When it comes to the US-290 corridor in Northwest Houston, traffic has been a longtime headache for the area’s commuters. Exacerbated by the area’s rising population base (expected to almost double by 2040) and the ongoing US-290 construction, local property owners are ready for some much needed change. Great news! The soon to be completed US-290 expansion project will provide major relief to the slowdown and more projects may be on the way.
Karen Othon of TxDOT says the US-290 expansion project is “expected to be substantially complete at the end of 2017”. Many milestones will be reached before this date which will begin to relieve the congestion sooner, such as:
- The direct connector from 290/610 to I-10
- 610 West Loop/Southbound at Frontage Rd.
- The Beltway 8 at Frontage Rd/290
- 3 bridges throughout the project
Although progress is happening, the US-290 expansion has seen its share of delays. Othon refers to many challenges as the cause for these delays. Utility relocations and right-of-way issues had to be ironed out before workers could proceed. The US-290 team did, however, acquire the mandatory 373 parcels earlier this year.
Dallas to Houston Bullet Train?
One potentially massive project that would help launch economic growth of Northwest Houston into hyper drive is the proposed Dallas to Houston high speed rail headed by Texas Central Rail. This privately backed project would connect the two major cities via a world class 90 minute bullet train commute at 205 mph, wow! One of the top reasons for Texas Central Rail’s interest in the US-290 project is the connection opportunity. Texas Central’s team is assessing the area along the 610 Loop between 290 and I-10 for the sole Houston terminating station. A project of this scope has the potential to trigger for tremendous growth and development once train passengers begin to travel the area in mass with the 290/Northwest area as a major beneficiary. Although the project still faces hurdles, according to TCP, “We expect to begin construction as early as 2017, with passenger service to begin as early as 2021.”
What do the locals think ?
With all the positive developments on the horizon for the 290 area, local property owners and businesses are positioned well for the future. Boxer Property, one of the region’s largest commercial Landlords with 11 multi-tenant office properties for lease located along the US-290 corridor is bullish on the future. Alex Kakhnovets, Director of Leasing for Boxer Property, says “The completion of the US-290 expansion will transform the stretch of highway between I-610 and the Harris/Waller County line from one of the worst and most congested to among the best in the country. We are excited about the implications of that and are using the opportunity to improve our assets in the region with added amenities and innovative design to be best of breed.”