HOUSTON (KTRK) --The Houston Heights neighborhood is preparing for a major traffic closure.
Starting Monday, the Yale Street Bridge will close for at least 18 months, perhaps through the end of 2017.
TXDOT has plans to demolish the historic bridge and rebuild it, likely causing some serious growing pains.
We talked to Olivia Matta who lives in apartments nearby.
"It already backs up. It's going to be even worse," said Matta.
She's having second thoughts about staying in the area with rapidly growing residential and retail properties.
"I can't imagine. We might have to re-let the lease and go somewhere else. It's just ridiculous," said Matta.
"It is going to be really bad, I know, customers are going to get mad," said Nancy Lozano at EcoCleaners, which is in a retail center near the impending construction. She is relying on the loyalty of her customers to keep the business going during this busy time.
The historic bridge was built in 1931. Contractors will demolish it, but salvage bricks and lampposts from the original structure to incorporate into the new bridge, which will be similar to the nearby Heights Bridge. TXDOT says the new bridge will be able to carry heavy truck traffic, and have wider lanes and sidewalks.
"As traffic volume increases, we look at ways of improving, not only the structure itself, but also improving safety," said TXDOT spokesperson, Danny Perez.
Starting next week, drivers heading south on Yale from Interstate 10 will use the Heights bridge, and northbound traffic on Yale will have to turn left on Koehler and drive west, eventually taking a right on Bass to get back to the service road.