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Downtown Houston drivers get a break as new toll road connector rolls ahead

Downtown Houston drivers get a break with new toll road connector

Houston, Post HTX at 401 Franklin, September 2016, downtown Houston
With these plans, driving into downtown will get a lot easier.  Courtesy of Lovett Commercial

The Harris County Toll-Road Authority is preparing to extend the Hardy Toll Road into downtown Houston. ABC13 looked at the project plans with HCTRA deputy director of engineering John Tyler.

"The benefit will be that you will no longer have to go to 59 or 45 to go that last little piece to get into downtown," says Tyler. "We are going to build along what used to be a track."

The Harris County Toll Road Authority relocated railroad tracks to another corridor nearby to create space for the downtown connector. The plans are for a downtown connector that is two lanes in each direction between the 610 North Loop and downtown, allowing drivers to exit to Elysian or I-69.

Inside the Loop, there are plans for one toll plaza and access point at Cavalcade. HCTRA is busy now building grade separations in the Northside neighborhood at Collingsworth, then Quitman and Lorraine.

"We'll put in grade separations for each of those three roadways, and then you won't have to wait for a train again," says Tyler, who took Eyewitness News to see the bridge at Collingsworth, which is about to open to walkers and drivers in the neighborhood.

Whether walking or driving, you'll soon bypass both the active railroad tracks on those major streets and bypass the future Hardy Toll. The goal is to open the Hardy Toll Road downtown connector by the end of 2022.

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For more on this story, including video, visit our content partner ABC13.