Contact: Danny Perez/Emily Black
Phone: (713) 802-5077
Date: Sept. 25, 2019
HOUSTON – The hardworking men and women of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) worked around the clock to get traffic moving along the I-10 corridor in both directions over the San Jacinto River, and they delivered on their promise: to get traffic flowing in both directions by Wednesday morning’s commute.
After Tropical Storm Imelda hit the Houston region, our teams were able to coordinate efforts with contractors and subcontractors to provide relief to the communities that make up east Harris County and interstate commuters along the I-10 corridor. TxDOT managed more than 100 closures throughout the district at one point during the flood event.
Once reports came to light that multiple barges had struck the San Jacinto Bridge on Friday, crews worked diligently to inspect both the eastbound and westbound bridges and developed a plan of action to repair the westbound bridge and restore traffic flow in both directions on the eastbound bridge.
TxDOT bridge engineers and designers worked diligently to develop a plan to direct westbound traffic onto the eastbound bridge with a safe and efficient approach. Our maintenance crews worked around the clock to ready the eastbound bridge for two way traffic. This included some general maintenance work on the roadway, restriping the bridge for two-way traffic, setting concrete barriers between the temporary eastbound and westbound lanes and sawing through permanent barriers between the original mainlanes to merge westbound traffic onto the eastbound bridge. Dozens of TxDOT employees came together and worked hard to make this traffic switch a reality as quickly as possible. Once the inspection report data concluded that the eastbound bridge was unaffected by the barge hit, TxDOT was able to phase opening lanes in both directions in under 24 hours.
“We are very thankful for the great work of the TxDOT project team and our contractors in getting traffic moving again on the I-10 corridor in east Harris County,” said Quincy Allen, TxDOT Houston District Engineer. “We also want to express our deepest gratitude to the impacted communities for their patience and willingness to work with us as we worked as quickly as possible, with safety being our highest priority, to restore traffic.”
Currently, TxDOT contractors are mobilizing materials and equipment on site to prepare temporary support beams under the westbound bridge. Additionally, once the final inspection reports are complete, the TxDOT design team will prepare design plans and construction phasing for permanent repairs on the I-10 westbound bridge. The timeline for this work is still being determined.
TxDOT reminds drivers that this continues to be an active work zone. The temporary lane reconfiguration reduces the capacity so motorist should expect delays in the area. Please observe all signage and drive safely through the area.
Road closure information will be posted at Houstontranstar.org and DriveTexas.org. For more information, contact Danny Perez at (713)802-5077 or Emily Black at (713) 802-5022, and follow us on Twitter.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.