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US-290 between Austin and Houston thread (future freeway-ish upgrades when?)

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and as a US-290 progress goes

a planned Brenham Bypass Re-Alignment (preferably D or E, or at the very least B), and a planned Chappell Hill Overpass

so what's next now?

Brenham Bypass Re-Alignment concepts
Concept B -
Concept D -
Concept E -

Chappell Hill Overpass concept


--- Quote from: TheBox on February 10, 2023, 10:26:36 AM ---and as a US-290 progress goes
so what's next now?

--- End quote ---

Though I havenít seen any plans, the next logical step would be a bypass around Giddings and at least extension/expansion of the 290 expressway from Manor to Elgin. Those two upgrades would probably cut off 30 minutes of travel time between Austin and Houston.

TX DOT faces a possibly difficult job just extending the US-290 freeway thru Manor. Such an upgrade is do-able, but it's going to require buying and clearing at least a couple dozen commercial properties along the North side of US-290.

The traffic signal at Elm Creek (and Red Elm Parkway) just West of Elgin is a tight squeeze. If US-290 is ever upgraded to a freeway in/near Elgin it probably will have to be built on a new terrain path a considerably way South of town. Obviously Giddings would need a new terrain bypass too.

--- Quote from: thisdj78 ---Those two upgrades would probably cut off 30 minutes of travel time between Austin and Houston.
--- End quote ---

Freeway bypasses around Elgin and Giddings would probably save a few minutes, but I doubt if it would be 30 minutes worth of drive time. On the other hand, if all the traffic signaled intersections on US-290 between Manor and Hempstead were converted into freeway exits that would likely save more than 30 minutes of drive time. It's not just the amount of time a motorist has to sit, looking at a red light. There's all the changing speed limits leading to and past that traffic signal. The Manor to Hempstead segment of US-290 going from Austin to Houston is far from being free flowing.

^ More than 30 minutes? Doubtful. Maybe 5 or 10 at best.

The speed limit is 75 mph for most of the route, and drops to probably 55 mph at some of the signals, not counting the few towns.

There is a couple dozen traffic signals along that way. It's not like you're going to hit every green light. And there are speed zones leading up to many of those signals. Also, I don't know where you're seeing the speed limit is 75mph for most of the route. In between traffic signals and the associated speed zones US-290 is signed at 60mph, 65mph and 70mph along much of the way.


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