Starting in March, drivers along Interstate 45 and FM 646 in League City will have a new obstacle to contend with as crews demolish a bridge to replace it with a street running under the interstate, officials said.
The project is the latest step in a Texas Department of Transportation plan to expand Interstate 45 from six lanes up to eight lanes of traffic in Galveston County, officials said.
Reducing the number of overpasses spanning the interstate is meant to help in hurricane evacuation and also improve traffic flow at other times, said Danny Perez, spokesman for the transportation department.
As part of the project to change the traffic flow, crews are tentatively slated to demolish the bridge sometime in March, Perez said. Once that happens, crews will begin work on an interstate overpass and reconstructing the interstate and frontage roads, Perez said.
Department officials have signed a contract for reconstructing the overpass that stipulates crews have six months to finish the job, with disincentives for late completion and incentives for finishing early, Perez said.
Crews are tentatively slated to reopen the intersection to travel across FM 646 in the fall, Perez said.
While the FM 646 bridge is demolished, drivers will have to either use FM 517 or state Highway 96 as alternative routes, Perez said.
The new intersection will have access roads and space for U-turns in each direction, Perez said.
This traffic project is part of a $120 million project to widen the interstate between FM 517 and FM 518, Perez said. The plan to widen Interstate 45 through Galveston County is divided into several different phases, officials said.
Once entirely complete, Vauthier Road in La Marque will be the only overpass crossing Interstate 45 in the county, officials said.