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Commissioners Vote To Proceed With Toll Road For 288 and 290

Harris County Commissioners take the first step in adding toll lanes to relieve congestion on highways 288 and 290. They approved an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation which clarifies who takes the lead in the projects.


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Commissioners approved an initial proposal to address the problems on 288 and 290, as well as plans to fix them.

Peter Key is the director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority. He explains what the memorandum of understanding that was unanimously approved by the Court.

“It’s a guideline for how Harris County could partner with the state of Texas to help TxDot get a project on 290 started sooner, finished sooner and bring benefits to the traveling public in that corridor.”

Historically, TxDot took care of the major freeways in our region, but like any financially strapped department, they welcome any assistance from counties like Harris to bring beneficial mobility projects to the region.

Key says having tolls is becoming a way of life for moving a lot of people.

“Similar to what you saw done on the Katy Freeway, there is a toll component on I-10 that offers drivers an option if they want to pay a toll. And the guideline that was voted on today for 290, envisions basically the same concept.”

He says there’s still a lot of planning to do.

“The next step is to sit down with the Department of Transportation, and specify exactly what is going to be built in 290, find a way to fund it, and get on with the project, because people on 290 have been languishing in traffic for far too long.”

Under the plan, Harris County would pitch in $400 million of the anticipated $1.5 billion cost of the 290 project.

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