SH-288 remains blocked for 'safety purposes' at I-610 due to pavement failure

Thursday, April 22, 2021
No timeline for repairs to buckled pavement on Highway 288
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The southbound lanes of the busy freeway are closed indefinitely, until experts can figure out what went wrong and how to best fix it.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- All southbound lanes of SH-288 have been blocked from I-610 to West Bellfort for days now, and there's no word when they will reopen.

According to Blueridge Transportation Group, the closure is for safety purposes.

There was a pavement failure that caused structural damage on the general-purpose lanes of SH-288 just south of Holmes Road, Blueridge said.

The closure is in the southbound lanes of SH-288 from I-610 to West Bellfort Avenue.

SkyEye video from above SH-288 shows the buckled road, with large cracks through a section of new pavement.

Blueridge has brought in experts to determine the cause of the failure.

"BTG is currently working very closely with their engineering, construction, environmental teams, and TxDOT to assess the roadway's impacts and determine a timeline to get traffic back to normal conditions," Public Information Officer Raynese Edwards said.

What does the appearance of deep cracks tell us about the source of the damage? Eyewitness News spoke to Dr. Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. He believes that seeing the cracks form length-wise, in the same direction as the lanes, indicates a foundation problem. That will tell us something has to be happening based on the supporting system of the highway," says Vipulanandan. "The highway is supported and then theres some movement, and it might affect the highway support to break it along the length of the highway."

For now, there's no timeline for repairs to be made to the lanes.

In the meantime, tolls have been waived from the Southmore Boulevard entrance ramp to the Beltway 8 frontage road exit ramp.

Authorities are asking drivers traveling to Beltway 8 and beyond to utilize the express toll lanes.

Detours are now in place for those traveling in the general-purpose lanes beyond I-610. The detours are as follows:

  • I-610 Westbound to Fannin Street: U-turn at Fannin onto the frontage road and enter I-610 eastbound to merge onto SH-288 southbound
  • I-610 Eastbound to Scott Street: U-turn at Scott onto the frontage road. Take the frontage road to merge onto the SH-288 southbound entrance ramp

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