Weekend road closures cause travel headaches

April 14, 2012 4:32:03 PM PDT
A closure in downtown Houston created a traffic mess Saturday, and the delays will continue through Monday morning.

A total closure of all southbound main lanes of Southwest Freeway between Interstate 10 to Interstate 45 in downtown Houston is in place.

The closure is necessary for crews to repair the Bell Street Bridge, which was damaged by vehicles over the maximum height requirement attempting to pass under the structure.

"They get lost, they take a wrong turn, something is closed, and they end up running into something because they think it'll clear the height," HPD Sgt. Teresa Curry said.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, it costs roughly $200,000 everytime a truck hits a bridge, and it happens about every six months. This weekend's repair will cost $150,000 and is being paid for by the company that owns the truck.

The closure started at 9pm Friday and lasts until Monday at 5am.

All main lanes of US 59 southbound will be closed from I-10 to I-45. Motorists traveling southbound on 59 are being detoured to the Katy Freeway. Those destined for downtown can take the San Jacinto exit and those trying to re-enter 59 southbound can continue on I-10 westbound to I-45 southbound to access 59 southbound.

Motorists should try to avoid downtown or go around it until Monday.

Traffic Saturday was backed up, meaning a longer commute for drivers and a slower response time for emergency vehicles.

"It's like taking the heart out of the city, you know? You're taking the main vein that's goes through the entire city, so I just hope they fix it as soon a possible," driver Mookie Jones told us.

Two connectors and two entrance ramps in the area will also be closed:

  • I-10 eastbound connector to 59 southbound
    Detour to I-10 eastbound main lanes, exit Waco, turn left on Waco, turn left onto the I-10 westbound frontage road to enter the main lanes of I-10 westbound. Continue on I-10 westbound to enter I-45 southbound and then take the connector ramp to US 59 southbound.

  • I-10 East Freeway westbound connector to 59 southbound
    Detour to I-45 southbound and then take the connector ramp to US 59 southbound.

  • 59 southbound entrance from Quitman Street
    From the US 59 southbound frontage road (Schwartz Street) detour to the I-10 westbound frontage road entrance ramp from McKee to enter the I-10 westbound main lanes. Continue on I-10 westbound to enter I-45 southbound and then take the connector ramp to US 59 southbound.

  • 59 southbound entrance from Lyons Avenue
    From the US 59 southbound frontage road (Schwartz Street) detour to the I-10 westbound frontage road entrance ramp from McKee to enter the I-10 westbound main lanes. Continue on I-10 westbound to enter I-45 southbound and then take the connector ramp to US 59 southbound.

Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and consider an alternate route if possible.

Those destined to areas south of downtown Houston should consider using the 610 Loop or I-45 to bypass the closure. Downtown traffic can bypass the closure by using the Southwest Freeway entrance ramp from Webster Street.

Bell Street over 59 will also be closed. Police officers will be on site to assist with traffic control.

Check real-time traffic information in our ABC13.com traffic section


Load Comments