This segment of the highway expansion project is otherwise known as Project G. The Texas Department of Transportation is carrying out and funding the entire Hwy. 290 expansion project, which runs from Loop 610 to the Harris County line.
“I know there have been a lot of headaches and frustrations dealing with weekend closures [at Beltway 8], but they did finish the work on their mainlane widening,” said Karen Othon, TxDOT’s public information officer with the Hwy. 290 project.
Drivers saw some relief when TxDOT officials opened new collector-distributor lanes throughout Project G and reopened the outbound exit ramp to Senate Road this summer. The collector-distributors are intended to improve access to Hwy. 290 mainlanes by eliminating the need for drivers to merge when entering and exiting, Othon said.
Work on Project G is roughly 85 percent complete, officials said. The remaining work mainly involves noise abatement. Over the next few months, crews will install a quiet pavement texture using a grinding and grooving process, Othon said.
“We did the same thing at [Loop] 610 and [Hwy.] 290, and it’s already been completed there,” she said. “What [crews] do is grind the surface and place longitudinal lines to decrease tire and pavement noise.”
TxDOT officials started work on the noise abatement portion of the project Oct. 10. Nightly closures from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. are expected to take place on Hwy. 290 eastbound lanes at FM 529 through October. Traffic will be detoured to collector-distributor lanes.
Othon said even though the widened mainlanes will be completed at Project G, TxDOT cannot open them to drivers until the entire Hwy. 290 widening project is completed. Doing so would create bottlenecks when drivers move from the new five-lane highway to the old three-lane highway.
Although some portions of Hwy. 290 are expected to be finished in 2017, the entire project is expected to be completed in 2018. TxDOT is working with contractors to determine specific timelines for each section. Learn more about Hwy. 290 construction at www.my290.com.