Hardy Toll Road
The Hardy Toll Road is a toll road in the Greater Houston area of the U.S. state of Texas, maintained by the Harris County Toll Road Authority. The route runs from Interstate 610 near central Houston to Interstate 45 just south of the Harris–Montgomery county line. The road generally parallels Interstate 45. The portion from I-610 to Crosstimbers Road was designated on September 26, 1984 as Spur 548, although this is unsigned.
Hardy Toll Road highlighted in red
|Maintained by HCTRA|
|Length||21.6 mi (34.8 km)|
|South end||I-610 in Houston|
| Beltway 8 at Aldine|
SH 99 Toll at Spring
|North end||I-45 at Spring|
Construction on the toll road started in September 1984 and the entire road was complete by June 1988. The toll road runs 21.6 miles (34.8 km)  and costs $3 to drive its full length ($1.50 north of Beltway 8 and $1.50 south of Beltway 8). A four-mile (6 km) connecting road to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport requires a $1.20 toll. As of July 18, 2016, the Hardy Toll Road discontinued cash tolling and made the switch to all-electronic tolling. All drivers must now use an EZ TAG to access the toll road.
The road is named for nearby Hardy Street, which makes up the frontage roads for the toll road in two locations: between Spring Railroad Yard and FM 1960, and between Greens Road and Crosstimbers Road.
A large portion of the southern segment resembles Austin's Mopac Expressway in that an active line of the Union Pacific railroad runs along its median. Like other toll roads in the Houston area, the speed limit is 65 mph (105 km/h), even inside Beltway 8.
Future plans are to extend the toll road south an additional four miles (6 km) into downtown Houston (the northern most mile marker is 25, though the current road is only 21.6 miles (34.8 km) long). In November 2007 the city of Houston gave approval for street closures required to construct the connections to the downtown freeway loop. Originally, construction was scheduled to start in August 2009 with completion sometime in 2011; however, this has been delayed. It is expected that the toll road will deviate from Hardy Street south of I-610 and follow Maury Street  to connect with the Eastex Freeway near I-10, as part of the ramp connections have already been built.
Construction on the Hardy Toll Road Downtown connector began in 2014.
As the population of Montgomery County has grown quickly in recent years, the need for a northward extension is being evaluated. Originally, the plan was to construct the extension along the right of way for the railroad. However, recent growth in Oak Ridge North will require that the Hardy Toll Road extension deviate from this right of way in places. Feasibility studies have evaluated possible routes between FM 1314 and the San Jacinto River, with the northern terminus planned to be at Loop 336. No plans for construction have yet been formulated.
The following are the number of mainlanes in each direction, as of May 2017:
- 4 lanes each way between Interstate 610 and Crosstimbers Road (these lanes are the unsigned Spur 548)
- 3 lanes each way between Crosstimbers Road and Grand Parkway (SH 99 Toll)
- 2 lanes each way between Grand Parkway and Interstate 45 (northern terminus)
This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions.
The entire route is in Harris County. All exits are unnumbered.
|Houston||I-610 (North Loop Freeway)||I-610 exit 19B; southbound exit & northbound entrance.|
|Hardy Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Crosstimbers Road||Last free exit before toll road begins|
|Tidwell Road, Parker Road, Berry Road|
|Little York Road, Gulf Bank Road|
|Aldine||FM 525 (Aldine Bender Road) / Aldine Mail Road, Gulf Bank Road|
|Hardy South EZTAG Plaza|
|Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Parkway)|
|Houston||Central Green Boulevard, Hardy Airport Connector – Intercontinental Airport|
|Westfield||FM 1960 (Cypress Creek Parkway) – Cypress, Humble|
|Spring||Hardy North EZTAG Plaza|
|Louetta Road, Aldine–Westfield Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Riley Fuzzel Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance.|
|SH 99 Toll (Grand Parkway)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance.|
|Northgate Crossing Boulevard, Springwoods Village Parkway||Northbound exit & southbound entrance.|
|I-45 north||I-45 exit 72 northbound, 72B southbound; northbound exit & southbound entrance.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
|0.0||0.0||Hardy Toll Road – Houston, Dallas||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|0.5||0.80||Central Green Boulevard||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|0.9||1.4||Waverly Drive, Aldine Westfield Road||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|3.4||5.5||John F. Kennedy Boulevard north – Intercontinental Airport||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Texas Transportation Commission (February 22, 2001). "Texas Transportation Commission Agenda". Texas Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
- Stanek, David (December 29, 2000). "State Highway Spurs". Texas Highway Routes. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2006.[unreliable source]
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway Spur No. 548". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Staff. "HCTRA Project History". Harris County Toll Road Authority. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
- Slotboom, Erik (March 2006). "Houston Photos". Houston Freeways. Retrieved September 29, 2006.[unreliable source?]
- Sallee, Rad (June 12, 2006). "Hardy Toll Road goal still two years away". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
- Google (October 23, 2006). "Satellite image: Exit ramp from Northbound U.S. 59 to Westbound Interstate 10 showing stub for future ramp to Northbound Hardy Toll Road" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 23, 2006. (Note: US 59 in this image is shown under construction, prior to 2003.)
- "HCTRA — Harris County Toll Road Authority". Harris County Toll Road Authority. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Kuhles, Beth (May 29, 2003). "Hardy Toll Road extension is eyed into Montgomery County". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
- "Overview Map of Hardy Toll Road Airport Connector". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 13, 2014.