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Author Topic: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston  (Read 11500 times)

CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2020, 09:10:06 PM »

The new SH 288 NB main lanes on the new alignment are nearing completion, shown in the photo. Southbound traffic was shifted to the new alignment a few weeks ago.



Nice! Last time I made it up there, the main lanes in the Harris county section didn't even look close to done.

 The Drive288 site says the project still has a summer completion date; I'm guessing late summer at this point.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2020, 06:36:39 PM »

The stack of TX-288/Beltway-8 is very advanced when Streetview taked the pictures last February.
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5948469,-95.3861953,3a,75y,340.86h,106.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdEh5Brf76Z3_8g9ddqxLfg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en
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MaxConcrete

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2020, 10:26:32 PM »

The opening of the toll lanes is now slated to be by the end of the year.
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Texas-288-tollway-opening-pushed-to-end-of-year-15450155.php#photo-19753590

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Texas 288 tollway opening pushed to end of year, as uncertain times loom for traffic, pay lanes

...
“Everything will be completed by the end of the year,” said Raynese Edwards, spokeswoman for the project. “Can I tell you what that will be or when? Not right now.”

When work wraps up in a few months and motorists make their way onto the lanes, they will do so under far different conditions than when the project was conceived. Freeway traffic remains about 10 percent below typical volumes — significant enough along Texas 288 that the northbound morning commute just inside the Sam Houston Tollway has been virtually delay-free. Even if congestion increases slightly, traffic could move smoothly enough to keep drivers in the free lanes.

Edwards said the private firms behind the tollway, part of a $2.1 billion, 52-year deal with the state, still are assessing the effect any changes in demand will have on the revenues raised by the project in the early years.

Conceding past estimates were too ambitious, builders of the tollway in the center of Texas 288 from Interstate 69 to Brazoria County say the pay lanes will open by the end of the year, as some minor work continues into 2021.

“We got affected by everything,” Edwards said, from rain to subcontractors scheduling difficulties.

That includes COVID. Since March, dozens of workers have tested positive for the coronavirus or quarantined as a precaution.

“If one person is sick or has a fever, it affects that entire crew,” Edwards said.

At peak in late June, Edwards said 74 workers were sick, representing 10 percent of the workforce.



Stephane Dumas

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2020, 07:31:19 PM »

A little bump to mention then Google maps updated the satellite pic and show the construction of the stack interchange of Beltway-8/TX-288 well advanced.
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5980902,-95.3860648,974m/data=!3m1!1e3 

I guess it was might be taken around the same time they updated Streeview.
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Chris

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2020, 05:47:43 AM »

It was taken on December 2, 2019. Google Earth (the desktop application) shows the dates when the satellite image was taken. So it's almost a year old, I believe this project is behind schedule.

CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2020, 12:44:34 AM »

BGSs mentioning the toll lanes are now up at the southern end of the project (they are currently overlaid with a 'closed for construction' sign). Interestingly, they are not mounted on gantries; instead, they're in the median. Guess that makes sense, but it looks a bit odd.

The lanes themselves, at least in the Brazoria County section, look basically finished. Just need Houston to finish their part. The FM 518 interchange is coming along nicely, too.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2020, 09:02:01 AM »

I saw more recent satellite shots of the TX-288/Beltway 8 interchange posted on Satellites.pro. https://satellites.pro/USA_map#29.596045,-95.386798,16
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radDFW

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2020, 06:18:33 PM »

It's not done yet? I was hoping to make a video about it in 2 weeks. Sad.
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Chris

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2020, 01:01:07 PM »

radDFW

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2020, 06:19:22 PM »

It's set to open this month: https://abc13.com/traffic/103-miles-of-new-sh-288-toll-lanes-opening-this-month/7795565/
Neat! Will they also resurface 288 too in the northern sections or will they keep the save pavement that's already there? I hope it's resurfaced.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2020, 08:33:55 AM »

The toll lanes are opening Monday

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/After-long-wait-Texas-288-toll-lanes-to-open-15722967.php

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Brazoria County officials confirmed Thursday the long-awaited opening of toll lanes along Texas 288 will happen Monday morning, marking the end of more than three years of construction as traffic in the region slowly rebounds.

Free until Nov. 29, the tollway runs from downtown Houston to County Road 58 south of Pearland, about 16 miles. The new lanes flow in the center of Texas 288 with direct connections to Loop 610, the Sam Houston Tollway and the Texas Medical Center via Holcombe.

Once tolling begins, prices for the express lanes range from $0.45 for segments during off-peak times to $3.20 at the Holly Hall toll gantry for 8 a.m. trips in Harris County. For the entire tollway within Harris County, trips will cost between $1.40 and $5.10 during peak commuting periods. Drivers also will pay for direct access to the Sam Houston Tollway and Loop 610, with a peak price from northbound Texas 288 to Loop 610 set at $2.60.

Drivers along the Brazoria County portion will pay $1.80. All portions of the tollway will require a TxTag or EZTag.

Chris

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2020, 10:37:03 AM »

That is exactly 4 years after the groundbreaking on November 16, 2016: https://patch.com/texas/pasadena-tx/officials-break-ground-highway-288-expansion

CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2020, 09:12:45 PM »

The toll lanes are opening Monday


Nice! I just drove the section from Airport Road to its southern end earlier this week and it looks pretty darn ready. All the new pavement and bridges (especially at the FM 518 interchange) look really good. I can't say the signs are top-notch, as I saw some kerning issues and squished fonts on a couple of signs. Might be stragglers from construction, though. Otherwise, I'd say well done to the constructors.
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Newborn wombats are weird-looking too, but they don't belong in this thread either.

CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2020, 04:07:54 PM »

This morning I drove the entirety of the toll lanes northbound and I do have to say that I really like them. I'm happy to report the toll lanes are finished all the way to the I-69 interchange, though there's still some minor work on the main lanes, especially near the Old Spanish Trail exit. 95% of the signage is clean and intuitive, and all looks fresh and new.

A couple nitpicks:
If you hate left exits, then this project's probably not for you. The exit and entrance ramps for 8 and 610 are in the median between the main and tolled lanes, meaning the main lanes have left exits. Still, I think it's a genius design. Also, a couple of the signs are a little cringeworthy. There are a couple yellow diamond warning signs which are in Clearview, especially around the 610 exit. The sign for the Old Spanish Trail exit is a bit cluttered and convuluted compared to the others. Also, I think I saw a 610 shield installed on the exit ramp at the 610 interchange that looked more indigo than blue. Maybe my eyes were just deceiving me.

On a side note, the new ramps at the 45/610 interchange are completed as well. (probably documented somewhere else on the forum)

If you want to see the lanes for yourself, now is a great time to do so, as it is free until November 30, when tolls will begin.

P.S. Is it possible for the mods to put a 288 toll shield as an avatar?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 05:42:27 PM by CoreySamson »
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Newborn wombats are weird-looking too, but they don't belong in this thread either.

Stephane Dumas

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2020, 11:29:06 AM »

Slightly off-topic but I spotted this vintage news reports showing the opening of TX-288 back in 1982.

Here more related videos to TX-288 toll lanes. The 1st video offer a nice Google streetview lookalike.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2020, 10:56:30 PM »

Thanks for finding that 1982 report, Stephane, that was very interesting! The report also mentions the ongoing construction to Lake Jackson, which was should have been complete in the mid 1980s.

The freeway through Lake Jackson was finished only a few years ago.

radDFW

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2020, 11:19:17 PM »

Thanks for finding that 1982 report, Stephane, that was very interesting! The report also mentions the ongoing construction to Lake Jackson, which was should have been complete in the mid 1980s.

The freeway through Lake Jackson was finished only a few years ago.
lol...
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jlwm

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2020, 10:38:23 PM »

I live near 288 inside the loop so I've used the toll lanes a few times. I wish there was access from the toll lanes to the mainlanes between 610 and Southmore so northbound toll lane users can access the MacGregor, Binz/Calumet or Southmore exits. Otherwise, they have to exit at Holcombe and use Almeda or make a u-turn and get back on 288 NB at Holcombe. But since the purpose of the lanes was to facilitate better access to the Medical Center from Pearland, that's probably why there's no exits to the mainlanes. There's also the fact that the original express lane plans in the 1960s were conceived as having no exits between 610 and Downtown, so I suppose they're keeping in the spirit of the original intent in that regard.
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jlwm

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2021, 04:29:40 AM »

Part of the recently completed 288 project suffered a major pavement failure on the southbound mainlanes between Holmes Rd. and Bellfort Blvd. over the weekend. https://abc13.com/sh-288-pavement-failure-safety-purposes-structural-damage/10527940/

I've seen the crack slowly developing in the pavement. It started off a few months ago as a dip, then a crack became visible, which was then filled with tar. Then about 2 weeks ago, they began an asphalt overlay, but it was only a thin coat with temporary lane markers. Late last week, you could see the crack was getting worse from reflection cracking underneath the asphalt. Friday, they had the affected lanes closed. By Saturday, all southbound lanes were shut down. I passed by Saturday and Sunday on the toll lanes, but couldn't see what they were doing. I figured they were applying the final layer of asphalt, but I was not expecting to see this kind of failure on the news on Monday.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 04:32:31 AM by jlwm »
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Great Lakes Roads

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2021, 01:36:12 PM »

Part of the recently completed 288 project suffered a major pavement failure on the southbound mainlanes between Holmes Rd. and Bellfort Blvd. over the weekend. https://abc13.com/sh-288-pavement-failure-safety-purposes-structural-damage/10527940/

I've seen the crack slowly developing in the pavement. It started off a few months ago as a dip, then a crack became visible, which was then filled with tar. Then about 2 weeks ago, they began an asphalt overlay, but it was only a thin coat with temporary lane markers. Late last week, you could see the crack was getting worse from reflection cracking underneath the asphalt. Friday, they had the affected lanes closed. By Saturday, all southbound lanes were shut down. I passed by Saturday and Sunday on the toll lanes, but couldn't see what they were doing. I figured they were applying the final layer of asphalt, but I was not expecting to see this kind of failure on the news on Monday.

Isn't this problem similar to the one that happened in New Jersey earlier this month?
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Chris

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2021, 05:38:54 PM »

This looks worse than just a pavement failure. The soil seems to have slid from underneath the retaining wall. Resurfacing won't fix this.



MaxConcrete

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2021, 08:28:31 AM »

The Houston Chronicle reports that the cause of the failure remains under investigation.
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Drivers-still-diverted-to-toll-lanes-along-Texas-16163963.php#photo-20968758

Quote
Collapsed pavement along Texas 288 continues diverting drivers into its toll lanes, as the company that maintains the freeway in Harris County sorts out what made its new road sink three weeks ago.

Blueridge Transportation Group has brought in geotechnical experts along with engineers but has not confirmed any specifics of what led to the collapse along the general use lanes of Texas 288 south of Loop 610 near Holmes. Blueridge built the toll lanes and maintains the general use lanes along Texas 288 under a 50-year agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation.





 


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