What We're Saying

In transportation we use words and phrases which are common to us, but not common to everyone. That's why we've defined some of the important ones below, so you can better understand what we're saying.

Auxiliary Lanes - lanes between exit and entrance ramps which allow drivers time and space to get off or on the road.

Collector Distributors (CDs) - a separate roadway to accommodate lane transitions, merging and diverging. Collector Distributors can help traffic flow by taking motorists who want to make different movements to different places. For instance, at US 290 and Beltway 8, our Program will have outbound and inbound Collector Distributors that will take drivers away from the US 290 mainlanes and give them the option of exiting to cross streets.

Direct Connectors (DCs) - one-way ramps which take drivers from one highway to another without traveling through a signal intersection. Direct Connectors which will be built as part of the US 290 Program are the ones between US 290 and IH 10, which will take motorists between those two highways without those motorists ever having to get on IH 610.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) - describes the need for a proposed project, alternatives considered and the effect and mitigations for a proposed project on the natural and physical environment. This includes land use, community, air quality, noise water resources, vegetation/wildlife, visual impacts, historic and archeological resources and hazardous materials. The DEIS is developed for public review and comment. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Environmental Affairs Division and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) review the DEIS, and upon approval by both agencies public hearings can be held. The US 290/Hempstead Program's DEIS was published in May 2007.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) - based on the DEIS, an FEIS incorporates the comments received during the DEIS comment period. TxDOT Environmental Affairs Division and FHWA review the FEIS and upon approval, a Notice of Availability (NOA) is published. The US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program NOA was published in April 2010. May 2010 marked the completion of the wait period. TxDOT addressed all public comments received during that period, and re-submitted the document to the FHWA before requesting consideration of a Record of Decision (ROD). The FHWA granted a ROD in August 2010, allowing Right-of-Way and construction activities to begin on funded portions of the program.

High Capacity Transit Corridor - right of way reserved for construction of a mass-transit facility, such as commuter rail.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) - lanes on which only buses or vehicles with the required number of people can travel. The US 290 Program’s Interim Managed Lanes Project makes provisions for a larger HOV area (see below). Ultimately the HOV system will be moved to the Hempstead Tollway, but that roadway will not be built for several years.

Record of Decision (ROD) - final approval of a transportation program, given by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Once a ROD is given, Right-of-Way acquisition can begin. The US 290/Hempstead Corridor Program received a ROD from the FHWA in August 2010.

Reversing Ramps - refers to a Program design feature of replacing an exit ramp with an entrance ramp and vice versa. When an exit ramp close to a cross street is reversed, it helps to keep traffic from backing up from cross streets onto the mainlanes.

Right of Way (ROW) - a general term denoting land or property or interest in that land or property acquired for or devoted to a highway for the construction of the roadway. Public right of way is the entire width of land between the public boundaries or property lines of a highway. This may include purchase for drainage.