US 290 Traffic Study
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US 290 Traffic Study (House Bill 1, Rider 50)


This study will assess traffic and usage patterns along the designated hurricane evacuation route from Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway) in Houston to US 183 in Austin, approximately 145 miles, for opportunities to reduce traffic congestion. This highway extends across Travis, Bastrop, Lee, Fayette, Washington, Waller and Harris Counties.

Current conditions

US Highway 290 (US 290) is a mostly rural, at-grade, divided roadway with 2 lanes in each direction. There are signalized intersections along the route, typically in urbanized areas.

The 88th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1 (General Appropriations Bill). Attached to House Bill 1 was Rider 50, which directs TxDOT to conduct a traffic study along the hurricane evacuation route portion of US 290. 

Proposed improvements

The study will assess projected traffic and usage patterns, projected usage during disasters and the potential use of the Texas Rail Relocation and Improvement Fund to address rail crossing issues. There is one at-grade rail crossing in the City of Giddings along US 290.

Additional information

In a separate planning effort, the TxDOT Austin District is conducting the US 290 Giddings Mobility Study.  This study will develop and evaluate preliminary options to improve mobility, safety and emergency response times and to address conflicts with the at-grade railroad crossing in the City of Giddings. 

Next steps

This planning study began in December 2023 and is anticipated to conclude in October 2024 with the publication of a traffic study report. This report will serve as a guide to the TxDOT Districts, the public and other stakeholders for future planning activities along this important highway corridor and hurricane evacuation route.