Memorial Drive inside the Loop reopened to traffic on Thursday morning as Houston continues its slow recovery after Hurricane Harvey. The low-lying road was closed on August 27 when Buffalo Bayou jumped its banks and submerged much of the roadway.
The road, a critical connector between downtown and neighborhoods west to the 610 Loop, will help ease traffic congestion that has caused headaches as many Houstonians returned to work this week for the first time since the storm. Parts of Memorial are covered in sediment from the bayou, causing clouds of dust as cars pass, but all lanes are open.
Buffalo Bayou, however, remains out of its banks, as engineers continue to release water from the full Addicks and Barker reservoirs into the bayou. The trails along the channel are under water and pedestrian bridges are covered with debris. Much of Spotts Park, at Memorial and Waugh, appears to have been placed in the middle of a large pond. Where the water has receded, it has left behind a thick layer of mud.
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West of 610, parts of Memorial remain closed. Drivers are okay heading west through Hunters Creek Village, but Memorial is closed at Gessner as it gets closer to Buffalo Bayou. Much of that area, including many side streets and major thoroughfares running west from Gessner all the way to Highway 6, remain closed, and many houses are still flooded.
Several road closures continue to cause congestion as drivers seek alternate routes, particularly in west Houston. Beltway 8 at Memorial is closed, as is Highway 6 between I-10 and FM 529. The I-10 exits at Eldridge Parkway are under water, as is Beltway 8 at FM 1093. In east Houston, near the ship channel, some lanes of I-10 are closed.