The Texas Department of Transportation has been working on several I-45 projects that will last at least until 2026 to improve travel from Houston to Galveston.

Multiple construction projects along I-45 have new deadlines that have been moved to a few months later than last projected, according to a September update from TxDOT. In March 2020, Community Impact Newspaper reported several segments of the widening project had their deadlines extended, and now they have been extended further.

The ongoing widening project between NASA Parkway and FM 518 was expected in March 2020 to be completed by the end of 2021 but will now finish by mid-2022, TxDOT Public Information Officer Danny Perez said. The project will cost $99.2 million, he said.

“As construction moves further along in these projects, we can make better assessments on the estimated [and] anticipated completion dates,” Perez said in an email. “These are not delays. Time frames [and] dates can change due to issues such as utilities and weather.”

According to TxDOT’s website, the NASA Parkway to FM 518 project will reverse the northbound entrance and exit ramps; make the northbound entrance ramp go over the northbound exit ramp, widening the northbound exit ramp to a two-lane exit ramp; lengthen the Clear Creek frontage road bridge; and result in the creation of new detention ponds.

The ongoing I-45 widening project from FM 517 to FM 1764 was expected to be completed by the end of 2023 but is now anticipated to be completed in mid-2024, Perez said. The project will cost $230.4 million.

According to TxDOT, the FM 517 to FM 1764 project will revise entrance and exit ramp locations, and new detention ponds will be created.

The ongoing widening project from FM 519 to the Texas City Wye, the interchange where I-45, Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 146 meet, is anticipated to be completed in mid-2026, Perez said. The cost is $105.7 million. The project is in the planning and design phase, according to TxDOT’s website.

Two widening projects still on the same timeline as March 2020 are the ones from FM 518 to FM 517, which is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2022 with a cost of $121.7 million, and another between FM 1764 and FM 519, which is still expected to finish in the third quarter of 2025 at a cost of $163 million.

The widening of I-45 between Houston and Galveston has been ongoing for years.

“Our goal is to always finish these projects as soon as possible to minimize the impacts on the traveling public,” Perez said.

Completed projects

Friendswood Lakes Boulevard extension

The project involved designing a four-lane road that connects the thoroughfare to the existing Friendswood Lakes Boulevard as it intersects West Boulevard to Stoney Lake in League City.

Timeline: June 2020-September 2021

Cost: $5.5 million

Funding sources: Galveston County, city of Friendswood

Ongoing projects

Hughes Ranch Road expansion

The project will reconstruct Hughes Ranch Road from Cullen Boulevard to Smith Ranch Road from a two-lane asphalt roadway to a four-lane concrete curb and gutter thoroughfare. It is expected to be completed by November, Pearland Director of Engineering Robert Upton confirmed in an email.

Timeline: March 2019-November 2021

Cost: $16.68 million

Funding source: city of Pearland