Almeda-Genoa Constructors (AGC) is a fully integrated joint venture between Dragados USA, Pulice Construction, and Shikun & Binui America, known collectively as DBJV. The DBJV team members employ over 1,000 professional staff and 2,000 craft personnel in North America and have nearly 20,000 employees worldwide. Additionally, the DBJV has integrated well-respected local firms, James Construction Group and MICA Corporation, to perform vital elements of the work.
SH 288, which runs from downtown Houston to southern Brazoria County, provides a vital route for commuters, as well as freight and commercial trucking. Moreover, it also serves as a hurricane emergency evacuation route. The SH 288 Express Toll Lanes Project will help accommodate additional traffic, improve access to the Texas Medical Center and downtown Houston, and enhance the operational efficiency of SH 288.
The design and construction improvements are valued at $815 million.
Funding to move this project forward came from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. The initiative provides federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.
Blueridge Transportation Group (BTG) will oversee as the developer and Almeda-Genoa Constructors will perform the design and construction portion.
Design/build is a construction method in which both the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity, known as the design/build contractor.
TxDOT conducted a Major Corridor Feasibility Study, which looked at all modes of transportation, including biking and rail. The study determined that FM 521, also known as Almeda, was the “more” preferred route for future rail, as it would serve as a logical link to the current METRO Red Line.
Furthermore, the study determined a toll option would better address the congestion issues impacting the corridor and accommodate future growth.
The Green Ribbon Project Corridor Aesthetics and Landscape Master Plan integrate landscape architecture, public art, and architecture into the engineered aspects of Texas highways in the Houston area. The Green Ribbon Project is a blueprint for district engineers and designers to bring continuity to roadway enhancements. The Green Ribbon Project (GRP) was developed by TxDOT-Houston in response to the desires of the political, civic, and ‘green’ leaders of Houston to change the city’s image.
The 10.3-mile project includes the construction of four tolled lanes, two in each direction within the existing SH 288 median, from US-59 to the Harris/Brazoria County line.
No, there will also be General-Purpose Lanes.
On a toll road, all motorists pay a fee because the entire roadway is tolled. In contrast, on highways that include Managed Lanes, drivers can choose one of two options. They can use the non-tolled, general-purpose lanes or pay a toll to drive in Managed Lanes that can offer more predictable travel times. Managed Lanes also may include “variable” or “dynamic” toll rates that change based on the time of day, increase when traffic is congested, and decrease when traffic is flowing smoothly.
The following vehicles will be exempt from paying tolls:
- Authorized emergency vehicles, as defined in Section 541.201 of the Texas Transportation Code
- Marked, recognizable military vehicles
- Recognized public agency buses, including public-school buses
- Vehicles with qualifying veteran license plates (as provided under Minute Order 113682 of the Commission, amended or supplemented from time to time)
A Toll Gantry is a structure spanning one or more toll lanes, equipped with specialized electronic devices to detect, identify, and classify vehicles traveling underneath.
The Drive288 Project has three (3) mainline Toll Gantries located along the SH 288 Express Toll Lanes and eight (8) ramp Toll Gantries located at the direct connectors at IH-610 and Sam Houston Tollway.
Customers, when passing underneath a Toll Gantry, pay a toll fee for the use of a specific stretch of roadway – referred to as a Toll Zone.
The Express Toll Lanes are adding additional capacity to the corridor that did not exist previously. The Express Toll Lanes aim to optimize the flow of traffic each direction, thereby offering full value to Manage Lanes customers and reducing overall demand on the General-Purpose Lanes.
The Developer has installed equipment along SH 288, just south of Holly Hall Bridge. The materials at this location are only used for testing and will not be used for revenue collection until the project reaches Service Commencement in Fall 2020.