I-45 and FM 646 intersection flip finishes early as widening project continues south

A major I-45 project has reached substantial completion months ahead of schedule as the Texas Department of Transportation continues to widen the interstate all the way to Galveston.

In late June, TxDOT opened FM 646 to east-west traffic at I-45. It had been closed since March 1 as crews demolished the FM 646 overpass to flip the intersection so I-45 passes over instead of under FM 646. I-45 lanes remained open during the work, though there were lane shifts to accommodate demolition.

Crews have also finished constructing the new northbound I-45 main lanes over FM 646, finishing Phase 1 of the project. Northbound and southbound traffic share the northbound I-45 overpass as crews start Phase 2, which includes the construction of the I-45 southbound overpass at FM 646. Phase 2 should be complete by next summer, TxDOT Public Information Officer Danny Perez wrote in an email to Community Impact Newspaper.

During the months of work, eastbound FM 646 motorists who wanted to cross I-45 had to travel south along the I-45 frontage road, make a U-turn at FM 517 and then continue east on FM 646. Westbound motorists had to travel north and make a U-turn at Hwy. 96.

TxDOT officials expected the FM 646 closure to last until September, but crews finished the project 2 1/2 months early. The contract included a $30,000-per-day incentive for finishing early up to a maximum of 45 days, netting the contractor an additional $1.35 million, Perez wrote.

“With all our projects, our goal is to finish sooner [rather] than later to minimize the impacts on the traveling public,” he wrote.

Other work at the intersection still needs to be complete, including reconstructing the curved access roads from the I-45 frontage roads to FM 646, reconstructing U-turns along FM 646 under the I-45 bridge, and creating a detention pond at the southwest side of the intersection, Perez wrote.

The intersection flip is part of one of several projects to widen I-45 in Galveston County.

The $121.7 million project to widen I-45 to eight lanes between FM 518 and FM 517 began in November 2016 and is expected to finish in early 2021. Crews are widening I-45 to 10 lanes between NASA Parkway and FM 518, a $99.8 million project that began in May 2017 and is expected to finish in fall 2021. Crews are also widening I-45 between FM 517 and FM 1764, a $230.5 million project expected to finish by fall 2022, according to TxDOT documents.

There are four other I-45 widening projects farther south totaling $428 million that will start anywhere between August and April 2022.



Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
Houston vying to become host city for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Houston is among 17 U.S. cities in the race to host the World Cup and is competing against other major cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, for the nod.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the Texas General Land Office at a Dec. 11 public hearing. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston area leaders call for more federal flood dollars at public meeting

Officials expressed concerns about proposed limitations for how federal funds will be allocated throughout the state.

Tavores Dewayne Henderson, 21, was arrested on charges of running over and killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant. (Courtesy ABC13)
Fugitive in police sergeant's death taken into custody

A fugitive suspected of hitting and killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant has been captured at a home in southeast Houston, authorities said.

Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, Nassau Bay Police Department, Nassau Bay police death victim
UPDATE: Candlelight vigil to be held for Nassau Bay sergeant killed in line of duty

A man is suspected of striking Sgt. Kaila Sullivan with a vehicle, killing her.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
El Dorado Boulevard widening start date pushed back

The start date to widen El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake from two lanes to four has been delayed.

League City library, Helen Hall Library, library stock image photo
League City hosting town hall Dec. 12 about library needs

Now that consultants' recommendations to address League City's library needs are public, the city will host a town hall to gather feedback from residents.

City of Houston Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis, who currently holds the District B seat on the Houston City Council, addressed the Harris County Commissioners Court Dec. 3. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County considers legality, liability of removing Houston City Council Member District B race from Dec. 14 runoff ballot

Harris County commissioners have questions about the removal of the race for Houston City Council Member District B from the Dec. 14 runoff election and what it could mean for future elections.

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Greater Houston region expected to see slower job growth in 2020

The Greater Houston area is expected to see a net gain of 42,300 jobs in 2020.

(Courtesy Dan's Pizza Co.)
Dan’s Pizza Wings ‘N’ Beer Deck opens in Kemah

The business has another location, Dan’s Pizza Co., in Webster.

The Hue Salon now open in League City

The business specializes in hair-coloring services, styles and cuts women’s and men’s hair, performs facial waxing services and more.

(Courtesy Tiff's Treats)
Tiff’s Treats opens in Webster

Tiff’s Treats bakes and delivers cookies and brownies on demand.

(Courtesy Bowlero Webster)
AMF Alpha Lanes changes name to Bowlero Webster, celebrates with grand reopening

The business feature 40 bowling lanes, an arcade, pool tables, air hockey, a sports bar, a lounge, a pro shop and more.

Back to top