Toll lanes may soon be coming to Highway 288

April 6, 2012 2:40:26 PM PDT
There's finally talk about adding toll lanes on Highway 288. It's a proposal that's sure to excite a lot of folks who live in Pearland. We're talking about toll lanes from Highway 59, all the way down to near the Brazoria County line, so down to the Beltway area.

It is three lanes in each direction -- north and south that link Harris and Brazoria counties, carrying tens of thousands of commuters to and from Houston each workday. But during rush hours...

"Scary, it is; have to slam on brakes," said Crystal Meredith, who commutes from Pearland.

Since Pearland began growing, there's been talk about putting in a toll road on Highway 288. Harris County had the option given to it by the legislature, but in recent years, it didn't have the money to build it. Under the plan, the county will forego that option and the state would do the job.

"If you just look at 288, it was designed from the beginning to be able to have the toll lanes down the middle, so I think the state can move fairly quickly," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said.

And yet, the toll lanes couldn't cross the Brazoria County line just outside the Beltway because that county has first claim on building a toll road, but no toll road authority. It also has property owners tired of tall he traffic on the only freeway in town. It's enough that one homeowner is considering moving.

"Matter of fact, the thought has crossed my mind going a little farther that way," said Dennis Meredith, who commutes from Pearland.


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