|Hardy Toll Road|
|Length:||21.6 mi (34.8 km)|
The Hardy Toll Road runs from Interstate 45, north of Houston just below the Harris County line, to Interstate 610, near central Houston. The road generally parallels Interstate 45. The portion from I-610 to Crosstimbers Road is known as Spur 548, although this is unsigned.  The Hardy Toll Road is considered one of the busiest highways in the country (according to the IBBTA, the road is the nation's 2nd most heavily traveled toll road).
Construction on the toll road started in September 1984 and the entire road was complete by June 1988. The toll road runs 21.6 miles (34.8 km)  and costs $3.00 to drive its full length ($1.50 north of Beltway 8 and $1.50 south of Beltway 8). A four-mile (6 km) connecting road to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport requires $1.00 toll. At Hardy North and South toll booths, a 20 cent discount applies to electronic EZ TAG users.
The road is named for nearby Hardy Street, which makes up the frontage roads for the toll road in two locations: (1) between Spring Railroad Yard and FM 1960 and (2) Greens Road to Crosstimbers Road.
A large portion of the southern segment resembles Austin's Mopac Expressway in that an active line of the Union Pacific railroad runs along its median. Like other toll roads in the Houston area, the speed limit is 65 mph (105 km/h), even inside Beltway 8.
Future plans are to extend the toll road south an additional four miles (6 km) into downtown Houston (the northern most mile marker is 25, though the current road is only 21.6 miles (34.8 km) long). In November '07 the city of Houston gave approval for street closures required to construct the connections to the downtown freeway loop. Construction will start in August 2009 with completion sometime in 2011. It is expected that the toll road will deviate from Hardy Street south of I-610 and follow Maury Street  to connect with the Eastex Freeway near I-10, as part of the ramp connections have already been built.
As the population of Montgomery County has grown quickly in recent years, the need for a northward extension is being evaluated. Originally, the plan was to construct the extension along the right of way for the railroad. However, recent growth in Oak Ridge North will require that the Hardy Toll Road extension deviate from this right of way in places. Feasibility studies have evaluated possible routes between FM 1314 and the San Jacinto River, with the northern terminus planned to be at Loop 336. No plans for construction have yet been formulated.
The following are the number of mainlanes in each direction, as of August 2008:
The entire route is in Harris County.
|Houston||I-610||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Hardy Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Tidwell Road, Parker Road, Berry Road|
|Little York Road, Gulf Bank Road|
|Aldine||Aldine-Mail Road, Aldine-Bender Road, Gulf Bank Road|
|Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Parkway)|
|Central Green Boulevard, Greens Road, Hardy Airport Connector - Intercontinental Airport|
|Richey Road, East Hardy Street|
|Spring||FM 1960 / West Hardy Street|
|Aldine-Westfield Road, East Louetta Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Riley Fuzzel Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Northgate Crossing||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|I-45 north||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|