructed within the right of way that has been environmentally cleared. Also, TxDOT is currently working with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to identify other potential transit-related improvements to US 290. 

 

How many roadway mainlanes will stay open at the various areas of the I-610/US 290 interchange and other interchange areas during construction?

We still plan on generally keeping the same number of mainlanes open during construction as are currently there; it is important to note that these lanes may be narrower, and we may have to temporarily eliminate mainlane shoulders. From time to time there will be limited night and weekend closures, as is the case with any major freeway reconstruction program.

 

How many miles of US 290 will be reconstructed?

The US 290 portion of the program is approximately 38 miles long, extending from the interchange area of IH 10/IH 610/US 290 northwest to near the Harris/Waller County line. 

The proposed Hempstead Tollway would be built along Hempstead Road from I-610 to SH 99, and is approximately 24 miles long. 

When will US 290 Program construction be completed?

We anticipate construction on the interim project to be completed in 2018. As construction progresses, TxDOT will open some portions before 2018. My290.com will let you know when these openings occur.

TxDOT’s ultimate vision for the US 290 Corridor involves the construction of the parallel Hempstead Tollway from I-610 to SH 99. But currently funding for the tollway is not available.

Will the I-610 West Loop northbound exit to US 290 outbound be on the right side of the roadway from now on?

It will not. We made that change in May 2016, to allow the contractor space to work on the US 290 outbound mainlanes. Our ultimate program plans call for I-610 West Loop northbound traffic to again exit to US 290 westbound from the left side of the roadway. We anticipate our program construction to be complete in 2018.