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Work on U.S. 290 shifting to overhead bridge, finishing main lanes

October 5, 2018

After three weeks of construction delays caused by heavy rain on the weekends, the Texas Department of Transportation has opened the westbound lanes from Pinemont Drive to West Little York.

Mike Zientek, management consultant for the U.S. 290 program, said TxDOT still plans on finishing all main lane construction along U.S. 290 by the end of 2018.

“The only parts we have left now on the outbound side are [FM] 529 to Mason [Road], inbound Mason [Road] to Eldridge [Pkwy],” he said. “We are still hoping to have our main lane work done by the end of this year. Rain has been an enormous challenge, especially when you’re building retaining walls.”

Through the upcoming weekend, Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, TxDOT plans to make progress on the construction of the bridge over U.S. 290 at the FM 1960 and U.S. 290 intersection. The intersection will be closed this weekend and next weekend, Zientek said.

“They are hanging beams for the eastbound main lane bridge over [FM] 1960,” he said. “And then, the weekend of [Oct.] 12th, weather permitting, they will begin hanging some of the beams for the big bridge. It’s an area that they will be able to put a few columns in there. They haven’t put them all in, obviously, they’re putting a few at 290.”

Zientek said the eastbound main lane will be closed at Huffmeister Road, Hwy. 6 and FM 1960 the weekend of Oct. 12.

“That will be a major closure,” he said. “The eastbound will be closed at Huffmeister, 6 and 1960 underneath again. It’s tough for folks during the weekend, but they’re doing what they can when they can.”

TxDOT is also hosting a public meeting regarding off-peak HOV lane improvements from West 34th Street to Barker Cypress Road on Oct. 11. The meeting will allow citizens to see exhibits on the proposed off-peak HOV improvements and learn more about the project. Zientek said the basic idea is to shift a main lane on U.S. 290 into an HOV lane during peak travel hours during the week, shifting direction depending on the time of day.

“[The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County] believes that if we can get our buses out quickly into the park and ride, mainly Skinner [Road] in the morning, that they’ve got that lane to use to get into the work centers and out faster,” he said. “Vice-versa in the evening. If we have that inside lane coming inbound, our buses can get to the work centers faster and back.”

chevall.pryce@chron.com

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