Road Construction 2019: The Bad, the Ugly and the Tragic

Much too much of this type of thing in 2019.
Much too much of this type of thing in 2019. Photo by Doogie Roux
Houstonians have spoken in surveys and as angry callers to radio programs. Traffic sucks and it seems like it is only getting worse. It's no wonder given some of the messes we had to deal with in 2019. From never-ending construction to frequent closures, Houston drivers have had to deal with a lot.

Here are some of the lowlights.

Baytown East Freeway

You may think you've dealt with some nonsense on your freeway of choice, but feel at least a little pity for the folks who live east of Houston. Interstate 10 is in the midst of a massive overhaul, which is bad enough, but when you factor in the problems with the bridge over the San Jacinto River, driving to and from places like Baytown must have been a nightmare.

290...yes, 290

Major construction inside the Beltway for the Northwest Freeway ended back in 2018. But that didn't stop smaller projects like signage; entrance and exit ramps; and connections to other freeways with construction from creating continued issues along this beleaguered highway.

West Loop

The worst part of construction near the Galleria is that it is only the beginning. This huge project that will span seven years and redo the 610-Interstate 69 interchange was already a significant factor in traffic in the area, particularly with the construction of METRO's rapid bus transit lanes.

288 Tollway

It feels almost unfair that all the changes to 288, slated to be done in 2020, will result in a tollway. Not only do you get years of traffic, but there will be a charge at the end. Bonus!

Interstate 45

What is going to amount to one of the biggest and most transformative highway construction projects in our city's history got off to a rather rough start in 2019 with controversy over neighborhoods that will be affected by the changes. It's only going to get worse.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke