TRAFFIC ALERT: Southwest Freeway closing in both directions 3 weekends in a row

HOUSTON – For three weekends in a row, the Texas Department of Transportation is shutting down all main lanes in both directions of the Southwest Freeway at 610.

We got through the first major shut down in a while when TxDOT closed the Southwest Freeway southbound connector to the West Loop southbound heading towards Bellaire. Traffic all week has been flowing nicely and it seems as though drivers are managing the changes.

Up next, is the demolition of that connector ramp-- which is why TxDOT needs to close the Southwest Freeway at 610. Crews need to safely tear down the connector ramp and in order to do so, they need all the space they can get.

What does this mean for your weekend, drivers? Here’s the breakdown:

  • The Southwest Freeway main lanes at 610 will shut down in both directions. The same closures listed below will be needed for the following weekends: May 13-16 and May 20-23.
    • IH 69 Southwest Freeway southbound main lanes at IH 610 West Loop: Total Closure Continuously, from 9 p.m. Friday, May 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, May 9.
      • DETOUR: Traffic to take connector to IH 610 West Loop northbound main lanes, take Westheimer Road exit onto IH 610 North Loop northbound frontage road, U-turn at Westheimer Road onto IH 610 West Loop southbound frontage road, then take next entrance ramp onto IH 69 southbound main lanes.
    • IH 69 Southwest Freeway northbound main lanes at IH 610 West Loop: Total Closure Continuously, from 9 p.m. Friday, May 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, May 9.
      • DETOUR:
        • Traffic to take connector to IH 610 West Loop southbound main lanes, take Fournace Place, exit onto IH 610 southbound feeder road U-turn at Bissonnet St. onto IH 610 northbound feeder. Take the next entrance ramp onto IH 610 northbound main lanes. Take Connector to IH 69 northbound main lanes.
        • Alternate detour: Traffic to take connector to IH 610 northbound main lanes, take Westheimer Road, exit onto IH 610 northbound feeder, U-turn at Westheimer Road onto IH 610 southbound feeder. Take the next entrance ramp onto IH 69 northbound main lanes.
  • Additional closures
    • Also, starting Friday, May 6 at 9 p.m., crews will close the I-69 Southwest Freeway southbound exit ramp to Chimney Rock Road for about two months. Traffic will take the Fountain View exit ramp, U-turn at Fountain View onto IH 69 northbound feeder, to reach Chimney Rock Road.
    • The IH 610 West Loop northbound feeder between Westpark Drive and Richmond Avenue will also close this weekend. Total closure will happen continuously, from 9 p.m. Friday, May 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, May 9.
      • DETOUR: Traffic to take IH 69 Southwest Freeway northbound feeder, turn left (north) onto Newcastle Drive, Turn left (west/south) onto IH 69 Southwest Freeway southbound feeder. Continue and merge onto IH 610 northbound feeder.
    • In addition, they’ll be chipping away at this work during the week with nightly closures Monday - Friday. (9 p.m. - 5 a.m.)
      • The Monday - Friday closures start May 23 and will last until Friday, May 27. (as of right now, it’s just one week of this)
  • The 59 southbound connector ramp to the West Loop southbound main lanes is already closed and will remain shut down for the next two years. This is going to impact folks that are driving towards Sugar Land and trying to access the Meyerland or Bellaire area.

The I-610/59 interchange is one of the most heavily congested, ranking as the number one most congested interchange in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. For the past several years, the improvements designed for this project have aimed to change that. TxDOT is still on track to finish the entire project by 2024.

It’s not going to be a fun Mother’s Day weekend in terms of traffic, but according to TxDOT, these closures should wrap up by Memorial Day, with the exception, of course, of the Southwest Freeway southbound connector ramp to West Loop southbound-- that, my friends, is hanging out with us for the next two years.


About the Author:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.