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Abandoned and Old Sections

of U.S. Highway 290

(From Brenham to Hockley, Page 1 of 3)

Photos by Martin G. Blaise
Disclaimer: this page is in no way part of or represents the opinion of the Texas Department of Transportation. It is strictly for entertainment and none of my comments should be used as facts.

There are several abandoned and old sections of U.S. 290 about 40 to 75 miles northwest of Houston. This page shows the ones I could find - these sections are near the towns of Brenham, Chappell Hill, Hempstead, Waller and Hockley.  One section that I came across, the Malinowski Lane section, was pretty eerie. I found it when I saw "Old Hwy 290" on a mapquest map when trying to find aerial views. The story of this old and abandoned section of US 290 is detailed on page 2.

The above section is about 2 miles west of Breham.  Present-day U.S. 290 is to the right and it is a four lane highway with a turn lane in the middle. This section of old highway actually functions kind of like a 2-way service road.  It is in great shape and is maintained as a local county road and it connects to some county roads. It is a bit hard to tell in this picture, but the old highway had a steeper grade here and the newer highway (at right) was cut into the hill to make the grade less steep.  This section of old (but still used) highway runs about maybe a mile or so.  You can see how the old slab kept going, at each end of this stretch.

This is the end of the above section.  You can see that the two-lane highway did continue past here many years ago.  The cars are on present-day US 290 and the city of Brenham is just beyond the top left center of the picture.  The rutted path is not old highway - just probably a local driveway of some type.

The above photo is a slab of the old highway that you can see just outside the city of Brenham, to the east of town. If you are driving from Houston, you will see this on the right side of the road about two miles before you reach Brenham. This abandoned section of old highway is now apparently being used for highway department storage. A few years ago the slab was clearly visible without anything on top of it. It came to an abrupt stop in some very tall weeds, probably, just short of a ditch or creek. If you want to see an aerial view of how it looked before the storage, click here.


This is another view of the old slab of U.S. 290 near Brenham. Present-day U.S. 290 is a divided four lane highway. You can just make it out in the background.  I am not sure when the old slab was abandoned. It is also possible that the present divided highway was upgraded to four-lane divided from a 2-lane highway. Interesting that this section has concrete curbs. I walked across the slab for a rough measurement of about 22 feet, or 11 feet per lane.


Another view of abandoned US 290 - beyond the trees in the background is town of Brenham, Texas.  This part of the state is pretty for its rolling hills - not real steep, but just enough for some great scenery.  The bluebonnets are really awesome when they bloom in this area.

A closeup of the end of the road and a gate.  The road dead ends here - I tried to see where it might have continued up farther, but there is no trace of it and it appears that a trailer park was built where the old slab might have been.


This is the view back the other direction. There is a lot highway material being stored here. The car barely visible in the background is on present-day US 290, which is a divided four-lane highway at this point.

This is a section just west of Chappell Hill.  US 290 used to go right through the town.  The old section is now designated as Farm-to-Market Road 1371.  If you look toward the center of the photo you can see how the new alignment went over the old road.

This is a view of the old highway into Chappell Hill.  Present-day US 290 is to the right and is a four-lane divided highway. The cross road is Farm-to-Market Road 1371 which actually is going in three directions in this photo - straight into Chappell Hill, to the left it goes to a small community called Sauney Stand and connects with Farm-to-Market Road 1456 which goes to Bellville. A short piece of 1371 goes to the right to connect to US 290.


The slab of this abandoned section of US 290 is in bad shape, with the center markings just barely visible.  More highway material being stored again!  Here is an aerial view of this section.


This photo looks at another part of abandoned US 290 near Chappell Hill. As you can see, there is some highway material being stored here similar to the old slab near Brenham.  Seems like these old slabs are popular storage area. Continue to Page 2