HOUSTON – Today in What’s Driving Houston is a First on 2 update: Traffic Expert Anavid Reyes got first dibs on new information on that huge construction project at one of the worst bottlenecks in Texas and in the nation! Of course, we’re talking about the IH-610/ I-69 interchange project, and this update comes in a timely manner, as we are entering the final two years of the seven-year reconstruction project.
Earlier this year, the Texas Department of Transportation closed the I-69 southbound ramp that connects you to the southbound lanes of IH-610, basically the one that takes you from downtown Houston to Bellaire until further notice. TxDOT gave Reyes a first look at the re-opening date, which will be late this year or early 2023.
“So we’re continuing the work on the IH-610 southbound side. We’ve done the demolition, we’ll continue to build those lanes out... and eventually put traffic on the southbound side. So, we’ve done that on the northbound side, and we’ve also opened up the I-69 southbound exit to Chimney Rock,” said Danny Perez, a TxDOT public information officer.
Up next: the reconstruction of the IH-610 northbound ramp to I-69 northbound that takes you from Bellaire into Downtown Houston.
“In the existing footprint we have to build a new ramp, so we won’t have a ramp available there for folks to travel on... that’ll be the next big closure, so we do ask folks to prepare ahead,” Perez said.
Drivers need to mentally prepare now, even though that closure doesn’t happen until late next year.
When it happens, here is a detour to consider, as you travel inbound from Bellaire:
- Continue northbound on IH-610 U-turn at San Felipe, get on the West Loop southbound, and grab I-69 northbound into Downtown Houston from there.
Chronicle of IH-610 / IH-69 in 2022
- Jan. 10-2022 - Close Westheimer exit.
- July 18, 2022 – Open northbound Westheimer exit ramp
- May 2, 2022 – Close Connector D (southbound-I-69 to southbound-610). Will remain closed until late 2023
- August 14, 2022 – Open new IH-610 northbound main lanes on the bridge
- August 22, 2022 – Move southbound IH-610 traffic to the northbound main lanes – Added southbound exit to Fournace Place
- September 23 & 30, 2022 – Demo IH-610 southbound main lanes over I-69 (Total Closure)
- October 16, 2022 – Open southbound Chimney Rock exit ramp
Upcoming Work (End Project – Summer 2024)
- Construct IH-610 southbound main lanes
- Construct Connector H (southbound IH-610 to southbound-I-69)
- Partial Construct Connector D (southbound-I-69 to southbound- IH-610)
- Close southbound Westheimer entrance to construct tie in with IH-610 southbound main lanes
- Open IH-610 southbound main lanes & Connector H
- Move southbound IH-610 traffic to new IH-610 southbound main lanes
- Demo existing IH-610 northbound main lanes
- Complete Connector C (northbound-I-69 to northbound-IH-610)
- Complete Conn D (southbound-I-69 to southbound-IH-610)
- Demo / Construct Conn G (northbound-IH-610 to northbound-I-69)
- Construct IH-610 median bridge tie-in