A bridge on South Rice Avenue traveling over Brays Bayou reopened to traffic Dec. 15 amid the ongoing Project Brays, a construction project by the Harris County Flood Control District intended to raise bridges along the bayou.

The new four-lane bridge, which has been under construction since spring 2021, was rebuilt to be wider, taller and longer than it was previously.

Construction in the area is expected to continue through the winter, but commuters now have continuous access over the bridge, according to a Dec. 15 announcement from the district. Meanwhile, work is ongoing on the nearby bridge over Chimney Rock Road.

The scope of $480 million Project Brays included raising 14 bridges in total across four segments spanning from Fondren Road in southwest Houston to Broadway Street. Work on six bridges has been completed in its entirety, while the flood control district expects to wrap up work on the remaining eight bridges in 2022.

By raising the bridges, Brays Bayou will be able to convey more floodwater, officials said. In total, 15,000 homes are expected to be removed from the 100-year flood plain upon completion, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

Work on the South Rice bridge cost an estimated $9.7 million.