Ask the Senior Reporter: Why is Beltway 8 construction lengthening my commute times?

Chris Shelton Chris Shelton[/caption]

Since June, peak-time commutes from the Lake Houston area to northwest Houston have been more difficult because of construction.

The Texas Department of Transportation is spending $26.8 million to widen Beltway 8 between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and the Hardy Toll Road. It could ease gridlock for drivers who are traveling along Beltway 8 between Hwy. 59 and I-45.

The project includes adding an auxiliary lane in both direction, and moving the westbound Aldine Westfield exit ramp backward.

Auxiliary lanes are temporary additional lanes located at busy interchanges, freeway entrances and freeway exits.

TxDOT expects to be done with this stretch of Beltway 8 in early 2018, Public Information Officer Danny Perez said.

While current construction has caused delays and frustration in the present, TxDOT believes this widening will ultimately alleviate some of the peak-time delays in the future, he said.