Best New Construction (2003)
U.S. 59 South
Three years ago, if you were traveling from downtown Houston to the Great Southwest along Highway 59 anytime between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on a weekday, you'd hit the wall around Bissonnet. The wall of traffic, that is. For the next eight miles, all the way to State Highway 6, you'd sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic -- changing lanes, exiting and re-entering the freeway in a useless attempt to shave seconds off your commute. It wasn't uncommon for it to take an hour to drive this tedious stretch. Then, overnight (well, almost) on Memorial Day weekend, the wall was removed. Now, the traffic doesn't begin to back up until Highway 6, where the road narrows to two lanes again. The only downside to all this is that gratefully speeding drivers might not notice the attempt to improve the aesthetics of this section of U.S. 59 with the addition of painted columns imprinted with the Lone Star as well as a crown, the symbol for Imperial Sugar Corporation, which is based in Sugar Land.