Road work begins on 288 through Brazoria and Harris counties to create new toll lanes

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Construction is well underway by TxDOT on SH-288 in Harris County between the Beltway 8 and Medical Center to create new toll lanes.

Tuesday marked a big day for Brazoria County. Construction on SH-288 from the Brazoria and Harris County line to just south of County Road 58 in Brazoria County is ready to begin, and they kicked it off with a groundbreaking. The plan is to alleviate some of the congestion on the freeway in this area.

"It's pretty bad all the time, especially during rush hour traffic," said Pearland resident Kari Stadler.

News of the 288 Tollway Expansion in Brazoria County made Pearland residents, like Stadler and Carrie Forrest, happy.

"We are excited. It's overdue, to tell you the truth," said Stadler.

"I wish it had been done a long time ago before they started building all the neighborhoods out here and it creating so much traffic," added Forrest.

Engineers and local officials, including Brazoria County, TxDOT and Pearland representatives, celebrated the expansion Tuesday morning with a groundbreaking.

Brazoria County Engineer Matt Hanks says it's been a team effort.

"The total cost of the Brazoria County project is a little over $97 million, which includes TxDOT's FM-518 work and the $2.5 million that Pearland is doing to enhance the corridor from an aesthetics standpoint," said Hanks.

The toll lanes will allow four additional lanes to be added to SH-288 from the county line to five miles south near County Road 58.

"We will keep the general purpose lanes open through construction with only temporary closures," added Hanks.

Hanks says the contractor will work on multiple spots along the freeway and to prepare for work along 518 to begin soon and to continue there throughout the project. That could mean more traffic in this already busy area, which is okay with Stadler and Forrest.

"I'll deal with it for the time being," said Forrest.

"It will be worth it. Definitely," added Stadler.

The project should be complete by July 2019.

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