Relief on the way? Here’s when construction on Gulf Freeway is expected to be complete

HOUSTON – The construction clogging the Gulf Freeway still has years to go, and people in the area are looking forward to its completion.

TxDOT is widening Interstate 45 and reconfiguring bypasses for safety, among other improvements. Local businesses and people are ready for some relief.

Patty Narango, with Castle Dental in League City, said the construction has, “impacted us tremendously.”

“It’s been chaotic," Narango said. “We’ve had patients cancel their appointments because they’ve had to loop around several times.”

The project has been a toothache for the business, and staff members just want it to be over.

“I’m sure after it’s all said and done, it’s going to be great, but please hurry,” said Dr. Craig Cutropia with Castle Dental.

Since summer 2017, construction crews have been making their way south on the Gulf Freeway from NASA Bypass to FM 519, running about 17 miles.

“The League City area is growing and expanding," said Danny Perez with TxDOT. “In addition to that, we have areas such as Dickinson, La Marque, other cities along the 45 corridor that are seeing growth, as well. We’re widening from three lanes to four lanes and we’re also reconstructing, so we’re improving mobility, but we’re also extending the life of the roadway."

It’ll also help the flow of evacuations from the coast in emergency situations.

Residents and businesses are ready for a smoother ride.

“It has improved, but it’s still a little bit of a hindrance when you’re coming down here,” said Chrissy Torres with Castle Dental. “We’re looking forward to this being done, and I know we just got to be patient.”

The work is divided into four separate stretches, with the first expected to be completed in 2021 and the last in 2025. TxDOT said the work is all on schedule.

Next, TxDOT is planning two more projects this year that’ll go down to the Galveston Causeway.

What are the four projects?

  1. NASA Bypass to FM 518: The construction began in summer 2017 and is expected to be done in late 2021. Its estimated cost is $99.8 million, which is funded by state and federal dollars.
  2. FM 518 to FM 517: The project, which started in late 2016, is scheduled to be completed in early 2021, with an estimated cost of $122 million, which is fully funded by the state.
  3. FM 517 to FM 1764: Construction started in late 2018. It’s slated to wrap up in late 2022. Both state and federal dollars covered the anticipated $231 million price tag.
  4. FM 1764 to FM 519: Crews began in August 2019 and are expected to finish this stretch of highway in 2025, with a cost of $165 million.