Money For 290 Improvements Approved

State officials say money is on the way for much-needed improvements to Highway 290. But other major projects along the busy Northwest Freeway remain unfunded.

The money for the latest projects comes from bonds the state legislature approved for transportation upgrades  . TxDot's Karen Othon say one of the projects is designed to relieve the traffic bottleneck where 290 meets Beltway 8.

"We're going to build what they call collector-distributor lanes on both sides of 290, in that area.  And then also we're going to reconstruct the main lanes and frontage road.  The limits are from West Little York to FM 529."  

Money has also been allocated to improve traffic flow at major intersections. Projects include new turning lanes at Highway 6 and frontage road improvements at Eldridge.

"Well the one at 290 and Beltway 8, it's estimated to be $144 million. The Transportation System Management, or TSM projects as we call them, that will give us some intersection improvements in the northwestern area,  those are going to total about $6.5 million."

Othon says it will cost close to $3 billion to do everything that's needed to improve 290.  That includes widening the roadway between Beltway 8 and Loop 610.  About $1.4 billion of proposed improvements remain unfunded as the population continues to grow.

"We have our estimated population growth, I think, by the year 2032, we're going to have over 800,000 people living along the US 290 corridor.  And those are people who are going to be using 290 to get into town."

The current projects are expected to go out for bids this summer. Othon says work should start in about a year.

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...