The Texas Department of Transportation is reporting that due to overall lighter traffic, work has been advancing at a slightly more rapid pace on a variety of Montgomery County projects.
TxDOT public information officer Danny Perez said the lower traffic counts have allowed contractors and crews to be able to close additional lanes at earlier times in the day.
"We tend to push a lot of our work to overnight hours to minimize impacts on the traveling public," Perez said. "We will [typically] allow them to close at around 9 p.m. In this case, we're allowing them to close earlier than normal. It's only one to two hours additional per day, but when you add it all up it can be an additional five to 10 hours per week to work with."
As an example, Perez said recently a contractor working on Loop 494 in Kingwood was able to accomplish 18 days of work over the span of a weekend.
The flexibility has been provided on a case-by-case basis, however, and as the state begins to reopen, Perez said TxDOT will continue to look at conditions and best determine how to adjust.
"As traffic conditions begin to pick up, we'll take note of that," Perez said. "It's a continuous coordination with the contractors."
Road crews have also been required to follow state and federal guidelines in an effort to maintain sanitation and social distancing. Perez said safety protocols include frequent hand washing and sanitizing touched surfaces, and crews are encouraged to use radio communication, wear masks while outdoors and limit the number of workers in vehicles.
Perez added updates to Montgomery County road projects that are being monitored by TxDOT that include I-45 and Hwy. 242, which is 48% complete with an anticipated completion in the second quarter of 2020 and FM 830 from Hwy. 75 to Lake Conroe, which is 93% complete. The project originally anticipated completion in the first quarter of 2020.