Road construction closes freeway this weekend

March 6, 2009 4:15:01 PM PST
A major road construction project is expected to cause serious traffic tie-ups in the Clear Lake area this weekend.Beginning Wednesday, March 4 at 9pm, the NASA Road 1/FM 528 intersection at IH 45 closed permanently. The contractor will re-build the NASA Road 1/FM 528 roadway at ground level and once complete, the IH 45 mainlanes will go over NASA Road 1 /FM 528. The new roadway is estimated to be opened to traffic May 4, 2009. An incentive has been placed on this closure and the contractor could earn $20,000 per day, up to a maximum of 20 days, for early completion.

Traffic destined to travel eastbound on NASA Road 1 during this closure will detour via the IH 45 southbound frontage road and U-turn at the NASA Bypass to the IH 45 northbound frontage road and continue to NASA Road 1, or use the NASA Bypass. Traffic destined to travel westbound on NASA Road 1/FM 528 will detour via the IH 45 northbound frontage road, continue to Bay Area Boulevard and use the overpass to cross over to the IH 45 southbound frontage road to access FM 528.

In addition, the IH 45 north- and southbound frontage roads will be reconfigured at NASA Road 1/FM 528. Beginning Wednesday, March 4 at 9 p.m., the IH 45 southbound frontage road traffic will turn west to FM 528 and follow the detour to the temporary southbound frontage road. Beginning Thursday, March 5 at 9 p.m., the northbound frontage road traffic will turn east to NASA Road 1 and follow the detour to the northbound frontage road.

Construction of NASA Road 1 at IH 45-Gulf Freeway is expected to create lengthy delays for motorists. Construction crews will demolish the existing NASA Road 1/FM 528 bridge during the first weekend in March when all north- and southbound mainlanes of IH 45 at NASA Road 1 will be closed from 9 p.m., Friday, March 6, to 5 a.m., Monday, March 9. All traffic will be detoured to the frontage roads, both north- and southbound.

Motorists can expect lengthy delays and congested conditions and should be prepared for significant traffic delays during the course of the intersection construction. Travelers are advised to seek alternate routes well in advance of the construction and allow for extra time to arrive at their destination. Alternative routes could include the use of SH 3 to the east of IH 45 and FM 518 to the west of IH 45 to get around the construction congestion.

The Texas Transportation Commission awarded Texas Sterling Construction, L.P., the $36 million contract in May 2007 to reconstruct IH 45 from Medical Center Boulevard to south of NASA Road 1. While completion of this entire project is estimated spring of 2010, the new southbound NASA bypass direct connector is estimated to open the end of May 2009.

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