The new direct connector allows drivers to exit Hwy. 6 before Hempstead Road, continue eastbound along Hwy. 290 and enter the highway main lanes before North Eldridge Parkway, allowing drivers to bypass the traffic signal at the intersection.
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation, which is funding and overseeing the project, said they wanted to open the direct connector before moving forward with the next step of the project—demolishing the existing Hwy. 6 bridge over Hempstead Road and the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks. After the bridge is demolished and while crews are working to construct the overpass, drivers will be diverted to northbound and southbound frontage roads along Hwy. 6 and FM 1960, officials said.
The new direct connecter was intended to remove some of the traffic from having to cross through the intersection and having to cross the railroad tracks at-grade, officials said.
Work will also begin on a new one-lane southbound Hwy. 6 bridge over Hempstead and the railroad tracks that will be entirely south of Hwy. 290 and separate from the future overpass. The bridge will also allow southbound drivers to avoid crossing the railroad tracks at-grade while construction continues on the main overpass.
The new overpass is slated to be complete by the end of 2019. Find weekly lane closure information at www.my290.com.