I-45 and FM 646 overpass flip begins March 1

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The I-45 widening project through the Bay Area will hit a major milestone next week as crews begin demolishing the FM 646 bridge over I-45, according to a Feb. 22 Texas Department of Transportation press release.

The existing FM 646 bridge passes over I-45, but the project will convert the intersection so I-45 passes over FM 646. The project will be done in two phases.

The first phase, which starts March 1, includes the demolition of the FM 646 overpass, construction of the I-45 northbound main lane overpass and reconstruction of the intersection and frontage roads. During the second phase, the intersection will reopen to east- and westbound traffic, and the I-45 southbound overpass will be built, according to the release.

During the closure, traffic will be detoured to the frontage road. Westbound FM 646 traffic will travel onto the I-45 northbound frontage road to Hwy. 96, make a U-turn and travel on the I-45 southbound frontage road back to FM 646. Eastbound FM 646 traffic will be detoured onto the I-45 southbound frontage road to FM 517, make a U-turn and drive along the I-45 northbound frontage road back to FM 646, according to the release.

TxDOT expects the intersection conversion project to make the route safer, especially during emergencies. The project will take six months to complete, the release reads.

The $122 million I-45 widening project between FM 518 and FM 517 will improve mobility, reduce congestion and make the interstate safer. It will also aid in facilitating the growth of Galveston County, according to the release.

The widening project began in late 2016 and is expected to finish in early 2021. For more information, visit www.houstontranstar.org, call 713-802-5077 or email danny.perez@txdot.gov.

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Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for a few years, covering topics such as city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be an editor with Community Impact. In his free time, Magee enjoys playing video games, jamming on the drums and bass, longboarding and petting his cat.
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