TxDOT officials met with leaders of Brenham and Washington County Thursday, to discuss concepts for Highway 290 cloverleaf improvements.

Brenham councilmembers and Washington County Commissioners talked with Doug Marino, TxDOT – Bryan Director of Transportation, Planning and Development, along with Allison Kurwitz, a Planning Engineer.

Allison Kurwitz (left) and Doug Marino explain TxDOT's presented concepts for Highway 290 cloverleaf improvements.

Marino and Kurwitz showed and explained concepts for proposed changes to the cloverleaf, which Marino said have “been a long time coming”. He stated the heavy traffic needs to be addressed at this location, which he said has local, regional, and statewide importance.

Marino stressed that this meeting, along with the concepts shown, are very early in the design process with nothing set in stone. He added that a project of this magnitude is going to have challenges, and TxDOT is still working on performing traffic analysis and an environmental study.

Kurwitz said the focus of this project will be the cloverleaf, but will carry down Highway 290 to FM 389 at the railroad, and then west on Highway 290 in order to complete work.

Kurwitz said the main needs of this project are reducing congestion, improving safety, and maintaining connectivity. Looking at the goals to address those needs, she said TxDOT is looking at adding travel lanes, modernizing design, providing ramp connections to local roads, improving pedestrian access and addressing the cloverleaf’s role as an evacuation route.

Concept A: Diverging Diamond Interchange
(subject to change)

Three concepts were showcased in the session: a diverging diamond interchange, a southern direct connect, and a split northern connection. Kurwitz maintained that these particular concepts are “very preliminary”.

A diverging diamond interchange, Kurwitz said, is a relatively new roadway configuration that is currently under construction in College Station. She said it’s highly efficient in traffic handling and maintains a similar footprint to the current cloverleaf.

Kurwitz added that it is less costly and has the least amount of right-of-way, but could have some impacts to the community.  It would also use traffic signals, so there would not be continuous movement on Highway 290.

A southern direct connection would create a connector south of the current cloverleaf, with continuous flow for Highway 290. It has a medium-sized right-of-way footprint and could affect businesses on Highway 290, as well as landowners to the south of the project.  Kurwitz said it is a possibility that the Old Mill Creek Bridge could not remain, with this design.

Concept B: Southern Direct Connect
(subject to change)

A split northern connection would go to the north of the development on the north side of where the cloverleaf and Highway 290 head west, and a connector would be on the south side for the traffic coming southeast. It would maintain continuous movement.

It would also have the largest right-of-way permit, and could impact businesses on Highway 290 on the west side and landowners on the north side.  Marino said construction and cost would be of the biggest concern with this design.

Each of these concepts will expand Highway 290 and Highway 36 connection from one to two lanes, complete conversion of one-way frontage roads to provide extensions, update entrance and exit ramps to current standards, and accommodate bicycles and pedestrians.

Concept C: Split, Northern Connection
(subject to change)

When open discussion began, several councilmembers and commissioners leaned toward the southern direct connection. Marino said that design is the most traditional one, and would be beneficial from an economic development standpoint as it opens up a lot of access points that aren’t available today.

Kurwitz said these concepts will continually be revised based on feedback from several more meetings with stakeholders and the public.

Kurwitz said TxDOT tentatively has construction set to begin in 2025, with some funding to assign to the project.  Marino added that TxDOT would be responsible for a large portion of the compensation to affected landowners.

These projects can also be viewed as they are updated at www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/bryan.html.

What’s your Reaction?


  1. It was working great before they put the light at Westwood People coming into town from burton side was backup to asco yesterday. All cause of a light.

  2. I dont understand the obsession with the clover leaf. If you are going to bypass the businesses that are in this area without even giving travelers access to them with the proposed examples, why not leave this area alone but add a total bypass further up 290 and not impacting the business that have accessibility at present. There is no difference in bypassing the area entirely than under the present plans giving an “oh look, I would stop there, but I cant get to it” situation. Whoever came up with that cluster at 2818 and 60 should be banned from any future road design.

  3. looks like plan B would be the most cost saving plan and you better believe that the state will go the cheapest way they can which is great for the tax payers.Progress comes with a price tag and say goodbye to the biggest little town in Texas

  4. I’m sorry but whoever thinks that that monstrosity of an engineering at 2818 and FM 60 is efficient needs to take their head out of those books and actually drive the route.
    A cloverleaf is much more efficient and does not require stop lights.

  5. Why not extend 577 and merge with 290 in concept C, that would allow two routes around Brenham during hurricane evacuations and high holiday traffic events and give better opportunities to attract business expansion on the north and west sides instead of overcrowding the south side. I would love to see another HEB in the 577 and 36 north area.

  6. If Brenham wants to encourage more commercial growth, it’s got to be Plan C. It seems like Plan B and C both remove the gas station and car wash.

  7. If you want to fix the clover leaf area then DO NOT bring what they have on FM 2818 in College Station!! If you think the one light at KBOB’s is bad that will be a true nightmare !!!!

    1. Ditto. THe “X” intersection is totally stupid for this purpose. We need continuous flow of traffic. Why TxDOT doesn’t have a roadway from Texas’s largest city (Houston to Austin) without going thru red lights is just amazing! No red lights! No stops! Continuous flow of traffic or this is a waste of money.

      1. There’s no possible way to do that on 290. There is a light in Chappell Hill that won’t be going anywhere, and if you take 290 to Austin there are lights in Elgin, if you go through Bastrop and take 71 there are lights there. If you want continuous flow then you need to eliminate all of those lights as well. There is an obvious impact to that side of town if 290 bypasses all of the existing businesses that are already there. That’s just common sense.

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