Beware The North Loop (We Think) This Weekend

TxDOT, do you ever fail in coming up with ways to screw drivers? No, you do not.

The agency announced this neat little piece of news this afternoon -- from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, a nice big chunk of the North Loop and the East Loop will be closed. Completely.

The westbound lanes of "the IH 610-North Loop between the IH 10-East Freeway and US 59-Eastex Freeway will close," TxDOT's announcement says.

We really suck at directions and things like that, but looking at a map it seems that much of the area between what we call the I-10 East Freeway and 59 North is actually the East Loop, but what do we know?

We called TxDOT for clarification, and learned two things: a) no one was in who could answer the question, and  b) TxDOT does not have voice mail. We got a busy signal. We tried a main number, and were cheerfully informed that yes, there is no voice mail. (The woman we talked to did confirm that TxDOT has push-button phones and not rotary-dial machines, at least.)

So what will drivers be doing to get around the problem this weekend?

"Motorists will be detoured to IH 10 westbound to US 59 northbound, where they can take the exit ramp to IH 610 westbound or continue on US 59 northbound," spokeswoman Karen Othon said in the release. "Motorists traveling the IH 610 westbound frontage road wishing to enter IH 610 should follow the posted detour signs."

The agency notes that "local law enforcement officers will be on site to assist with traffic control," which is nice.

The closure is necessary for pavement repairs, TxDOT says.

Update: A TxDOT official has gotten back with us, and says the release should have talked about the East Loop in addition to the North.

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