Transportation

After Harvey’s Floods, Houston’s Big Freeway Projects Move Forward

TxDOT now wants to know if any area roadways sustained damage because of the floodwaters. Meanwhile crews are making up for lost time on some major construction work.

TxDOT crews inspect I-45 north of downtown Houston shortly after Harvey’s floodwaters recede.

In the wake of Harvey’s floods, TxDOT workers from around the state have come to Houston to assist with debris removal. And that’s not just along the freeways but also in some neighborhoods.

We got an update on the recovery from TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen following his “State of TxDOT” address before the Transportation Advocacy Group. Allen says they’re also checking to see if area roads have any lingering damage because of the historic flooding.

“We’ve got a lot of sections of roadway that were under water for several days,” explains Allen. “We’re concerned a little about that. We’re exploring different ways to evaluate that pavement with testing and some other engineering work.”

On another front, TxDOT has gotten back to work on its big Houston freeway projects. That includes widening on U.S. 290 and the Gulf Freeway and new toll lanes on State Highway 288.
We asked Allen if completion would be delayed because of the floods.

“We lost a couple of weeks on almost all of those projects,” says Allen. “But the good news is that we’ve been able to get back to work on all of them. We’ll pick up the pace. TxDOT is prepared to look at the impacts of the storm and deal with them accordingly through our contractors.”

Allen adds there’s a lot of work left to do on those projects so a two-week delay shouldn’t be significant. “Because a lot of times the pace of a construction project will vary with the weather.”

And there’s some major freeway work coming up this weekend that was supposed to take place the weekend Harvey hit. A segment I-10 near downtown will be completely closed so TxDOT can tear down the old Elysian Viaduct which crosses over the roadway.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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