Traffic

I-610 West Loop bridge opens; TXDOT says work still remains for interchange project

The project, which began in 2018, also involved rebuilding the northbound and southbound Loop 610 bridges over I-69.

Overhead look at the I-69/610 West Loop interchange.
Texas Department of Transportation
Overhead look at the I-69/610 West Loop interchange.

The Texas Department of Transportation reopened the new southbound main lanes of the West Loop bridge, over the I-69 Southwest Freeway on Sunday afternoon. It comes during the homestretch of a 6-year highway project involving I-69 and Interstate 610, two of the most congested roadways in the state.

The project, which began in 2018, also involved rebuilding the northbound and southbound Loop 610 bridges over I-69. Officials say the project has run ahead of schedule, partially due to decreased traffic during the pandemic.

"With less traffic, we were able to get the lanes closed a lot earlier. For example, we might be able to close lanes at 7 p.m., rather than 9 p.m.," said Danny Perez, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston district, on Houston Matters this morning. "That extra hour or two nightly allowed us to get a lot of work done."

The West Loop bridge itself was originally not projected to reopen until late 2023.

However, Perez said there is still work left to do.

"What's next is we have to start to demolish the old northbound bridge, which is what the southbound traffic was on for a temporary period,” said Perez. "We do have some major closures coming up on I-69 over a series of weekends."

Construction on the northbound bridge is expected to be finished summer 2024.

Also, while the West Loop southbound bridge is open, its entrance ramp from Westheimer Road onto I-610 remains closed.

"We had anticipated having it open today, but we have some additional work that we have to do in order to get that ramp open," said Perez.

Perez projects the Westheimer entrance ramp will be open in a matter of days.