New direct connector ramps at I-45 and SH-242 to be tolled

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- In just a few short weeks a couple of brand new huge ramps will open off of I-45 North, in Montgomery County. But there's a catch that might keep you from using it.

"It slows everything down, it gets in my way, I have trouble getting to work all of the time," driver Blake Lapaglia told us.

That's why the county is taking the lead on projects like these giant ramps that connect the north freeway directly to 242. These so-called flyovers allow you to bypass the stoplights on the feeder.

"We've seen traffic backed up all the way to the main lanes of I-45 so from a safety standpoint is just unacceptable, so this will alleviate a lot of that congestion," County Judge Craig Doyal said.

Judge Doyal says this intersection is the busiest in the county, now that it's home to Lone Star College and several major medical complexes like St. Luke's. He believes traffic here is only getting worse.

"Really I just think we have been seeing the tip of the iceberg."

But here's what you may not know -- these ramps are the first ever in Texas to be tolled, and most people we asked had no idea.

"I didn't know that, and that kind of sucks," driver Jackie Bingham said.

The state doesn't have the money to fund the construction, so Judge Doyal said something else had to be done.

"The tolls are the only way we can actually pay for the project," he explained.

Harris County Toll Road authority will operate the EZ-tag only ramps, and the price hasn't been determined yet. The question now is, how much of an improvement will these direct connectors make? You'll be able to see for yourself when the ramps open in mid-April.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.