HOUSTON The expansion of Highway 290 will begin and end much sooner than anyone had expected.
Crews are expected to finish the massive project in 2016. That s 20 years ahead of schedule.
Nearly $2 billion in funding, unexpectedly, came through from various sources to pay for the work.
Highway 290 is one of the most congested roadways in the Houston area.
That bumper-to-bumper just gets annoying, said David Fasci, who said he uses the road nearly every day.
Once complete, Highway 290 will have as many as seven lanes in both directions.
They will include both toll and HOV lanes.
Oh that s awesome, said Sheila White, who uses Highway 290 to get to Pearland.
Today, nearly 260,000 vehicles use the road every day.
That s compared to only 15,000 when the road first opened fifty years ago.
The area s population has grown dramatically.
Driver Lori Hansard said the number of people in the Cypress area just blew up here.
TxDOT said a lot of drivers can expect to cut 20 minutes off their commutes.
However, driving on Highway 290 will get worse before it gets better because of construction on the long stretch of road.
It s going to be crazy, said Tia Braxton-Ettinoffe, another Highway 290 commuter.