8 ways TxDOT plans to ease road congestion in Greater Houston area

HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston roads are getting increasingly congested as the area population swells, but Patrick Gant, Texas Department of Transportation civil engineer, told the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that plans are in the works to help provide relief on some of the region's major corridors.

"There's going to be more and more trade coming into the Houston area," Gant said. "What does that mean? There's going to be more and more people on the roads."

Gant pointed at a recent Texas A&M Transportation Institute study which projects that by 2030, 43 percent of Texas roads will be considered uncongested, while 28 percent will suffer extreme levels of congestion.

The study also lists the 100 most congested highways in Texas, many of which are in the Greater Houston area. The top item on the list is Loop 610 from I-10 to Hwy. 59.

To keep up with this traffic congestion, the state develops a 24-year long-range plan examining urban and rural connectivity, which Gant said is further whittled down to a 20-year plan compiled by TxDOT and the Houston-Galveston Area Council-the planning organization for the metropolitan area.

TxDOT is now working within the 10-year window of its Unified Transportation Program, extending from 2017-26.

A total of $70 billion is slated for transportation projects over that time period-the most the agency has ever received for a 10-year program, Gant said. Of that amount, $12 billion is slated for Houston-area projects.

Here are some of the highway and intersection projects Gant said will begin or be completed in the next four years.

  1. Reconstructing the Hwy. 59 interchange at Loop 610

  2. Reconstructing the downtown loop system, removing the Pierce Elevated Highway on the west side of the city and shifting I-45 east

  3. Improvements at I-59 and Spur 527

  4. Completing Hwy. 290 construction

  5. Widening I-10 to six lanes from Houston to San Antonio

  6. Widening Hwy. 288

  7. Completing Hwy. 249 toll sections from Houston to Bryan/College Station

  8. Continued work on the Grand Parkway, Segments H and I (to be completed 2022)

Information from our partners at Community Impact