Houston Moves Forward Again

by Franklin B. Moon, Vice Pres./Partner; Bernard Johnson, Inc., Houston, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 2, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


The National Transportation Plan, as released by Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner, advocates the construction of toll roads and calls on local governments to devise and finance solutions for local traffic problems. The Houston area leads the way on both counts with the Harris County Toll System. Until recently, motorists approached the Houston city limits with either studied caution or stark terror. By the early 1980s, the Federal Highway Administration had labeled Houston one of the most traffic-congested cities in the nation. Texas officials said the problem cost the area economy more than $1 billion a year. Now, the evening rush hour travels at its fastest speed since 1969, according to the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation. The increased mobility is thanks, in large part, to the opening last summer of the 27.7 mi. Sam Houston Tollway and the summer 1988 completion of the 21.7 Hardy Toll Road. As general engineering consultant for the Sam Houston Tollway, the Harris County Toll Authority selected Bernard Johnson, Inc., Houston. The firm was also selected for the final design and preparation of construction contracts for the $70 million, five-level interchange between the three main-line barrier toll plazas, with operations buildings, 13 ramp toll plazas, and all lighting signage striping and fencing for the length of the tollway.

Subject Headings: Tolls | Highways and roads | Traffic management | Consulting services | Building design | Ramps (road) | Public transportation | Texas | United States

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