At that time, the thoroughfare only extended between the 610 South Loop and Angleton.
It now connects downtown Houston all the way to Freeport.
Eyewitness News Reporter Deborah Wrigley reported on the opening of the new freeway in 1982.
"By tomorrow, and weather permitting, some 30,000 should begin making their ways from Houston to Freeport. Last weekend, that drive took about an hour and a half. This weekend, it's expected to take 45 minutes," Wrigley reported.
Today, SH-288 is undergoing a massive $815 million transformation.
Crews are building out toll lanes from US-59 to the Harris County line, along with direct connector ramps at the 610 and Beltway 8 interchanges.
The project is on track to finish in 2019.
RELATED: 1,000 days of construction on Hwy 288
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