Bridge project expected to delay traffic

Westheimer bridge to be demolished, replaced

HOUSTON - One of the most traveled streets in Houston will be down to one lane during a construction project, making it an area drivers will want to avoid.

Crews plan to demolish and replace the 50-year-old bridge off of Westheimer in Highland Village in coming weeks.

"It's going to be a nightmare...tough deal," said driver Alan Bailey.

Several signs near the Galleria and Highland Village area on Westheimer inside of the 610 loop inform drivers about the construction. Officials said traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction just east of Mid Lane and over the railroad tracks.

Officials said the project is necessary because an old ditch that runs under the bridge has sections that are crumbling. It's narrow and has been a challenge to maintain, so officials decided to enclose the ditch. They are installing concrete box culverts. When this bridge is rebuilt, drivers won't even notice the new structures hidden underneath.

"I never saw it out of its banks ...did before," said Bailey.

A uniformed police officer usually manning the Highland Village area will be present, but that's not expected to add relieve the congested road. Traffic control is not scheduled for the area and severe delays are expected.

Drivers are encouraged to take alternate routes in both morning and evening driving hours during the continuous closure.

Richmond, San Felipe, Memorial, Westpark and 59 are recommended alternative streets. Severe delays are expected so plan accordingly.

The contractor does have an incentive to finish the project early, but that's not a guarantee.

Officials said Westheimer will reopen in 30 days or less. Drivers can expect the roadway to appear smoother once construction is complete.

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