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

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TheBox:
So i decided to make a topic about US-290 between Austin and Houston, cause why the hell not?

From the past decade, TxDOT focused more on updating TX-71 more than US-290, even when the overall the traffic between the 2 kinda splits

the most US-290 got from the past decade is, US-290 Toll, a grass median in certain rural areas in between, and the US-290/Northwest Freeway expansion + the notorious I-610/I-10 intersection overhaul in Houston
EDIT: and the underpass under TX-21

We could be doing more with it (since Houstonians are more used to US-290 than TX-71 i'm guessing................and vice-versa, again i'm guessing); the re-aligned Brenham bypass, the Giddings bypass, the Manor-Elgin overpass (w/frontage roads), and then minor adjustments for the rest of the way that can come after these 3 major obstacles.

it looks like TxDOT may be finally doing the long overdue re-alignment or the Brenham bypass soon (D or E are most valuable to me, whiling B is the most realistic if they want to be cheap and quick with it)
//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfPyWxXyQKI

Bobby5280:
This topic has been on-going in a couple or so different Austin-related threads.

It would be stupid for TX-DOT to "upgrade" the US-290/TX-36 intersection into a DDI. They really need to give US-290 a freeway quality escape route West out of Brenham. There are problem spots between Brenham and Hempstead (where the US-290 freeway going out of Houston currently ends). The US-290 ROW narrows considerably West of the TX-6/US-290 interchange. The road immediately gets sandwiched by a golf course to the South and convenience stores to the North. There's a traffic signal stop in Chapel Hill.

The Austin and Houston metros are enormous enough in population to justify building out both the US-290 and TX-71 corridors to Interstate standards. The Houston metro covers a lot of area. Anyone in Austin heading to the Northern half of the Houston metro would likely use US-290. If they're driving to Southern areas of the Houston metro then TX-71 would be a better alternative.

longhorn:
It is odd why TxDot has not upgraded more sections of 290. TxDot rebuilt the infamous highway of death, 195 between Killeen and I-35( at one time GIs were forbidden from using the old two lane road because it was so dangerous). One would think the 290 corridor is a slam dunk unless the towns along 290 like Giddings do not want an upgrade.

Frankly, it should be a 6 lane divided highway. If one is going to rebuild it, build in growth from the get go. 290 is six lanes to Waller from Houston.

texaskdog:

--- Quote from: longhorn on November 08, 2022, 04:10:53 PM ---It is odd why TxDot has not upgraded more sections of 290. TxDot rebuilt the infamous highway of death, 195 between Killeen and I-35( at one time GIs were forbidden from using the old two lane road because it was so dangerous). One would think the 290 corridor is a slam dunk unless the towns along 290 like Giddings do not want an upgrade.

Frankly, it should be a 6 lane divided highway. If one is going to rebuild it, build in growth from the get go. 290 is six lanes to Waller from Houston.

--- End quote ---

We'll send you to war just not down 195!

Bobby5280:
The situation with US-290 from Austin to Houston is indeed really puzzling.

US-290 going West out of the Houston metro has long been limited access. In recent years that segment of US-290 has largely been completely re-built and substantially expanded to Waller, 9 miles East of where the freeway ends in Hempstead.

US-290 going East out of the Austin metro thru Manor is a whole other story. None of it has freeway-wide ROW. A number of commercial businesses built next to the roadway will have to be bought and cleared for any freeway (or toll road) expansion. US-290 thru Elgin is so encroached by development that a new-terrain bypass would likely be the only realistic solution. Giddings will need a freeway bypass.

Austin has been a legitimately big city for a long time. I don't know why more work hasn't been done to expand US-290 over the years, even if it just meant spreading apart the main lanes to preserve a freeway-wide median. TX DOT could have phased that in a long time ago before US-290 had so much development built up alongside it.

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