6 years of slowdowns: Project begins to tear down and replace Ship Channel Bridge

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Work is underway on a nearly $1 billion project to rebuild and replace the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Bridge.

For the next six years, crews will be hammering away at a massive project to tear down and reconstruct the bridge along the Sam Houston Tollway, between Highway 225 and I-10. The Harris County Toll Road Authority is overseeing the project, which costs $962 million.

The new cable-stayed bridge will look similar to the Fred Hartman Bridge. The bridge will be expanded from two lanes in each direction to four.

HCTRA says the addition of inside and outside shoulder lanes and a more gentle slope will make the new bridge safer.

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It will take 6 years to build the new Beltway 8 bridge, here's a look at at some structures, that were built in less time

The construction will be broken into phases. The first step is to build the southbound bridge.

Then the old bridge will be torn down, and the northbound bridge will be built.

It's all to accommodate more growth and more traffic as 55,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

By 2035, that number is expected to jump to 160,000. Crews are scheduled to finish the project by 2024.

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