Massive construction project promises 7-month-long traffic nightmare

HOUSTON -- Get ready, drivers of Houston - this construction project promises to bring months' worth of traffic nightmares near downtown.

The Texas Department of Transportation will close Spur 5 going northbound on the I-45 Gulf Freeway. The closure is the first of three phases for the I-45 Northbound Direct Connector Project.

The project, once complete, will give this heavily traveled corridor two direct connectors at the I-45 Gulf Freeway and I-69/US 59 interchange.

A total closure of Spur 5 going northbound will take place Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m. This closure is necessary for the demolition of Spur 5 to construct the new I-69/US 59 northbound direct connector and build the Pease/St. Joseph exit at-grade.

Motorists traveling northbound on Spur 5 will need to detour to the Scott St./Downtown exit, loop around and turn right to access the I-45 northbound frontage road. Motorists can also choose to take the St. Joseph/Pease St. exit. This detour will last approximately seven months.

The $30.45 million project is expected to reduce congestion and weaving along the corridor. TxDOT say the project will:

Reconstruct the I-45 northbound to I-69/US 59/SH 288 southbound direct connector. The current connector is a left exit and will be converted to a right exit from I-45.
Reconstruct the I-45 northbound to I-69/US 59 northbound direct connector. The current exit will be relocated further south.
Construct a new Pease Street and St. Joseph Parkway exit ramp that will feed directly from I-45 northbound.
Construct a new Cullen Boulevard entrance ramp from the I-45 northbound frontage road to the newly elevated i-69/US 59 north and southbound connector ramp which is currently Spur 5.
The project is scheduled for completion the 2nd quarter of 2019.

Live traffic map

All closures are subject to change due to inclement weather.