HOUSTON – A traffic headache for drivers on State Highway 288-- We’re talking about the shutdown that’s been going on for seven weeks now and folks are wondering, “What’s happening with repairs?”
Here is what KPRC 2 traffic expert Anavid Reyes asked TXDOT and Blueridge Transportation Group, LLC :
Do you know when you guys will be adding the temporary entrance ramp? The temporary entrance ramp for the SH-288 toll lanes is currently under review with TxDOT. Upon approval from TxDOT, we will begin construction. The purpose of this is to build a temporary wall so that we can remove the failed embankment and wall for a permanent repair. Additionally, crews will be adding a temporary entrance ramp from the general-purpose lanes to the tollway north of the failure location to enable traffic to move into the toll lane. All of this in hopes to ease traffic congestion in the area.
What is a soil nail wall? It is a concrete wall that is held in place by very long rods that are drilled into the soil behind the wall and used as anchors. Their nail is usually approximately 25 – 40 feet in length, spaced 3-5 feet apart horizontally and vertically, and look similar to rebar. A hole is drilled into the soil and filled with grout. The nail is then put into the grout and anchors the nail when dry. The wall is poured after the nails are placed. The nails protrude through the wall. A metal plate is placed on each nail and bolted in place to hold the wall in place. At this location, there are approximately 700 nails being used.
A little background information regarding the emergency repair shutdown on SH-288 according to Blueridge Transportation Group:
“Blueridge Transportation Group, LLC identified a potential problem with the general-purpose lanes of SH-288 just south of Holmes Road. Currently, it is observed to be a pavement failure that has caused structural damage, and for safety purposes, the southbound general-purpose lanes at SH-288 have been closed from IH-610 to West Belfort Avenue. BTG is currently working very closely with their engineering, construction, environmental teams, and TxDOT to assess the roadway’s impacts and determine a timeline to get traffic back to normal conditions,” Public Information Officer Raynese Edwards said.
How can you get around the construction?
The tolls have been waived from the Southmore Boulevard entrance ramp to the Beltway 8 Frontage Road exit ramp in the interim. Officials are asking those traveling to Beltway 8 and beyond to utilize the express toll lanes. Entrances to the express toll lanes are just south of Southmore Boulevard and from Holcombe Boulevard. Detours are now in place for those traveling in the general-purpose lanes beyond IH-610. The detours are as follows:
• IH-610 Westbound to Fannin Street: U-turn at Fannin Street onto the frontage road and enter IH-610 Eastbound to merge onto SH-288 Southbound.
• IH-610 Eastbound to Scott Street: U-turn at Scott Street onto the frontage road. Take the frontage road to merge onto the SH-288 Southbound entrance ramp.