The Proposed Texas 288 Corridor
“The Texas 288 Corridor is significant to the economic engine of the state,”
— Jeff Moseley, Transportation Commissioner.The Brazoria County Toll Road authority (BCTRA)
August, 2014 -- Harris County and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are moving forward with plans to design, construct and operate the Texas 288 Toll Road. Texas 288 today carries over 180,000 vehicles per day and is one of the busiest corridors in Texas.
The Brazoria County segment, four toll lanes - two managed lanes in each direction, will begin at the Brazoria County line/Clear Creek and end approximately five miles south at a terminal point near CR 58. Costs for the Brazoria County portion are anticipated to be $160 million.
Future expansion of this section will take the managed lanes further south where Texas 288 will intersect with the future Grand Parkway, Texas 99, at CR 60.
The Brazoria County section of the toll road will be owned and controlled by Brazoria County. The county’s elected officials will set rates and make other operational decisions. Brazoria County completed the preliminary design of the toll road in February 2014 and immediately began the design phase for the project.
Currently, Brazoria County has completed the 60% review process for the final design and anticipates completion of the design phase in the last quarter of 2014. While Brazoria County will be prepared to begin construction in early 2015, TxDOT has been delayed in delivering the Harris County portion of the project. The start of construction is anticipated in the third quarter of 2015.
Additionally, Brazoria County is conducting a traffic and revenue investment study to insure the financial viability of the corridor. This study should be completed by the end of 2014.
“We need to prepare for the present and future growth in Brazoria County, the Texas 288 tollway will help relieve the traffic congestion our citizens are currently experiencing,” said County Commissioner Matt Sebesta. “Schedule-wise we’re where we should be.”
In Harris County, plans for the Texas 288 Toll Road are being handled differently. The Texas Transportation Commission has authorized state transportation planners to select by late 2014, an engineering and construction team to design and build a four lane tollway from U. S. 59 south to the Harris County line. The winning contractor will share revenues from tolls collected over a 52 year period. The $585 million Harris County leg is scheduled to begin in mid-2015.
Of major concern to Brazoria County planners are ramps that would connect Texas 288 to the Sam Houston Parkway. TxDot is working on a solution for the connectors, a complicated challenge for engineers involving safely merging traffic and other design restrictions.
“The traveling public expects ramps to the Sam Houston Parkway, they’re important to travelers and the county,” said Rep. Ed Thompson, Pearland. “They’re a must-have on all fronts.”
The current population in Brazoria County, 313,166, is projected to increase 11% to 348,846 by 2017. According to the Texas Medical Center, approximately 7,000 residents of the Pearland area work in the medical center and use Texas 288 to get there. Other cities in the area are experiencing steady growth as development steadily moves closer.
Already announced expansion plans at Dow Chemical, BASF and Port Freeport will have a huge impact in southern Brazoria County. In addition, commercial and residential developmentare moving south along Texas 288 towards Texas 6 in Manvel and beyond.