Eastbound I-10 closing this weekend

February 28, 2018 GMT

Bridge repairs will force the closure of a key freeway segment in Houston this weekend, which is likely to have ripple effects around the region as people make their way to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, Interstate 10 eastbound will be closed from the Shepherd/Durham exit to Interstate 45 so crews can repair beams supporting the Houston Avenue overpass of the freeway. The bridge was struck in December by at least five trucks, four of them after the initial hit dislodged a metal plate protecting the beams.

The freeway is not scheduled to reopen until 5 a.m. Monday. None of the closings will affect westbound I-10.

The closing is expected to lead to significant delays, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Only local traffic headed to the Shepherd exit should proceed within Loop 610 on I-10, officials said.

As a result, all drivers are encouraged to use Loop 610 to travel north and east from I-10 to Interstate 45. Drivers can then go southbound on I-45 to rejoin eastbound I-10.

In addition to the total closure at Shepherd, I-10 eastbound from Loop 610 to Shepherd will be restricted to one or two lanes to ease into the closing. Entrance ramps within Loop 610 along eastbound I-10 are closed, as well as exit ramps east of Shepherd. Drivers also will not have access to the ramps to eastbound I-10 from north- and southbound Loop 610.

Police will be stationed to monitor and control traffic where needed, TxDOT officials said in a news release. Heavy trucks headed eastbound are not permitted to use residential streets to detour through nearby neighborhoods, officials added.

The Houston Avenue bridge is frequently hit by large trucks, as it is among the lowest spansin the region at 14 feet, 8 inches, according to TxDOT reports. Any load taller than 14 feet is required to have an overweight permit, but often drivers hauling construction equipment fail to acquire a permit or are unaware their loads exceeds standards.

The bridge is scheduled for replacement as part of the redesign of I-45 in downtown Houston, though work along that segment is not expected for seven-to-10 years.