HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- We are diving into the road projects making major strides in 2018, including a major effort that affects your Galleria-area drive.
Heavy construction will continue through most of 2018, but the finish line is in sight. By this time next year, you'll be able to drive on a brand new Post Oak Boulevard.
"From here on, what you see is completion, not beginning," John Breeding, president of the Uptown District said.
Breeding is one of the leaders behind the $200 million boulevard revamp, which has been underway since July 2016. Crews are rebuilding the existing three northbound and southbound lanes, and adding two bus-only lanes in the middle, between 610 and Richmond.
But getting to this point has been far from a smooth ride for businesses.
"The construction on Post Oak has been a little rough," said business owner Annie Rupani.
Rupani's chocolate shop, Cacao and Cardamom, has a front row seat to all the roadwork. The construction has made it a challenge to get chocolate shipments out and customers in.
"Customers have been complaining because it takes forever to get anywhere on Post Oak because a five minute commute now takes 20-30 minutes," she explained.
But by the end of the year, bulldozers, construction cones, and other obstacles will be mostly gone. The driving lanes are set to be finished by July; the middle bus lanes by December, with buses operational in early 2019.
Crews have started landscaping work on the north side of the project, and they've even moved and expanded those iconic silver arches along the corridor.
The Uptown District has added signs and maintained access to all retail centers along the boulevard to ease the stress on both drivers and businesses.
"We are under construction, but we are highly functional," Breeding told ABC13.
The goal of the project is to increase mobility to everyone who works, lives, or shops along Post Oak Boulevard.
"We love being in the Galleria area because it's so eclectic and diverse. So, that would be the ultimate goal is having more people walk in here," Rupani said.