Highway 290 construction to go on until 2016

August 15, 2013 3:37:37 PM PDT
Drivers on the northwest side of town are getting used to the daily slowdown. A major construction project is underway to transform the 290 and North Loop interchange. But it's not just drivers being impacted.

More than 250,000 people make the drive every day. And they all see orange cones, road closures and traffic.

"I get close to 610 here and I'm backed up usually for thirty, forty five minutes," said driver Steve Covey.

You think that's bad? Just imagine running a business there. On the east side of the highway, you can barely find the door to Perico's Mexican Cafe.

"I had to put out a sign out in the front. We are open," said Edgar Belman of Perico's. "On the big sign, I have, 'We are open' to let the people know.

And TxDOT says traffic will get worse before it gets better.

"By this time next year, 290 will be under construction from 610 to Highway 99 and that completion will end in 2016," said Karen Othon with TxDOT.

By 2016, 290 will have five or six lanes in each direction from just west of State Highway 6 to the 610 Loop. From 610, you'll be able to connect directly to I-10. For those of you further from the city, you'll find four lanes in each direction from Highway 6 to Highway 99.

And throughout the whole 290 corridor, you'll get two or three lane frontage roads in each direction.

"You're going to see the area between 610 and 290 completed first," said Othon. "Right now, we're planning connector ramps that would link 290 to I-10 completed by the beginning of 2015

"Three more years," said Belman. "I'm going to lose a lot of customers."

TxDOT officials are quick to point out that some of the intersections along Highway 290 are among the most congested in the state.

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