According to a February update from TxDOT, several widening projects along I-45 have new deadlines that are months—up to over a year—later than originally projected.
The widening project between NASA Parkway and FM 518 was expected in summer 2018 to be completed in fall 2021, but that has been pushed back to the end of 2021. It will cost $99.2 million.
The project from FM 518 to FM 517 was going to be complete near the beginning of 2021 but has now been pushed back to the beginning of 2022 with a cost of $121.7 million.
Finally, the project between FM 517 and FM 1764 will wrap up at the end of 2023 at a cost of $163 million. The original expected completion date was the third quarter of 2022.
TxDOT public information officer Danny Perez said weather and holiday travel affected expected completion dates for projects.
“Inclement weather has limited the contractor’s ability to work on critical items. Work was suspended during periods of heavy holiday traffic to minimize lane closures and impacts to the traveling public,” Perez wrote in an email to Community Impact Newspaper.
For the two projects between FM 518 and FM 1764, right of way acquisition and utility relocation efforts took longer than planned, delaying those projects, Perez wrote.
Additionally, the major project to reconfigure the intersection of I-45 and FM 646 was delayed for over two months because it was originally scheduled to happen over the holiday season. TxDOT delayed that work to March 2019 to reduce the negative effects to travelers, Perez wrote.
“It is our goal to finish each project as quickly as possible and to minimize impacts on the traveling public. However, there are times during construction we encounter issues that could delay a project,” Perez wrote. “Our project teams work to overcome any challenges that may arise by working with the contractor.”
The widening of I-45 between FM 1764 and FM 519 started after August 2019. It is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2025 at a cost of $163 million.
Four other widening projects from FM 519 to Galveston have yet to start. Most are expected to begin this summer at a total cost of $385.8 million.