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Old 05-03-2016, 12:52 PM   #1
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Going Through Houston

We are taking a trip to Nasbville and then to MS and LA. When we leave Lafayette we want to head to TX Hill Country. What is the best way around/through Houston?
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:10 PM   #2
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You are not going to believe me, but Highway 10 was the least traveled route when we were there. Now, this was a couple of years ago, and there was a lot of construction back then. If you have Google Maps you may want to check just before you get there and double check on traffic patterns at that time. (The most congested Highway back then was 290.)
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:34 PM   #3
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We usually take the outer ring road around Houston, the so-called Sam Houston tollway which, I think, is also Highway 8. The traffic on the ring road is less simply because it's a toll road and, to us, it's worth the money to avoid the hassle. JMO
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
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If you can arrange to arrive on the east side of Houston after about 10am I would suggest you just stay on IH-10 all the way. Most of the construction is in Louisiana, for which there is no good alternative, and the east side of Houston always has a lot of heavy truck traffic as it is the more industrial side of town, but by the time you get to Sam Houston Toll Road you are almost past that worst of the heavy truck traffic and the road gets better and more lanes the farther west you go (until you leave the metropolitan area). During heavy traffic hours or inclement weather the Sam Houston Toll Road is useful but you do pay a time and distance penalty.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #5
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Go straight thru on I-10. Do it between 10am and 2pm. Avoid the 610 and 290 area due to construction
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:15 PM   #6
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^^^ This.
I drive I-10 regularly. Non rush hour it is fine.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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Go straight thru on I-10. Do it between 10am and 2pm. Avoid the 610 and 290 area due to construction
I did this last year around this time of year with no issues.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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Houston or Nashville

I timed my drive from the hill country to miss rush hour and found Houston much much easier than Nashville, TN. Be prepared to ride high on the upper level and just keep it between the lines but don't look down.

Traveling north on I-65 to 24 through Nashville gives me nightmares and I get sweaty palms each time I drive it...Houston not so much. I now only drive northbound through Nashville on Saturday morning or Sunday.

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Old 05-03-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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Go straight thru on I-10. Do it between 10am and 2pm. Avoid the 610 and 290 area due to construction
Yup ... did it about 2 weeks ago ... takes awhile due to the distance across Houston but it moved along with no issues.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:52 PM   #10
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Ditto. Straight through I-10 mid-day.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #11
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I live here, and drive it often.

And I agree with most of the previous comments. Stay on I-10, if you come in on a weekend or between 10am and 3pm.

If you arrive out of that time range, or if there is an accident, and I know this feels/sounds counterintuitive, but take 610 or Beltway 8/Sam Houston Pkwy to the south, NOT the north.

The north is VERY congested, and very overpopulated. As mentioned above, stay away from 290 (and I-45) which both get pretty congested on the north side.

If you go south on the loop/beltway, you will go through more rural areas, much less traffic, and even though it may be a little longer mile-wise, assuming no accidents, it will be well worth your time.

Beltway 8 is toll-road, so be sure to bring lots of quarters or Sacajawea dollars. 610 is not toll-road, but (usually) have a bit more traffic.

If you take 610, you will see the Astrodome (8th wonder of the world!).

If you have a cell phone with built in maps, hit it around Baytown (east of Houston) or Katy (if coming from the West) and make sure there are no accidents. If so, change over to one of the other routes.

I do this every day on the way to and from work.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:16 AM   #12
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Just a caution about taking the Sam Houdton Tollway south. Long stretches of it, including the Ship Channel Bridge are toll tag only. There is no way to manually pay the toll, so if you go that route without an E-Z pass toll tag you will eventually get letters of violations with tolls and surcharges
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:25 AM   #13
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Just a caution about taking the Sam Houdton Tollway south. Long stretches of it, including the Ship Channel Bridge are toll tag only. There is no way to manually pay the toll, so if you go that route without an E-Z pass toll tag you will eventually get letters of violations with tolls and surcharges
We carry a Harris County Toll Tag (it's not EZPass and not compatible with it) which is valid on all the toll roads in the state. There's full reciprocity in TX so any of the highway tags will work on any of the toll roads. There's no cost for getting one and opening an account.

Not only do we use the tag in the Houston area, it allows us to use the high speed (up to 85 mph) toll corridor which bypasses Austin. Not a cheap trip, but it is a stressless drive.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:48 AM   #14
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We drive straight through Houston during non rush hour and never experienced delays. I have never seen a highway with more travel lanes. Stay away from the far right hand lanes as they turn into exit lanes. You may want to watch what you do around Nashville. There is major interstate construction. We avoided all that recently coming up from the south on I-65 by exiting to I-24 to I-40 onto the Briley Parkway if you are staying at any of the campgrounds off Music Valley Drive. If stay at one of these campgrounds, you can catch the Downtown Shuttle to downtown Nashville. That way you can enjoy if you want to have a libation or two and not worry about driving.
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