C+S September 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 9 (web)

maintain a consistent design and construction approach, helping sim - plify both TxDOT’s reviews and the contractor’s construction. One year into construction, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the Houston Metropolitan area. The city suffered catastrophic flooding with an estimated $125 billion in damage, but the SH 288 project still needed to be completed. To assess the storm’s impact, Stantec quickly mobilized crews to inspect existing and newly constructed elements. Thankfully, the project impacts were minimal. Improving the motorist experience To improve safety, the team added 72 new high-mast illumination poles and relocated 16 existing high-mast poles to increase visibility for motorists while also upgrading all the lighting to LED to reduce maintenance and operating cost. Other safety enhancements include the resurfacing of 77,000 linear feet of the corridor to improve driving conditions and barrier upgrades throughout the highway. The new Southmore Bridge over SH 288 incorporated two pedestrian bridges to improve pedestrian access to Texas Southern University. A modern roadway for Houston commuters Overcoming an accelerated timeline and obstacles like a hurricane was no small feat for the project team, but in November 2020, the SH288 Toll Lanes project opened for public use, serving approximately 190,000 vehicles daily. The largest cap at the Beltway-8 connector; the cap is made of 1.33 million pounds of concrete and needed two 400-ton cranes to lift it into place. Photo: Almeda-Genoa Constructors

Precast Cap Installation. Photo: Almeda-Genoa Constructors

The use of precast caps also eased congestion by reducing the duration of lane closures. Engineering solutions to make a mega project work Simplicity and streamlining quickly became key and consistency in detailing was crucial. Beyond creating a “go-by” set of plans for the bridge design teams, Stantec created a dedicated bridge review team that cross-checked the bridge plans against each other in an effort to

YOUSSAIRA BELMOKADEM, PE is a Bridge Engineer and Deputy CSS Structural Manager. JAMES RASHFORD, PE is the Deputy Design Manager for the SH 288 Toll Lanes Project.



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