Strap yourselves in drivers. On second thought, don't strap yourselves in. Stay at home. Ride a bike. Take a walk. If you do have to drive, assume every freeway in Houston is filled with mutant zombies hell bent on eating your brains. May as well be considering the level of construction on area roadways beginning Friday.
First, the easy ones.
If you were coming into town on, oh, let's say, Interstate 10. Maybe you live in the Energy Corridor and were thinking you might swing over to the North Loop on your way to the Heights for a bite to eat. Think again, cowboy. The connecting ramp from I-10 to 610 going northbound will be closed all weekend. For an alternative, take I-10 straight through to one of the cross streets or, if you want to get to 290, take one prior to the 610 interchange. Don't go all the way I-45...more on that in a moment.
So, what about our friends out in The Woodlands? They should be OK, right? Wrong, sucker. Interstate 45 will be completely closed southbound at Rayford/Sawdust, only the mostest importantest cross street in all of The Woodlands, you guys. The suggested detour is the feder road. Our suggested detour is parking yourself at a nearby bar and watching the world burn.
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Finally, it begins. If you have had to come into downtown from I-45 south, you know how brutal it has been getting. It's about to get worse. The exits to 288 and I-69 are being demolished. You heard us. For weeks and weeks, you'll have to find an alternate route, which near downtown is like finding a parking lot that doesn't charge you $5 per minute.
If that weren't enough, all northbound lanes will be closed at Cullen heading into downtown. All southbounders, you get to suck it as well as the freeway will be shut down at Allen Parkway. Oh, and for good measure, the 69 and 288 connectors to 45 will be shut all weekend as well. Oh, yeah, it's going to be a nightmare.
And make no mistake, this sort of thing is going to continue for years. The West Loop is in essentially year one of a seven-year project and God only knows how long the I-45 project is going to last. We've asked futurists and scientists and soothsayers. They all just look at us and shake their heads slowly in pity.
Bottom line: Do yourselves a favor and stay out of your cars this weekend and maybe for every day thereafter. We just don't know.