HOUSTON (KTRK) --The orange barrels, construction workers, and traffic signs are just part of the landscape these days along the Gulf Freeway. Construction has made a major impact not only on commuters, but also on several businesses, including Antone's Famous Po'Boys. The company delivers its famous sandwiches to 240 grocery stores around town, many of them off of I-45.
"Our drivers spend a lot of time researching the routes, but it's not always the same from day to day," Jonathan Horowitz of Antone's said.
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TxDOT crews are widening the freeway from three to five lanes between Beltway 8 and Bay Area Boulevard. They're also creating new overpasses at busy exits, such as Bay Area Boulevard. Many of the closures have happened overnight.
"It can be even more challenging for our guys who pick up the product at midnight or 1am and have to be finished by their route at 6 in the morning," Horowitz explained.
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The construction and expansion is all part of TxDOT's effort to keep pace with the southeast sprawl.
"It is growing rapidly, so all of that new development that is going up out there will benefit from that," TxDOT spokesperson Deidrea George said.
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Next year, TxDOT plans to continue with a new project to widen the Gulf Freeway even farther south, from FM 518 into Galveston County.
"You can't argue with the growth of the city, so on one hand, that's fantastic, there are always growing pains," said Horowitz.