U.S. Route 290
U.S. Route 290 (or U.S. 290) is an east–west U.S. Highway located entirely within the state of Texas. Its current western terminus is at Interstate 10 near Harper, and its eastern terminus is at Interstate 610 in northwest Houston. It is the main highway between Houston and Austin and is a cutoff for travelers wanting to bypass San Antonio on Interstate 10. Throughout its length west of Austin, US 290 cuts across mountainous hills comprising the Texas Hill Country and the Edwards Plateau; between Austin and Houston, the highway then travels through gradually hilly grasslands and pine forests comprising the Gulf Coastal Plains.
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length||261.187 mi (420.340 km)|
|West end||I-10 southeast of Junction, TX|
| US 87 at Fredericksburg, TX|
US 77 at Giddings, TX
|East end||I-610 at Houston, TX|
|Counties||Kimble, Gillespie, Blanco, Hays, Travis, Bastrop, Lee, Fayette, Washington, Waller, Harris|
US 290 begins from I-10's exit 477 roughly 12 miles (19 km) southeast of the small town of Segovia. It begins to travel due east through rural farmlands in the Texas Hill Country before reaching Harper, where it is the main west-east road in the town. Afterwards, US 290 begins making slight curves as it crosses through several creeks and tributaries amidst additional farmland, where it eventually joins US 87 and runs as Main Street through Fredericksburg. The two highways travel together for eleven blocks in downtown Fredericksburg before US 87 splits south of US 290 at an intersection directly south of the National Museum of the Pacific War. Traveling due south, US 290 returns to an eastward path after crossing the Pedernales River, where it serves as an important artery for Fredericksburg's agricultural district, including Wildseed Farms. The highway then runs parallel to the Pedernales River, and after passing Stonewall, serves the south side of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park's ranch area. As the Pedernales River arcs further north, US 290 continues east through several wineries before approaching Johnson City and bordering the north side of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park's city unit. US 290 is designated as Main Street throughout downtown Johnson City as it joins US 281 and heads south.
After traveling through additional hilly terrain, US 290 splits east from US 281 and twists through slopes in the Edwards Plateau, where an intersection with RM 3232 in the unincorporated community of Henly provides access to Pedernales Falls State Park. US 290 then makes a sigmoid curve to serve downtown Dripping Springs, and then serves various residential areas as it crosses into southwest Austin. The highway then begins a concurrency SH 71 at a series of traffic lights and travels through Austin's Oak Hill district before becoming a five-to-six-lane freeway. In the community of Sunset Valley, US 290 has interchanges with Loop 1 (MoPac Expressway) and Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway) providing access to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and is then designated as Ben White Boulevard while it travels through south-central Austin, crossing the Missouri Pacific Railroad in the process. Shortly afterward, US 290 splits north from SH 71 in a stack interchange to run concurrent with I-35 via exit 230.
Upon beginning its concurrency with I-35, US 290 travels through the suburban Riverside and Travis Heights districts while also serving St. Edward's University. After crossing the Colorado River, I-35 and US 290 cut between downtown Austin and the Govalle district, being the only major highways to serve the Austin Convention Center and the Texas State Capitol. Just prior to bordering the east side of the main University of Texas at Austin campus, I-35 and US 290 split into two decks for about 2 miles (3.2 km), resurfacing close to the former Mueller Airport. US 290 then splits due east from I-35 exit 238B southeast of the former Highland Mall as a four-lane freeway. Not long after, US 290 has an interchange with US 183 and promptly becomes a tolled freeway designated as the Manor Expressway. It then travels through much of industrial Austin before reverting to a four-lane divided highway after an interchange with SH 130, less than a mile shy of Manor. US 290 then makes its way through rolling meadows dotted with suburban areas in northeast Travis County, then travels through downtown Elgin where it forms a brief concurrency with SH 95. Passing through the town of McDade, US 290 cuts through piney woods north of the Lost Pines Forest and has an interchange with SH 21 west of Paige. US 290 continues east, running parallel to the Austin and Northwestern Railroad east branch until approaching Giddings, where the highway is designated as Austin Street, intersecting US 77 near the town's center.
