Updated 10:10 a.m. Sept. 11
After portions of Beltway 8 West remained closed for days due to repairs, four southbound lanes have reopened as of Sunday night.
Roadwork will continue on the southbound lanes, and the right lane and the southbound ramp to Memorial Drive is still closed and will not open until early next week, according to the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
Updated Sept. 8 10:24 a.m.
The northbound lanes of West Beltway 8 are now open while southbound lanes remain closed for repairs, according to Houston Transtar.
Officials from TxDOT said traffic returning to normalcy will take some time, and advise Houston commuters to be patient.
“…The reality is, the efficiency of our transportation system depends on the entire network,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Deidrea George said. “With the sum number of roadways still impacted by high water, disabled signals and the necessity for various detours, motorists are having to compensate for this.”
George said she recommends drivers take full advantage of transportation apps and technology.
“We encourage motorists to take full advantage of the technology available to predict travel times and plan routes,” George said. “Of course we always encourage the use of Houston Transtar as a local resource, but now days most everyone has access to a host of additional transportation related apps on their smartphone.”
Updated Sept. 6
To reduce lingering high water on Houston-area thoroughfares, the Texas Department of Transportation and Harris County Toll Road Authority announced Wednesday that they would be mobilizing resources on Beltway 8. Water levels had dropped enough after the effects of flooding from Hurricane Harvey last week to begin pumping water from flooded lanes between I-10 and Westheimer Road on the west side of Houston, TxDOT announced.
Water will be pumped into Buffalo Bayou, which breached its banks during the storm and received further overflow from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs in the Katy and Cy-Fair areas.
“The objective is to reduce water levels enough to begin structural inspections to determine the sufficiency of the pavement and retaining walls in preparation to restore traffic. It is important to note that this the beginning of the restoration process to assess potential damage and schedule any necessary repairs,” a statement from TxDOT said.
TxDOT said the Beltway will open after the water has completely receded and all structures and pavement were deemed safe for travel, but did not offer estimates of when that might occur.
In the meantime, drivers around the area are experiencing excessive travel delays as business, schools and residents try to resume normal activities.
See which area roadways had severe delays during Wednesday’s evening rush hour, according to Houston Transtar:
I-10: Traveling west between Antoine Drive and Hwy. 6, a distance of 28.7 miles, took 58:40 minutes as of 5:13 p.m. while traffic moved at nearly 20 miles per hour.
Hwy. 290: Traffic was moving at nearly 20 miles per hour as of 5:23 p.m. between Fairbanks North Houston Road West Road, taking 32:31 minutes to travel 5.9 miles.
Hwy. 59: The 1.6-mile drive between University Boulevard and the Grand Parkway took 6:38 minutes as of 5:24 p.m. Traffic was moving at nearly 20 miles per hour. Farther south, driving from the Grand Parkway to Williams Way—a 2.1-mile stretch—took 6:05 minutes as cars were moving between 20 and 30 mph.
Grand Parkway: Southbound traffic between I-10 and South Fry Road, which runs 5.5 miles, took drivers 43:19 minute at 20 mph. Northbound, between Bellaire and Cinco Ranch boulevards, took drivers 23:42 minutes to travel 3.6 miles at 20 mph. The 2.1 miles between Hardy Toll Road and I-45 North took 6:48 minutes westbound, while Kuykendahl to Holzwarth roads were closed in both directions.
Beltway 8: The highway saw speeds of 20 mph as of 5:35 p.m. between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and the Hardy Toll Road, a distance of 2.7 miles that took westbound drivers 8:29 minutes. All lanes are closed between Hammerly Boulevard and Richmond Avenue.
Westpark Tollway: 20 mph speeds were measured as of 6 p.m. between Fondren and Addicks Clodine roads, taking drivers 38:58 minutes to travel the 8.3 miles.
Hwy. 288: Lanes are closed in both directions between Orem Drive and Hwy. 59 in Houston. All other traffic was moving normally as of 5:32 p.m.
Hardy Toll Road: Between Cypresswood Drive and Airtex Boulevard lanes are closed in both directions but normal traffic speeds were measured as of 5:44 p.m.
I-45 Gulf Freeway: Northbound speeds of about 20 mph were measured at 5:46 p.m. between Allen Parkway and Telephone Road, a distance of 5.2 miles that took 20:34 minutes.