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Author Topic: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston  (Read 14931 times)

MaxConcrete

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2021, 09:06:45 AM »

When the original 288 South Freeway was built in the 1980's, was the median intentionally left wide in anticipation of future expansion?  Also are there plans to upgrade the entire SH 288 to interstate standards from Houston to Freeport?  This would help in hurricane evacuations for Brazoria county.

Yes, the wide median was intended for future expansion. The first public meeting for the freeway was held in 1963 and the design with the "dual" freeway was first presented in 1966.
http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/pdf/South_Freeway_150ppi.pdf

Yes, there are plans to upgrade the entire length of SH 288 to freeway standards. The section which needs the most work is between SH 6 and Angleton. There is $136 million in work slated for bidding in August 2022. Those jobs will add overpasses at intersections which are currently at-grade.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/lethou.htm

CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2021, 11:30:07 AM »

When the original 288 South Freeway was built in the 1980's, was the median intentionally left wide in anticipation of future expansion?  Also are there plans to upgrade the entire SH 288 to interstate standards from Houston to Freeport?  This would help in hurricane evacuations for Brazoria county.

Yes, the wide median was intended for future expansion. The first public meeting for the freeway was held in 1963 and the design with the "dual" freeway was first presented in 1966.
http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/pdf/South_Freeway_150ppi.pdf

Yes, there are plans to upgrade the entire length of SH 288 to freeway standards. The section which needs the most work is between SH 6 and Angleton. There is $136 million in work slated for bidding in August 2022. Those jobs will add overpasses at intersections which are currently at-grade.

https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/lethou.htm
Even with those at-grade intersections, they've recently been taking out the crossings and replacing them with median U-turns as a temporary replacement until the corridor becomes entirely freeway. I've also heard 6-laning 288 between TX-6 and Lake Jackson is in the cards, as well.

As for hurricane evacuations, 288 is not a good evacuation route for most of Brazoria County because it runs smack-bang into Houston and Galveston evacuation traffic. TX-36 is a much better alternative for those closer to the coast because it avoids most of the Houston metro.
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Bobby5280

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2021, 07:44:08 PM »

Hurricane evacuation is another reason why the Grand Parkway needs to be completed as a continuous loop. That would give people South of Houston more exit alternatives than I-45 (or TX-288).

TX-36 does avoid much of the Houston metro, but it is not a high capacity, high speed route like a freeway or toll road. It's going to move only so much traffic.

One thing I believe would help improve hurricane evacuation efforts (and traffic relief efforts) South of Houston is doing upgrades to the TX-35 corridor. A good lateral East-West route would give people easier access to other alternative hurricane exit routes farther the West. Parts of TX-35 are 4-lane divided now to the West of the TX-288 corridor. There needs to be a more direct path between the Angleton-Lake Jackson area and Galveston. It's impossible to build an expressway or freeway near the coast between Lake Jackson and Galveston due for various reasons. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is an obstacle. A 4-lane divided highway or freeway running on or near the existing FM-2004 corridor would be a help.
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jgb191

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2021, 12:39:37 AM »

TX-36 is another option for evacuation, but it's only a single lane in each direction and only goes to small towns (Needville, West Columbia) so it should be just a secondary option.   Going north on TX-288 then probably take TX-6 North around the city of Houston might be the best way to evacuate.

And for weaker hurricanes (cat 1-2) landing in the upper Texas coast we might only need to evacuate the coastal cities like Freeport and Galveston, the residents of Houston should be just fine to remain in the city.
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achilles765

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2021, 03:35:49 AM »

Hurricane evacuation is another reason why the Grand Parkway needs to be completed as a continuous loop. That would give people South of Houston more exit alternatives than I-45 (or TX-288).

TX-36 does avoid much of the Houston metro, but it is not a high capacity, high speed route like a freeway or toll road. It's going to move only so much traffic.

One thing I believe would help improve hurricane evacuation efforts (and traffic relief efforts) South of Houston is doing upgrades to the TX-35 corridor. A good lateral East-West route would give people easier access to other alternative hurricane exit routes farther the West. Parts of TX-35 are 4-lane divided now to the West of the TX-288 corridor. There needs to be a more direct path between the Angleton-Lake Jackson area and Galveston. It's impossible to build an expressway or freeway near the coast between Lake Jackson and Galveston due for various reasons. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is an obstacle. A 4-lane divided highway or freeway running on or near the existing FM-2004 corridor would be a help.

Well they are seriously starting to talk about and plan to turn SH 35 into a freeway from I-45/I-610 to I think where the Grand Parkway is supposed to be built down there.  Plus, there's the SH 146 freeway being built now.  I think another east -west route might help down there: maybe an extension of NASA 1
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CoreySamson

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Re: SH 288 toll lanes, Houston
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2021, 11:41:28 AM »

Hurricane evacuation is another reason why the Grand Parkway needs to be completed as a continuous loop. That would give people South of Houston more exit alternatives than I-45 (or TX-288).

TX-36 does avoid much of the Houston metro, but it is not a high capacity, high speed route like a freeway or toll road. It's going to move only so much traffic.

One thing I believe would help improve hurricane evacuation efforts (and traffic relief efforts) South of Houston is doing upgrades to the TX-35 corridor. A good lateral East-West route would give people easier access to other alternative hurricane exit routes farther the West. Parts of TX-35 are 4-lane divided now to the West of the TX-288 corridor. There needs to be a more direct path between the Angleton-Lake Jackson area and Galveston. It's impossible to build an expressway or freeway near the coast between Lake Jackson and Galveston due for various reasons. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is an obstacle. A 4-lane divided highway or freeway running on or near the existing FM-2004 corridor would be a help.
I believe I saw somewhere that TX-36 might be getting upgraded to 4 lanes in the future, which would be instrumental for evacuation efforts. It has the EvacuLane on the shoulder too. I agree that completing the Grand Parkway from I-69 to 288 would definitely help out as well, but that still funnels lots of traffic onto an already busy route.

Funny that you should mention FM-2004. Iíve driven it several times between Lake Jackson and Galveston, and to me, it seems traffic volumes do not justify a freeway at all. Widening, perhaps, but not a freeway. TxDOT could probably just get away with adding a couple passing lanes and a new bridge over Chocolate Bayou. The route in the area that needs to be a freeway is TX-35 between Alvin and Angleton. Itís only two lanes and gets very congested and dangerous with all the traffic on it. Iíve thought such a freeway could bypass Angleton on FM 523 to connect with the TX-35 expressway west of Angleton.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 11:47:05 AM by CoreySamson »
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