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Gulf Freeway construction project continues

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The two-part project started in 2011 and spans from the South Belt to Bay Area Boulevard (KTRK)

The I-45 Gulf Freeway project started back in 2011, and it's broken into two parts. The first party is from Beltway 8 to FM 2351. The second part is from FM 2351 to Bay Area Boulevard.

Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Deidrea George says the Gulf Freeway construction will expand the highway and feeder for commuters.

"We're adding two additional main lanes and one additional frontage lane in each direction," George said.

TxDOT also oversees the reconstruction of all four overpasses along the Gulf Freeway.

"Right now, we have Dixie Farm Rd that's already been completed," explained George.

Now, the highway goes over Dixie Farm Road, and when exiting, drivers can easily turn left or right. There will be no more closures there or at FM 2351. The construction we see at FM 2351, also known as Clear Lake City Boulevard, is the building of additional columns to create more freeway lanes.

We received some questions from viewers that George addressed. First, when will the El Dorado Overpass be shut down?

George said, "We're tentatively scheduling that for May, 2015."

The plan is similar to 1959. The El Dorado Overpass will be demolished, and we expect total road closures this May.

George said, "All of the intersections will be at grade, and that means that the freeway will go over the intersection."

There's still no start date scheduled for reworking Bay Area Boulevard, but George assured, "With the mall being there and the construction there coming in the future, it will be much easier to go right and left and not worry about going around and over an overpass."

Finally, several viewers wanted to know when this construction will be finished.

George said, "Third quarter 2016 from Belt 8 to 2351 and third quarter 2017 from 2351 to Bay Area Boulevard."

The silver lining? By the third quarter of 2016, five lanes will open in each direction from FM 2351 to the Belt. When finished, the 10-lane highway and six-lane feeder will improve traffic flow.

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