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Transportation

The Newest Segment Of The Grand Parkway Is Opening To Traffic

The new toll lanes are expected to open Tuesday in time for the afternoon rush. 

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In February TxDOT opened the segment of the Grand Parkway between U.S. 290 and I-45. Now drivers will be able to take it east from 45, on to U.S. 59.

Officials say the Grand Parkway project is designed to accommodate growth in the northern suburbs, so people will have an easier way to connect to the freeways that head into Houston. TxDOT's Danny Perez says the new 12-mile segment should get some of the traffic off busy local roads.

"Normally folks would have to take FM roads or other smaller secondary roads," says Perez. "This keeps them on a facility that will get them to and from these points quicker."

The Grand Parkway is all-electronic tolling and that means you'll need a toll tag to use it. But those tolls won't kick in until April 4. Perez says that will give drivers time to try it out for free.

“We're also making some adjustments out there, seeing how traffic flows out there before we actually implement the tolling," explains Perez. "So this is just a way for folks to get used to it, get a chance to drive it, get to enjoy it."

Once the Grand Parkway is finished years from now, it will make a 180-mile loop around metro Houston.

On the west side, you can currently drive it from U.S. 59 Southwest Freeway to I-45 North. On the east side, a small section is open between I-10 and Baytown.