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Exclusive: How TxDOT And Texas Central Rail Are Kicking Northwest Houston Into High Speed

For years now, northwest Houston and the 290 corridor's reputation has been one of interminable traffic and unending construction. TxDOT and Texas Central Rail will soon change that. With major infrastructure projects soon to be completed and more on the way, Northwest Houston is kicking things into high-speed. Hear the latest from TxDOT, Texas Central and area experts July 13 at Bisnow’s Future Of Hwy 290/North Loop West.

290 Construction

The transformation starts with the completion of the 290 corridor. TxDOT’s Karen Othon says the project is expected to be substantially complete at the end of 2017. Many of its major milestones will be done before then, such as the 290/610 direct connector to I-10, the continuous 610 West Loop Southbound frontage road, the Beltway 8 frontage road at 290 and three bridges throughout the project. It’s no secret the project has been delayed. Karen points to challenges with utility relocations as right of way had to be acquired and cleared before proceeding with the relocations. Earlier this year, the US 290 Program acquired all of the required 373 parcels.


The upgrades will make 290 one of the best highways in Houston. The area’s connectivity is a major reason Texas Central is looking to build the Houston end of its Dallas to Houston high-speed rail in the area. The team is looking at the area around 290 and 610, possibly near the Northwest Mall or Delmar Stadium, to build a station. The rail will be a catalyst for growth, as thousands of travelers traffic the area.  

Louis Rosenthal, Bruce Rutherford and Kevin Wyatt at Bisnow's Impact of Oil and Gas on Real Estate event Jan '16

Both projects will be a major boon for the office market, says Lincoln Property SVP Kevin Wyatt (right, with JLL's Louis Rosenthal and Bruce Rutherford). Brookhollow is one office building perfectly positioned to reap the benefits, he says. (See for yourself, it's hosting our event.) With all the executive housing and residential development in the Heights and surrounding areas, Kevin thinks people will soon see the 290 corridor as an alternative to the Galleria area. Traffic in the Galleria rivals that of 290, but the only major project to solve the problem has many critics thinking it will only make things worse. Kevin sees the completion of 290 as similar to what happened out west with I-10. 

Road Construction

The fundamentals of northwest Houston are strong. When coupled with ambitious plans, you have a recipe for change. In a short time, the 290 corridor could go from being one of the worst highways in Houston to its best, catapulting it into the successful submarket it ought to be. TxDOT, TCR, Kevin and others will have more expert analysis and announcements at Bisnow's The Future of Hwy 290/North West Loop on July 13.