Transportation

Major Traffic Delays This Weekend: I-45 Totally Shut Down In Downtown Houston

TxDOT is closing all the main lanes so crews can start rebuilding the West Dallas Street bridge.

Oversized trucks hitting bridges is nothing new around Houston. One of the most recent incidents happened in September when a truck hit the West Dallas bridge over I-45. It’s been under a load limit ever since.

Instead of repairing the bridge, TxDOT’s Danny Perez says they decided to go ahead and replace it.

“We’re raising it approximately 13 to 14 inches,” explains Perez. “It’ll have the same footprint as the current bridge that is out there now, which will include the same lane widths and the same sidewalk width.”

As for why they’re closing I-45 to do that work, Perez says they want to complete the project quickly. He says if they did partial lane closures it would take a lot longer.

“We’ll be able to place the beams and pour the concrete deck,” says Perez. “It’s a process that could sometimes take months. But in this case we’re doing it over a series of weekends. So we want to get it done quick and make sure we’re out of there just in time for the Super Bowl coming up.”

Weather permitting, TxDOT also plans to close I-45 on the weekends of November 18-21, December 2-5, and December 9-12.

The plan is to reopen the West Dallas bridge by late December or early January. New entrance ramps from Allen Parkway and Houston Avenue are expected to open at the same time.  

So what do drivers need to know this weekend?  All main lanes of I-45 will close at 9:00 PM Friday between I-10 and U.S. 59. If you’re traveling northbound, you’ll be detoured to U.S. 59 northbound to I-10 westbound to re-enter I-45.

If you’re southbound, you’ll be detoured to I-10 eastbound to U.S. 59 southbound and then back to I-45.  

 

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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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