Hwy 146 needs upgrades, transportation planners are tackling the busy roadway

Traffic backs up where Interstate 610 and U.S. Highway 59 intersect near the Galleria area Tuesday, Nov. 23, 1999 in Houston. According to a study by the American Highway Users Alliance, Houston is home to two of the nation's worst highway bottlenecks. The study found that fixing the most serious congested areas nationwide would save lives, reduce pollution and shorten delays. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Hwy 146 has been a sore spot for transportation planners.

The stretch of highway between Livingston and Texas City is a hurricane evacuation route, so it needs to be in good condition in the event of an emergency.

RELATED: Hwy 146 upgrades come at a cost to Seabrook’s business community

Unfortunately, the roadway is suffering the effects of high traffic loads, heavy trucks from local chemical plants, and 18-wheelers.

TxDOT hopes to revitalize the road and make it work for the community again.

While a project is already in the works to improve the stretch between Seabrook and Galveston, planners are looking for ways to improve the remaining parts of the highway.

Carlene Mullins, senior planner for the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), is leading a study to find ways to alleviate the traffic issues on Hwy 146.

Planners hope to divert some of the traffic to the nearby Grand Parkway.

Additionally, they’re looking for improvements that can be made to the highway to fix some of the recurring issues. This could include installing medians with a designated turn lane or synchronizing the traffic lights.

RELATED: Houston finally forgives man who shut down I-45 near downtown to propose

H-GAC will hold public meetings in the fall to gather input about the study and the project proposals. Mullins believes they’ll have a complete report by December.

Even if the study finds improvements that should be made, there may not be funding to complete the work.

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