US 290 travels southeast to Ledbetter, where it then travels through additional grassland before bounding northeast to Burton. The highway then enters Brenham, where it briefly joins SH 36 to serve Blinn College and bypass the city as a four-lane freeway. After exiting Brenham, US 290 runs parallel to the old Washington County Railroad and goes through Chappell Hill to serve every historic landmark there, then crosses the Brazos River to move through a rural auto-industrial area. SH 6 joins US 290 north of Hempstead, where the two highways become a four-lane freeway notable for its role as a hurricane evacuation route. Running parallel to the Houston and Texas Central Railway from the north, US 290 finally comes right next to it roughly 3 miles (4.8 km) prior to intersecting SH 99. The highway is then designated as Northwest Freeway (legally as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway) as it travels through the suburb of Cypress, later splitting off SH 6 to the south in the suburb of Jersey Village. Following an interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway, US 290 serves several businesses and neighborhoods in northwest Houston before terminating at an interchange with I-610 exit 13A west of the Lazybrook/Timbergrove district.
Prior to the Interstate era, it extended nearly 300 miles (483 km) farther west to an intersection with US 80 (now Interstate 20) before Interstate 10 supplanted it. Much of the old route near Sheffield became SH 290. Other former alignments that are part of the state highway system include the Fort Stockton and Balmorhea business routes of Interstate 10, RM 1312 between Ozona and Sonora, RM 3130 between Sonora and Roosevelt, and RM 1674 between Roosevelt and Junction.
Prior to construction of the Northwest Freeway, U.S. 290 through Houston followed Hempstead Highway, which runs parallel to the freeway approximately one-half mile to the southwest. The eastern terminus of US 290 was also approximately one mile to the southeast at the intersection of Hempstead Highway, Washington Avenue and Old Katy Road. There is a small directional T interchange at this intersection.
Because of truncations in its length, US 290 no longer intersects with its "parent" route, US 90.
Prior to construction of the Northwest Freeway, US 290 through Houston followed Hempstead Highway, which runs parallel to the freeway approximately one-half mile to the southwest. The eastern terminus of US 290 was also approximately one mile to the southeast at the intersection of Hempstead Highway, Washington Avenue and Old Katy Road. There is a small directional T interchange at this intersection.
The interchange with IH 610 and first part of frontage roads opened in 1963. The first freeway section opened in 1975. In 1982, freeway main lanes completed to just inside Beltway 8. In 1990, the stack interchange with Beltway 8 were completed. From 1984 to 2005, the main lanes outside Beltway 8 were completed.
The freeway was constructed to only 3 lanes in each direction, but a major investment study in 2002 requested expansion to 5 lanes in each direction inside Beltway 8 and 4 lanes in each direction from Beltway 8 to the proposed Grand Parkway. It also recommended to build a new tollway along Hempstead Highway.
Due to heavy congestion on US 290 in Austin's Oak Hill district, CTRMA has plans to upgrade US 290 to a freeway between the east intersection of Circle Drive and the existing end of the current freeway at Old Fredericksburg Road.
US 290 has three business routes.
|Length||4.59 mi (7.39 km)|
Business U.S. Route 290-F is the original routing of US 290 through the town of Brenham. The route is 4.59 miles (7.39 km) in length. The route was designated as Texas State Highway Loop 318 from US 290 to US 290 on January 18, 1960. On February 28, 1973, The section from then-SH 90 westward became part of SH 105. It was established in 1990 when the mainline of US 290 was rerouted along with SH 36 around the western and southern sides of Brenham. The routing begins to the west of town at an intersection with SH 36. The business route continues east into downtown on Main Street. Before reaching downtown, the route splits into two parallel one-way streets: Main Street carrying westbound traffic and Alamo Street carrying eastbound traffic. It passes through downtown, meeting the business routing of State Highway 36 and the western terminus of SH 105. At this intersection, the business route turns south on Market Street, and continues out of Brenham, rejoining the mainline US 290 near an intersection with FM 577.
An earlier route, also designated as Loop 318, was designated on April 23, 1957, as a loop along the old route of US 380 (now SH 6). On July 18, 1957, this became part of FM 880 and a spur connection.
|Length||16.991 mi (27.344 km)|
Business U.S. Route 290-H is the original routing of US 290 through the towns of Hempstead, Waller, and Hockley. This route was designated between 1995 and 1998 in stages as a limited-access bypass route was constructed to the north of these towns.
|Length||1.396 mi (2.247 km)|
Business U.S. Route 290-L is the original routing of US 290 through the town of Cypress. The route was designated in 1993 as a limited-access bypass was built to the northeast of the original routing.
