HOUSTON - Starting Monday, commuters can begin using the 288 expressway - a tag only route that stretches from County Road 58 in Manvel, north to Highway 59.
Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta says the project has been in the works for nearly 20 years.
"A 15-mile plus managed lane facility that is electronically tagged only. No cash booths that will relieve congestion on 288 and provide easy access to the Houston Medical Center," Sebesta said.
Mike and Irma Billette have lived near the Medical Center for 18 years.
During that time, they’ve witnessed every type of construction and development project, but now they’re looking forward to the expressway easing congestion.
"Right now, everybody trying to come up 288, it’s all down to one lane. And it’s backed up clear to 610. I think it’ll be a good thing. Especially for those people that live down 288 and Pearland and so on. It’s going to be a real boom to them because a lot of them work right here in the Medical Center," Billette said.
While the expressway could help alleviate 288 traffic, some worry about the extra noise the additional cars on the road could bring.
"It’s really noisy out here. It’s never really quiet. Even at like 2 a.m., you can hear cars and stuff in here all the time," said Mikhel Brooks.
"We’ll see. There’s always been something from 288. We’ll just see how much worse it gets with the expressway," said Cynthia Denley.
Parts of the 288 Expressway will be free for the first two weeks. Tolling will begin on both the Brazoria and Harris County sections starting on November 30.
It will cost the traveler $1.80 in tolls to travel the length of the Brazoria County portion of the Expressway.
The Brazoria County Expressway will be Tag only, with no cash booths.
Residents are encouraged to get their EZTag online through the Harris County Toll Road Authority site https://www.hctra.org/.