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Big news for Northeast Harris County.
Your commute will soon be easier than ever.

The newest and final segment of the Sam Houston Tollway opens February 26, and everything about this new 13-mile roadway is designed to save you time and ease your commute.

First of all, it’s EZ TAG only, which means you can forget about fumbling for change (or waiting for other drivers to) and enjoy a smoother, safer traffic flow as you bypass 10 stoplights in either direction. At the same time, traffic on the adjacent free frontage roads should be less congested, too, making it a win for everyone.

To top it all off, there will be a brand-new EZ TAG store along the route, opening February 14, to provide you with a quick and easy way to get an EZ TAG or take advantage of other customer services. You can also sign-up to get your EZ TAG online.

Sam Houston Tollway Northeast:
What it has, how it works

This new roadway provides easy, nonstop access to Bush Intercontinental Airport and many northeast-Houston commercial and residential developments and recreational venues. In addition, it offers a fast link for vehicles bound to and from the Houston Ship Channel industries and the Port of Houston.

There are six tolled on/off ramps at Wilson, John Ralston, West Lake Houston, Winfield, Garrett and Tidwell Roads, with a main-lane plaza between West Lake Houston and Winfield.

The road has eight free on/off ramps at Mesa, Wilson, John Ralston, West Lake Houston, Winfield, Garrett and Tidwell Roads and US 90.

A connector ramp links the toll road to the north and southbound lanes of US 59.

Click on the map to enlarge and view toll rates.
Sam Houston Tollway Northeast Facts and Figures
  • 13 miles, extending from US 59N to US 90E
  • Three lanes in each direction
  • Tolling is EZ TAG only - no booths, no cash
  • Flanked by toll-free roads in both directions
  • Eliminates 10 stoplights each way


Your Sam Houston Tollway is one of the longest continuous loop roads in the country.

With the completion of the all-electronic northeast segment of the Sam Houston Tollway, HCTRA’s flagship roadway is coming full circle. That means it’s now possible, for those with the inclination, to drive an impressive 88-mile donut around the Houston metropolitan area without stopping.

This ambitious project brings to life a transportation innovation envisioned more than half a century ago, one designed to provide residents and visitors with a modern, efficient, expedient way to travel in and around our booming metropolitan area each day.

Whose idea was this big circle anyway?

The concept for a second ring highway began in 1952 when the City of Houston’s planning department proposed an outer belt thoroughfare to be located four to five miles beyond the city limits, which were, at that time, where the present-day IH-610 Loop stands.

Somehow, even then, they sensed how important a loop like this would be in meeting the needs of an ever-increasing number of commuters migrating to the suburbs of our sprawling region.

In 1984, the newly created Harris County Toll Road Authority broke ground on the Sam Houston Tollway, taking a giant step toward making the project a reality, while also furthering the agency’s mission to improve mobility for our region. The project was designed to be built in sections as funding and right-of-way became available. In 1994, HCTRA acquired the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Bridge from the Texas Turnpike Authority. The agency purchased right-of-way and constructed frontage roads for Sam Houston Tollway East in 1996, and completed the south section in 1997. The new and final 13-mile stretch will connect US 59 North and US 90 East—completing the loop and better meeting the needs of an increasing number of commuters in northeast Harris County.

In the end, this historic roadway is now a reality, funded by toll road proceeds, rather than tax dollars, to serve a region that continues to grow by leaps and bounds.