The entire route is in Texas. All exits are unnumbered.
|Kimble||||0.0||0.0||I-10 – San Antonio, Junction||Western terminus; I-10 exit 477|
|||12.1||19.5||RM 479 to I-10 / FM 2169|
|||13.2||21.2||RM 385 north to US 377|
|Gillespie||Harper||16.7||26.9||RM 783 south – Kerrville||West end of RM 783 overlap|
|17.0||27.4||RM 783 north / FM 2093 east – Doss||East end of RM 783 overlap|
|Fredericksburg||38.9||62.6||US 87 north – Mason||West end of US 87 overlap|
|39.6||63.7||RM 965 north (Milam Street) – Enchanted Rock, Cross Mountain|
|40.0||64.4||SH 16 south (Adams Street) – Kerrville||West end of SH 16 overlap|
|40.1||64.5||SH 16 north (Llano Street) – Llano||East end of SH 16 overlap|
|40.4||65.0||US 87 south (Washington Street) – San Antonio||East end of US 87 overlap|
|41.0||66.0||RM 1631 east (Olive Street) – Cave Creek|
|||45.7||73.5||RM 1376 south – Boerne|
|Stonewall||53.8||86.6||RM 1 east|
|54.9||88.4||RM 1623 north||West end of RM 1623 overlap|
|55.1||88.7||RM 1623 south – Albert, Blanco||East end of RM 1623 overlap|
|||56.6||91.1||PR 52 north – Lyndon B. Johnson State & National Historic Park|
|Blanco||||59.8||96.2||RM 1 west|
|||61.6||99.1||RM 1320 north – Sandy|
|Johnson City||70.2||113.0||Spur 356 north (Nugent Avenue)|
|70.7||113.8||US 281 north – Marble Falls, Burnet||West end of US 281 overlap|
|70.8||113.9||RM 2766 east – Pedernales Falls State Park|
|||76.2||122.6||US 281 south – San Antonio||East end of US 281 overlap|
|||85.4||137.4||RM 3232 north – Pedernales Falls State Park|
|Hays||Henly||86.8||139.7||RM 165 west – Blanco|
|Dripping Springs||95.0||152.9||RM 12 – Wimberley, San Marcos|
|Travis||Austin||RM 1826 south – Driftwood|
|SH 71 west – Lake Travis, Llano||West end of SH 71 overlap|
|Old Fredericksburg Road||Interchange; west end of freeway; no direct westbound exit|
|Monterey Oaks Boulevard / Industrial Oaks Boulevard|
|Loop 1 / Brodie Lane / Southwest Parkway|
|West Gate Boulevard||No direct westbound exit (signed at Loop 343)|
|Loop 343 (Lamar Boulevard) / Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway)|
|Manchaca Road / Pack Saddle Pass / Victory Drive||No direct eastbound exit (signed at Loop 343)|
|South First Street / Banister Lane||Access to South Austin Medical Center|
|Loop 275 (South Congress Avenue)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|I-35 south / SH 71 east – Bastrop, San Antonio, Airport||East end of SH 71 overlap; west end of I-35 overlap; US 290 west follows exit 230|
|Woodward Street / Ben White Boulevard||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; I-35 exit 231|
|51st Street / Cameron Road||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; I-35 exit 237B|
|I-35 north / RM 2222 west (via Spur 69) – Waco||East end of I-35 overlap; US 290 east follows exit 238B|
|Berkman Drive / Cameron Road|
|US 183 – Lampasas, Lockhart, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport|
|290 Toll Road east / Tuscany Way / Springdale Road – Houston||East end of freeway; west end of 290 Toll Rd.|
|290 Toll Road / Arterial A||Access point|
|290 Toll Road / Giles Lane / Johnny Morris Road||Access point|
|290 Toll Road / Harris Branch Parkway / Decker Lane||Access point|
|SH 45 Toll / SH 130 Toll / 290 Toll Road – Waco, San Antonio||SH 130 exit 437|
|FM 734 west (Parmer Lane) / Old Highway 20|
|Manor||290 Toll Road west – Austin||East end of 290 Toll Rd.|
|Loop 212 (West Murray Avenue)|
|FM 973 / Loop 212 – Taylor, Manor|
|||FM 1100 east – Kimbro|
|Bastrop||Elgin||SH 95 north – Coupland, Taylor||West end of SH 95 overlap|
|Loop 109 north to FM 1704 – Historical District|
|SH 95 south – Bastrop||East end of SH 95 overlap|
|||FM 696 east – Lexington|
|McDade||Loop 223 (Waco Street) – McDade|
|Loop 223 south (Columbus Street) / FM 2336 – McDade, Swiftex|
|||SH 21 – Bryan, Bastrop||Interchange|
|Paige||Spur 186 (Gonzales Street)|
|||FM 2104 south – Serbin, Smithville|
|FM 141 north (Orange Street) – Dime Box|
|||FM 180 north – Nails Creek State Park|
|Fayette||Ledbetter||FM 1291 south – Fayetteville|
|Carmine||Spur 458 south – Round Top|
|Washington||||SH 237 south – Roundtop, La Grange||Interchange|
|||FM 2502 south – Greenvine|
|Burton||FM 390 east – Burton|
|||Spur 125 west – Burton, Cotton Gin Museum|
|||FM 1948 north|
|||FM 2679 north – Zionsville|
Bus. US 290 east / SH 36 north – Brenham, Somerville
|interchange; west end of SH 36 overlap; west end of freeway|
|Old Mill Creek Road|
|FM 389 – Blinn College, Industrial Park|
