Major Traffic Congestion Expected This Weekend On I-45 South Of Downtown

TxDOT is working on a big project designed to make it easier to exit.

Some drivers who use I-45 to get into downtown Houston will have to brace for some big traffic snarls this weekend. And those delays will continue into next week.

Starting at 9:00 Saturday night, TxDOT will close three of the four mainlanes of I-45 northbound between Telephone Road and the I-69/U.S.59 interchange. That's so crews can put down concrete barriers and finish construction of the new St. Joseph/Pease Street two-lane exit ramp. While those lane restrictions are in place drivers will still be able to access the I-45/I-69 interchange.

As the work goes on, TxDOT says it'll open additional lanes to traffic. Beginning at 5:00 AM Monday, crews will open one more lane. At 5:00 AM Thursday, a third lane will open. And that new three-lane configuration will be in place until December 1.

To avoid congestion, drivers who want to access I-69/U.S. 59/SH 288 are asked to detour to the I-610 East Loop.

TxDOT's Deidrea George says the lane restrictions are part of a bigger project to reconstruct connector ramps in an effort to eliminate weaving— those rapid lane changes as drivers try to make their exit.

"People are waiting until the last minute to make the decision as to what freeway or connector they're going to utilize," says George. "And that causes a lot of traffic congestion and also accidents in the area."

The connector from I-45 northbound to I-69/U.S. 59/SH 288 southbound is currently on the left-hand side. TxDOT is converting it to a right-hand exit. The project also includes a new connector to I-69/U.S. 59 northbound.

The work will cost a little over $30 million and it's expected to be finished in spring of 2019.


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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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