Highway 290 reopens hours after accident

HOUSTON The traffic mess on the Northwest Freeway and Huffmeister began at the worst time possible -- just before Tuesday evening's rush hour traffic, and the scene cleared up hours after it began.

The highway's main lanes reopened Tuesday evening, but the westbound feeder roads remained closed until after 10pm.

The cleanup continued for hours after the accident. Crews worked to remove a load of pipe from the feeder road as traffic finally flowed around them on Highway 290. It was relief from major congestion all along the Northwest Corridor that had thousands of people stuck.

"It was a big mess," said Billy Eppley, who lives in a nearby neighborhood.

It was around 3pm Tuesday when everything came to a standstill. According to TxDOT, an 18-wheeler hit the upright support beam for the steel overhead freeway sign at Huffmeister. The big rig then hit a guardrail and flipped, spilling a load of pipe.

The backup came next.

Vehicles were diverted onto FM 1960. Side streets were jammed and Eppley watched his neighborhood become a detour.

"There's a been a steady stream of people coming through there asking for directions, how to get in and out of the neighborhood and everything," Eppley said.

As drivers negotiated the surface roads, TxDOT worked to remove the large sign left compromised by the accident, moving cleanup to the feeder road scattered with pipe.

We don't know what caused the driver to hit the sign in the first place. He was the only one injured in the accident, and his injuries weren't life-threatening.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.