In June 2014, TxDOT assumed responsibility for all interim program improvements.
TxDOT held public meetings regarding its proposed revised interim lane configuration on September 1, 2015 at the Berry Center in Cypress, and on September 3, 2015, at the Sheraton Brookhollow hotel at the I-610/US 290 interchange.
Click here to view the information presented.
These improvements are described as interim because TxDOT still plans to build the parallel Hempstead Tollway, but due to current funding conditions that will not likely occur for 20 years. TxDOT is also currently working with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to identify other potential transit-related improvements on US 290.
Below is a summary of the program's environmental history.
BACKGROUND: How did we get here?
In order for TxDOT to know what to expect and plan for in the coming years, a Major Investment Study (MIS) of the US 290 and Hempstead Tollway corridor was prepared. It was critical to determine what the future transportation needs were for this area.
After several years of intensive research, numerous studies and, most importantly, extensive public involvement efforts, the MIS determined that renovating the US 290 Corridor is a worthwhile investment in the community's future. It is TxDOT’s mission to work cooperatively to provide safe, effective and efficient movement of people and goods. It is important for you to know and understand what was recommended in the MIS because it set the course for the DEIS and beyond.
Major Investment Study (MIS): Summary Report
View the PDF
Major Investment Study (MIS): Entire Report
View the PDF (20MB file - may take additional time to download)
Past public meetings
Major Investment Study Public Meetings
After the MIS stage, public scoping meetings were held to solicit input for the preparation of the program’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
In association with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), TxDOT held one Public Hearing over three nights to solicit comments relating to environmental issues presented in the US 290 DEIS. Identical information was presented at all meetings, and Informational displays and individuals knowledgeable about the DEIS were available. To learn more about how the Public Hearings were presented, feel free to download the US 290 Newsletter here: US290newsletter.pdf
The US 290 DEIS Public Hearing was held at the following locations:
Monday, July 16, 2007 Sheraton Brookhollow
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 Dean Middle School
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 The Berry Center
The DEIS is the environmental document which proceeded the program’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Comments from the public were received during the DEIS period and incorporated into the FEIS final document.
Read the US 290 Corridor DEIS Executive Summary PDF file
DEIS Executive Summary
Why was the FEIS prepared?
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making process by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. To meet this requirement, agencies prepare a detailed statement known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Distribution of a draft EIS for public and agency review is a step of the overall EIS process.
Following the requirements of NEPA, the FHWA, in coordination with TxDOT, prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to assess the potential effects (impacts) of the proposed project. After receiving public comments, both oral and written, through the DEIS public hearing process, this Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared. The FEIS details the process through which the project was developed, provides a detailed description of the proposed project, the need for and purpose of the proposed project, the reasonable alternatives identified, the affected environment and the analysis of the anticipated benefit and adverse environmental effects.
The proposed US 290 Program Corridor begins at the IH 610/US 290/IH 10 Interchange in Houston, TX and extends northwestward to Farm-to-Market (FM) 2920 near Waller, TX for a distance of approximately 38 miles. The proposed enhancements include roadway improvements along a portion of US 290, construction of the new Hempstead Tollway and associated connections to IH 610 and IH 10 in Harris County.
US 290 Corridor FEIS: Executive Summary
FEIS Executive Summary
US 290 Corridor FEIS: Full Report
Full FEIS Report
US 290 FEIS Map Drawings
TxDOT OFFICES & OTHER LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE CORRIDOR
Both electronic copies and paper copies of the FEIS may be obtained by contacting the Texas Department of Transportation Houston District at 713-802-5243. Please note that all requests for paper copies will incur a cost for reproduction. TxDOT District Office, 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77007.
The public and other agencies were provided the opportunity to comment on the FEIS document during the FEIS wait period, which began in April 2010 and was concluded in May 2010. Click here to read the FEIS Notice of Availability. Upon the conclusion of the wait period, TxDOT addressed all comments received and submitted the comments and responses to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prior to requesting consideration for a Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA granted a ROD to the US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program in August 2010. The ROD is a major milestone of the environmental clearance process. It explains the basis for the decision, identifies all the alternatives considered, explains the “environmentally preferred alternative,” and discusses whether all practical means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the alternative selected have been adopted and, if they were not, why they were not.
What does the EIS process mean for the public?
The US 290 Corridor EIS is being prepared in accordance with the requirements for environmental impact statements established by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and in accordance with FHWA regulations and related guidance.
NEPA requires, and the FHWA is committed to, the examination and avoidance of potential impacts to the social and natural environments when considering approval of proposed transportation projects. In addition to evaluating the potential environmental effects, transportation needs of the public must also be considered to reach a decision that is in the best overall public interest.
The FHWA and NEPA project development process is an approach to balanced transportation decision making that takes into account the potential impacts on the human and natural environments and the public’s need for safe and efficient transportation.
Interim Managed Lanes Public Meetings
In December 2012, TxDOT held two public meetings on what was called the Interim Managed Lanes Project. This was a proposed joint effort between TxDOT and the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), which would improve US 290 in an interim fashion from I-610 to SH 99 (Grand Parkway). The first public meeting was at the Sheraton Brookhollow on December 11, and the second was at the Berry Center in Cypress on December 13. The purpose of the meetings was to introduce the interim project to the public.
Click here to see information presented at the public meetings.
Revised Record of Decision (ROD) Granted - Re-Evaluation of the FEIS
In 2013, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) granted a Revised Record of Decision (ROD) to the US 290 Corridor Project. This allowed the construction of what was a joint effort between TxDOT and the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), called our Interim Managed Lanes Project, as presented in the Environmental Re-evaluation document.
Click here to read the Revised ROD
Click here to read the portions of the Re-evaluation of the FEIS document.
Public comments on that document and responses to those comments are shown in Appendix H.
TxDOT Environmental Efforts
We're always thinking about ways to integrate environmental and aesthetic elements with roadway functionality as we plan this reconstruction effort.
Learn more about TxDOT's progressive approach to caring for your quality of life through its Green Ribbon Project! TxDOT is aware that these days, "green" means more than landscaping.
Learn more about TxDOT's huge recycling efforts statewide.