UPDATE: TxDOT reschedules I-45 southbound closure at Rayford, Sawdust roads to Jan. 25-28

TxDOT will close the I-45 southbound mainlanes at Rayford and Sawdust roads, Jan. 18-21.

TxDOT will close the I-45 southbound mainlanes at Rayford and Sawdust roads, Jan. 18-21.

Updated Jan. 15 at 2:52 p.m.
The Texas Department of Transportation has rescheduled the total closure of the I-45 southbound mainlanes at Rayford and Sawdust roads to next weekend, Jan. 25-28, TxDOT Public Information Officer Emily Black announced Jan. 15. The closure was previously scheduled for Jan. 18-21.

"Please note that the total closure of I-45 southbound at Rayford/Sawdust Road in The Woodlands has been rescheduled for this weekend to next weekend," Black said. "Forecasted weather conditions this weekend are too wet and cold to lay concrete."

Black said the lane closure will begin at 9 p.m. on Jan. 25 and lanes will reopen at 5 a.m. on Jan. 28, weather permitting.

Published Jan. 14 at 11:51
A total closure of the I-45 southbound mainlanes at Rayford and Sawdust roads is scheduled beginning Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m., weather permitting, according to Houston TranStar. The lanes will reopen Jan. 21 at 5 a.m.

TxDOT began repairing the I-45 bridge at Rayford and Sawdust roads Jan. 2, which had been previously identified as Texas’ most-traveled, structurally deficient bridge by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in 2014. The I-45 northbound mainlanes were closed during construction Jan. 11-14.

According to the ARTBA, while the northbound side of the bridge had a sufficiency rating—which indicates if a bridge is sufficient enough to remain in service—of 84 percent in 2014, the southbound side of the bridge earned a sufficiency rating of 68 percent. Bridges with a sufficiency rating below 80 percent are considered deficient, according to the study.

TxDOT Public Information Officer Emily Black said after the rating came out in 2014, TxDOT crews conducted an emergency repair, bringing the bridge back to satisfactory condition.

“We typically inspect bridges every two years, and in 2016 and 2018 the bridge was rated satisfactory, actually with decently high scoring of 84 on both sides of the bridge in the last inspection,” she said.

Maintaining mainlanes TxDOT began a further repair on the bridge Jan. 2. The $405,277 project will replace bearing pads under the bridge on the northbound side of the bridge and will fully replace the 633.6-foot bridge deck on the southbound side of the bridge, according to TxDOT. The project will also patch the drilled shaft where I-45 crosses Spring Creek.

“The project goal is to maintain and preserve the roadway and to ensure its safety in the future,” Black said.

Black said locations that will see closures during the two months of construction include the U-turns at Rayford Road and the mainlanes of I-45 both north- and southbound.

According to Houston TranStar, during the Jan. 18-21 closure motorists will be detoured by exiting I-45 southbound at the exit for Rayford and Sawdust roads and re-enter I-45 at the next entrance ramp south of Rayford and Sawdust roads.

The project is is 90 percent funded through federal dollars and 10 percent funded through state dollars.

Black said motorists can stay informed of lane closure throughout the project’s duration by monitoring the Houston TranStar website at www.houstontranstar.org.
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.