And that means the entire project is now ahead of schedule.
“Early on in the pandemic, we saw lighter traffic conditions, and thus we allowed the contractor to extend closure hours to get additional work done,” TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez said. “For example, if the contractor had a nightly closure in place, they would typically have the closure in place from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. However, we were allowing them to close at 8 p.m. for example and open at 6 a.m.”
Early 2024 is the target completion date for the $259 million project, with Phase 2 nearly complete, Perez said. The items remaining in that phase include the intersection at Newcastle Drive and the I-69 northbound frontage road, the intersection at South Rice Avenue and the I-69 southbound frontage road, and completing the remaining I-69 northbound frontage road between Westpark Drive and east of Newcastle Drive. These projects should be complete before the summer.
In the meantime, TxDOT has begun to shift its focus to the remaining three phases of the project.
Motorists can expect some major closures in 2021, such as a reduction of the Loop 610 southbound to I-69 southbound connector to a single lane, total closures of the I-69 northbound to Loop 610 connector, and potentially the I-69 southbound to Loop 610 northbound connector.
“The good news is that 2021 will also bring the opening of the new I-610 northbound to I-69 southbound connector as well as the newly configured I-69 southbound exit ramp to Chimney Rock Road,” Perez said.