The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) will begin major work on the I-69 Eastex Freeway (59) southbound bridge over the San Jacinto River later this month. Crews will demolish and reconstruct multiple spans of the bridge to repair damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
To accommodate the closure of the bridge, crews will reroute the southbound mainlanes onto the northbound mainlanes of I-69 Eastex Freeway prior to the bridge. This will allow motorists to bypass the southbound bridge closure. Southbound motorists will then return to the southbound mainlanes near the Townsen overpass.
Three northbound mainlanes and three southbound mainlanes will share the northbound bridge across the river while the southbound and the northbound frontage roads will remain as three lanes each across the river. The southbound entrance ramp from Kingwood Dr. and northbound entrance ramp from FM 1960/Townsen will be closed. The HOV entrance and exit to Kingwood Dr. will be also closed and will be rerouted to the Townsen Park and Ride entrance and exit during this time.
To prepare the roadway for the reconfigured lanes, crews will need to close multiple mainlanes and ramps over the course of the next two weeks to facilitate the bridge construction to begin March 23.
Below is a list of upcoming closures:
· I-69 Eastex northbound mainlanes between FM 1960 to Sorters McClellan Rd., two right lanes closed continuously beginning Saturday, March 10 at 3 a.m. through Monday, March 12 at 5 a.m.
· I-69 Eastex northbound entrance ramp from FM 1960/Townsen total closure beginning Saturday, March 10 at 3 a.m. through Sunday, March 11 at 7 a.m. Additionally, this ramp will be closed through the duration of the project, effective 9 p.m., Tuesday, March 13. Detour northbound on the frontage road to the entrance ramp from Sorters McClellan Rd.
· I-69 Eastex northbound mainlanes between FM 1960 to Sorters McClellan Rd., two right lanes closed nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday, March 13 through Thursday, March 15.
· I-69 Eastex northbound exit ramp to Kingwood Drive total closure nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15. Additionally, this ramp will be closed continuously Friday, March 16 at 9 pm through Monday, March 19 at 5 a.m. Detour via the northbound mainlanes to the exit ramp to Northpark Dr.; U-Turn at Northpark Dr. and then follow the southbound frontage road to either Kingwood Dr. or Sorters McClellan Rd.
· I-69 Eastex northbound mainlanes between FM 1960 to Sorters McClellan Rd., four alternate lanes closed continuously beginning Friday, March 16 at 9 p.m. through Monday, March 19 at 5 a.m. At least one mainlane will remain open.
· I-69 Eastex northbound exit ramp to Loop 494/ McClellan/ Hamblen total closure continuously Friday, March 16 at 9 pm through Monday, March 19 at 5 a.m. Detour via the northbound mainlanes to the exit ramp to Northpark Dr. and then follow the frontage road to the U-Turn at Northpark Dr. to the southbound frontage road to either Kingwood Dr. or Sorters McClellan Rd.
During Hurricane Harvey, the main channel of the San Jacinto River shifted, impacting the I-69 southbound mainlanes bridge over the river. As a result, the depth and alignment of the river changed affecting the foundation of the bridge. Although capable of carrying typical traffic, the southbound bridge does not have the capability of carrying extremely heavy loads, which have been diverted to the frontage road. To restore the load carrying capacity of the southbound bridge, a project to replace the affected portion of the bridge has been awarded to Webber, LLC Construction.
The project is being expedited and is expected to be completed in about six months. The goal is to complete the work while making every effort to minimize the impacts on the traveling public.