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Abandoned and Old Sections

of U.S. Highway 290

Hockley, Texas

Page 3 of 3

Present-day U.S. 290 ends as a freeway just beyond Hockley, Texas.  There is a gap between Hockley and Cypress where there is no freeway - but a "partially" completed freeway and two lanes which will serve as a future service road (The westbound lanes were built as freeway lanes without any overpasses, probably for future upgrade to a freeway.  However, they are now not up to freeway standard and will probably be replaced).  In essence, it's a four-lane divided highway with a wide median (actually 1/2 median if you want to be technical!).  Old US 290 went through the towns of Hockley, Waller and Hempstead.  There was a traffic light for the highway to Prairie View.  The above photo is part of the old section of US 290 just outside Hockley.  The old road was stopped at the dead end sign rather than tying into the traffic ahead.  More about that below. The road at the immediate left is the onramp to the freeway, which is kind of interesting because at the end of the onramp is the end of the freeway!

Closeup of the dead end showing that the highway department decided to let the old section go back to grass at this point. Maybe in the future this part will be revived as the service road when the main lanes are built between Hockley and Cypress.

This is the other end of this slab of abandoned US 290.  It stops just short of the eastbound lanes of 290 at the point where the freeway ends.  At present, the slab could probably be put back into use as a service road if it doesn't go into much worse condition.  Hopefully those main lanes (or 1/2 lane, again, if you want to be technical, plus overpasses) will be built in the near future, so that the freeway will be complete all the way from Houston to Hempstead.  There are several dangerous crossovers in the non-freeway section.  Bridges are already under construction at Mason Road and Mueschke Road.  My guess is that the highway department will look at the rest of the stretch when those two projects are complete.

I wondered why the highway department didn't leave the old road in place to just tie in with US 290, but then I realized the other old sections like this tie into service roads and not main lanes. In this case, the freeway main lane actually goes to the right to what will some day probably be the service road. So the old section would have fed into 70 mph traffic directly. Now I see why it's fed onto the on-ramp instead. So you actually enter the freeway right before the freeway ends. The other bypasses at Cypress and Satsuma (where SH 6 turns to a different route) have service roads so the old highway just ties in to the feeders.

If you have any questions about my US 290 photos or comments, click here to please let me know.