Houston, get ready for serious construction on 288 near The Medical Center

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Southmore bridge over Highway 288 is being torn down this weekend as part of the 288 toll project.

Crews from contractor Blue Ridge Transportation Group and TxDOT are using giant excavators to weaken the bridge at six strategic points. They expect the bridge to fall down on its own, on top of 288. A protective "sand cushion" will be used to cover this portion of 288 to protect it from impact.

Crews anticipate the collapse to happen around 5 to 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. The contractor is expected to work through rain, unless there is lightning.

Residents and businesses adjacent to the freeway in the Third Ward can expect a very noisy weekend. Highway 288 mainlanes and feeder at Southmore will be shut down all weekend long, from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Traffic can detour to Almeda or Scott Street.

A new Southmore bridge is being constructed over SH-288. It is expected to open sometime in 2019.

RELATED: 1,000 days of massive construction on Hwy 288

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