The Texas Department of Transportation began construction on a transportation system management, or TSM, project in late October to ease traffic congestion at the Hwy. 290 and Barker Cypress intersection.
“This project will improve safety and mobility in the area by providing motorists wanting to make different movements new options to make them, instead of all motorists having to make different movements from the same basic area,” said Karen Othon, TxDOT public information officer.
The two ramps under construction will allow outbound Hwy. 290 frontage road motorists the opportunity to access southbound Barker Cypress without traveling through the signalized intersection, Othon said, while the other ramp will allow northbound Barker Cypress motorists the opportunity to access Hwy. 290 frontage roads.
Currently, the Barker Cypress intersection moves vehicles between the overpass and outbound Hwy. 290 with looped frontage roads on the south side of the freeway, but the recent growth of residential communities and nearby commercial developments have led to an increased amount of traffic, according to Mike Zientek, public involvement representative with the US 290 Program.
Upon completion, the new project should facilitate better traffic flow, Zientek said. One ramp will move outbound traffic from the frontage roads to southbound Barker Cypress directly, while the other will provide direct access from northbound Barker Cypress to the outbound Hwy. 290 frontage road.
“This TSM project has been in the works for some time,” Zientek said. “Certainly the growth that has come to the area has made it even more important.”
With the interchange configuration as is, motorists traveling on Barker Cypress have issues with weaving traffic patterns of drivers wanting to turn left onto westbound Hwy. 290, he said.
In addition to the new cloverleaf-style entrance and exit ramps, the re-striping of the Barker Cypress overpass will provide dedicated left turn lanes in both directions on Barker Cypress to access Hwy. 290, according to the design.
Construction is estimated to be completed in early 2013, according to TxDOT’s plans.