|Lubbock Street / Industrial Boulevard||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
SH 36 south / Bus. SH 36 north – Bellville
|East end of SH 36 overlap|
Bus. US 290 west / FM 577
|Interchange; east end of freeway|
|||FM 2447 east|
|||FM 1371 south|
|||FM 1155 – Washington|
|||FM 1371 south|
|Waller||||FM 1736 east|
|Hempstead||SH 6 north (US 290 Bus. east) – College Station, Bryan, Hempstead||Interchange; west end of SH 6 overlap; west end of freeway|
|FM 1488 – Hempstead, Magnolia|
|||FM 359 – Brookshire||No direct eastbound exit (signed at FM 1488)|
|Prairie View||Liendo Parkway|
|FM 1098 – Prairie View|
|||James Muse Parkway|
|Harris||Waller||Field Store Road|
|FM 2920 – Waller, Tomball, Klein, Spring|
|||Roberts Road / Katy Hockley Road|
|||SH 99 Toll (Grand Parkway)||Interchange|
|Cypress||Fairfield Place Drive||Westbound access only|
|Mason Road||Westbound entrance is via the Fairfield Place entrance|
|Cypress-Rosehill Road / Fry Road / Spring-Cypress Road|
|Skinner Road||No direct westbound exit (signed at Barker-Cypress Road)|
|||Hempstead Road / Huffmeister Road||West end of reversible HOV/toll lane; access to North Cypress Medical Center; Hempstead Road not signed westbound|
|Jersey Village||SH 6 south / FM 1960 east||East end of SH 6 overlap, access to Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center|
|Eldridge Road / West Road||No eastbound exit (closed until November 2020)|
|290 Express Lane|
|NW Station Park & Ride|
|FM 529 / Senate Avenue|
|Sam Houston Tollway||Interchange|
|Houston||Beltway 8 (Frontage Road) / West Little York Road / North Gessner Road||No eastbound entrance (closed until September 2019)|
|West Little York Park & Ride||Interchange for 290 Express Lane|
|Fairbanks-North Houston Road|
|West Tidwell Road / Hollister Road||No westbound entrance (closed until September 2019)|
|Pinemont Drive / Bingle Road / West 43rd Street||Separate exits for West 43rd & Bingle/Pinemont westbound, opened in October 2017.|
|Antoine Drive / West 34th Street|
|I-10 (US 90) – San Antonio, Downtown||I-10 exit 763; I-610 exit 11; eastbound exit only.|
|Mangum Road / Dacoma Street||No eastbound entrance|
|I-10 east / Hempstead Road / Katy Road – NW Transit Center, Downtown||Eastbound exit for 290 Express Lane; east end of HOV/toll lanes at I-10, exit 763.|
|I-610||Eastern terminus; I-610 exit 13A; redesigned tri-stack interchange.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 290". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "Bill: HB 540 Legislative Session: 79(R)." Texas Legislature. Retrieved on February 12, 2009.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 87". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway No. 290". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business Interstate Highway No. 10-F". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business Interstate Highway No. 10-G". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Ranch to Market Road No. 1312". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Ranch to Market Road No. 3130". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Ranch to Market Road No. 1674". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Foster, Robin (September 20, 2011). "Officials favoring upgrade by TXDOT". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "290 East Manor Expressway Toll Road". CTRMA. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Houston Freeways
- "About the Oak Hill Parkway - Oak Hill Parkway". CTRMA. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Hempstead/US 290 Managed Lanes". HCTRA. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 290-F". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (2014). Texas County Mapbook (PDF) (Map) (2014 ed.). 1:120,000. Texas Department of Transportation. p. 452. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (2014). Texas County Mapbook (PDF) (Map) (2014 ed.). 1:120,000. Texas Department of Transportation. p. 453. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (2014). Texas County Mapbook (PDF) (Map) (2014 ed.). 1:120,000. Texas Department of Transportation. p. 475. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 290-H". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (2014). Texas County Mapbook (PDF) (Map) (2014 ed.). 1:120,000. Texas Department of Transportation. p. 496. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 290-L". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 10, 2013.