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November 17, 2006

Temporary Ramp Closures and Reconfigurations Set for Sam Houston Tollway

Effective Tuesday, November 21, 2006, the Sam Houston Tollway West Road entrance ramp (KM 409) will be converted to a temporary configuration.  The left lane will become a dedicated EZ TAG only lane thereby eliminating the automatic coin machine.  All cash and coin transactions will move to the collector attended lane on the right. The right lane will no longer accept EZ TAGs for payment.

This configuration will be temporary, and is necessitated by lane expansion construction on the Sam Houston Tollway's mainlanes, from just south of Philippine to Fallbrook. Limited right-of -way in this corridor calls for the ultimate configuration of this ramp to be a single-lane, EZ TAG only ramp. "In order to accommodate the lane addition, we have to reduce the West Road entrance ramp to one lane," says Mike Strech, Director. "When we reviewed the toll operations at the ramps, we found that nearly 80 percent of the transactions there were with the EZ TAG.  This configuration is the logical choice." To accommodate the ultimate configuration of this ramp to a single-lane, EZ TAG only facility, the West Road southbound entrance ramp will shut down completely in Spring 2007. The ramp is expected to re-open in 8-12 weeks, and all non-EZ TAG customers will be directed to use the collector attended lanes at the Fallbrook entrance ramp.

An estimated timeline for the project is as follows:

November 21, 2006: Temporary conversion of the West Road southbound entrance ramp.  Left lane converts to EZ TAG only, right lane will only process cash and coin transactions.

Spring 2007: Complete closure of the West Road southbound entrance ramp for construction.

Late Spring: West Road southbound entrance ramp reopens as single lane, EZ TAG only (no cash, no collector.)

Note: all dates are subject to change due to weather and/or material delivery delays.

Established in 1983 through a Harris County voter referendum, the HCTRA serves over 625,000 EZ TAG patrons in the Houston metropolitan region. For more information on the EZ TAG program visit our website at http://www.eztagstore.com/.