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Transportation

Ship Channel Toll Bridge Is About To Convert To All-Electronic Tolling

The bridge will be closed this weekend as crews remove the old toll booths. That work will also affect a portion of I-10 East.

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  • Drivers are encouraged to plan an alternate route to get across the Houston Ship Channel.  (Photo Credit: Harris County Toll Road Authority)
    Drivers are encouraged to plan an alternate route to get across the Houston Ship Channel. (Photo Credit: Harris County Toll Road Authority)
  • Signs have been up for several months advising drivers of changes at the Houston Ship Channel bridge.
    Signs have been up for several months advising drivers of changes at the Houston Ship Channel bridge.
  • Ship Channel Bridge in 2015 before it converted to all-electronic tolling.  (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
    Ship Channel Bridge in 2015 before it converted to all-electronic tolling. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
  • Old toll booth at the Ship Channel Bridge before it was removed in 2016. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter  )
    Old toll booth at the Ship Channel Bridge before it was removed in 2016. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
  • Toll booths at the Ship Channel Bridge before they were removed in 2016. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )
    Toll booths at the Ship Channel Bridge before they were removed in 2016. (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter )

About 55,000 vehicles a day use the Sam Houston Tollway to get across the Houston Ship Channel. And those numbers are expected to grow.

To prepare for that growth, the Harris County Toll Road Authority is removing the Ship Channel toll booths and converting the bridge to all-electronic tolling. HCTRA is closing the bridge starting at 8 p.m. Friday so crews can do that work.

HCTRA’s Quinton Alberto says northbound drivers will be detoured at Red Bluff. Southbound drivers will exit at Jacintoport Boulevard. They’re also planning closures on the I-10 East main lanes from Magnolia to the Beltway.

Alberto says if people are traveling in the area this weekend they “just need to spend a little bit extra time planning their trip.”

HCTRA says the plan is to reopen the bridge at 5 a.m Monday morning. At that point, all drivers on the Ship Channel Bridge will need an EZ Tag.

But what happens if someone gets on the bridge and they don’t have a tag?

Alberto says they should call the Toll Road Authority as soon as possible.

“We understand, ‘Hey, I accidentally got on there. I’d like to pay my toll or see a way to work through that’,” says Alberto.

HCTRA also plans to convert the Hardy Toll Road to all-electronic tolling this summer.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

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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