Traffic will get better soon if you travel the San Jacinto River Bridge

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Katherine Whaley shows us the progress TxDOT crews are making as they rebuild the Eastex Freeway bridge. (KTRK)

Nearly 170,000 cars and trucks cross San Jacinto River on US-59 every day, so shutting down the southbound bridge after Hurricane Harvey caused significant damage has made a major impact on the Kingwood, Porter, and New Caney areas, where both directions of traffic are sharing the northbound bridge.

Right now, crews are about halfway through the repair, which includes rebuilding the foundation of the southbound bridge.

It is a massive feat of engineering. Giant cylindrical rebar cages will become the future columns that will hold up the bridge deck.

Crews are using giant augers to drill 108 feet deep. They will then fill the columns with concrete from the bottom up.

The contractor is using a giant crusher to break up the remainder of the old bridge. That material will be used as a road base for future highway projects around the state.

All of that work requires nearly 50 crew members around the clock, seven days a week using boats, sonar, and heavy machinery.

"We are on track. We did lose a little bit of time due to the recent rains, but we are back on track and we are looking to get this back open by late summer, early fall," TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez told us.

When the bridge is ready to reopen, you can expect additional total closures to reconfigure and stripe new lanes.

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