Drivers in West Houston found some relief from a tough traffic week as the northbound lanes of Beltway 8 reopened Thursday evening.

Harris County Toll Road officials said all northbound lanes of the Sam Houston Tollway opened shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The southbound lanes could open next week, officials said.

The announcement comes after crews pumped standing water from Beltway 8 Thursday.

“Our crews have worked tirelessly to pump out some of this water,” said Roxana Sibrian with HCTRA.

Not just some of the water, but all of it. As of Thursday afternoon, the road was bone dry.

Crews are now hard at work on the next task.

“The important process of evaluating, if any potential damage has happened to the roadway. Crews right now are tearing up pavement,” Sibrian said.

Houston traffic continues to frustrate drivers as the work week wraps up.

In fact, 200 yards of pavement will be torn up, then cameras will go in to assess the damage. While that’s happening, TxDOT is working just a few feet away on the sinkhole.

“What we’re having to do is remove that concrete pavement, put in the fill underneath and then rebuild that on top,” said Karen Othon with TxDOT.

That should take about a week, but the timeline on the road is too soon to tell – and that’s a problem.

“It’s obviously disrupting traffic and it requires people to find alternate routes,” said Richard Hoffman, who lives nearby.

Traffic nightmares could last for days as tens of thousands of drivers find a new route to work.