Inner-Loopers and commuters traveling through the interchange of I-69 and I-610 now face another summer headache.
An inside lane has been closed between Newcastle Drive and South Rice Avenue from Monday, June 17, until further notice. This comes after the previously reported closure on I-69 Southwest between Chimney Rock and Weslayan — from four lanes to three lanes.
“But people need to remember this means we’re going from eight lanes to six lanes both ways,” Danny Perez of the Texas Department of Transportation tells CultureMap. “This will really affect people in West University and Bellaire, and anyone heading to downtown.”
Perez notes that I-69 and I-610 are “the top-two most congested roadways in Texas.”
Perez says the construction should be looked at as growing pains. “Houston is growing — and that's a great thing. But, we have to address the significant growth here now. In order to get us to a point where we can provide relief, we have to have these closures in place.”
The closures mean motorists should expect delays and may want to consider an alternate route, or at least plan for extra time on the roads, says Perez. “You’ll really see the change on Monday [June 17],” he adds.
The I-69/I-610 interchange, a $259 million project, will significantly enhance safety and improve mobility by widening the connector ramps to two lanes, increasing sight distances, and providing remedies to eliminate weaving, according to TxDOT.
Perez adds that TxDOT has created incentives — to ensure work is completed on schedule — and disincentives to encourage the contractor to complete various phases sooner than anticipated.