TxDOT: Gulf Freeway construction to end by 2016

June 21, 2013 3:14:56 PM PDT
Imagine taking a drive to Galveston without running into that notorious bottle neck. Drivers who make the commute often will tell you to expect to hit your brakes at the Gulf Freeway in the Clear Lake area.

The Gulf Freeway is already one of the most congested highways in our area. Add in recent construction, and you've got a traffic nighmare.

But, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, all of this will all be worth it by 2016. That's when the $171 million construction project is scheduled to wrap up.

"Currently we're at six main lanes so that's three main lanes in each direction, and we're increasing to 10 main lanes so that's five in each direction. And we're also going to add an additional frontage lane to each side," said Deidra Samuels with the transportation department.

Some businesses along I-45 have been paid to move or lost their parking lots in order to make way for the new lanes. One Chick-Fil-A closed last week and is slated to open up across the street.

Business owners we spoke to say the congestion has been costing them business so they don't mind moving if it'll help.

"I've been in the restaurant business for a long time and it seems like there's always construction going on around one restaurant or another, and typically when the construction is completed, it has a positive impact on the business," Bone Daddy's owner Mike Leatherwood said.

TxDOT also plans on repairing overpasses and bridges along the highway.

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