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Beat the Traffic: Drivers awaiting opening of 59 North ramps

by Katherine Whaley / 11 News

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 2:41 PM

HOUSTON -- Some relief is on the way for drivers near Bush Intercontinental Airport. A massive road construction project has been underway for well over a year at 59 North (the Eastex Freeway) and Beltway 8.

Now, the ramps are just weeks away from opening.

"I think it's really going to alleviate a lot of the traffic issues on the access roads," driver Rosie Troxle told 11 News.  "I'm very excited about it because I have a little kid, so it's great when I'm in the car to think about now I'm not going to have to listen to him crying, right?"

Getting past all of that traffic is the goal of the “direct-connector” ramps near the big airport.

Troxle has been watching construction since October of 2009, when the project started.

"I've seen equipment I've never seen before and it's been fun to watch while at least I am sitting at these lights," she said.

The future ramps will connect the Eastex Freeway to the east side of Beltway 8. When the ramps open, drivers will no longer have to exit and wait at stoplights to travel between the freeways. Drivers like Tanya Parks are counting the days until the ramps open, "I know its going to be less traffic, so it's going to make it more easy and convenient."

We heard from a number of viewers like Parks who wanted to know when the ramps open. So we took their questions to Texas Department of Transportation, which is heading up the project.

Spokesperson Danny Perez sent us this response: "The Contractor is pushing to have these connectors open by the end of March. The Contractor still has to... remove all of the form brackets along the outside, paint the concrete rail and stripe the roadway."

TxDOT has not advertised a specific opening date, but workers say they are making good progress. "I'm just glad its going to be done soon," Troxle said. For drivers here, it will be a faster new way to beat the traffic near the airport.