PASADENA, Texas -- One of the nation’s most important arteries for the petrochemical industry, State Highway 225, was shut down most of Friday by icy overpasses.
The roadway renowned for its long vistas of refineries and storage tanks closed after freezing temperatures and steady rain that began before dawn. Although warmer weather swept through as the day progressed, the freeway remained closed until around 2:30.
“It’s a pain in the butt,” said David Sherwood, who navigated through side streets and around icy overpasses to pick up his paycheck.
The highway is a crucial conduit for truckers hauling loads to petrochemical plants and other industrial businesses surrounding the Bayport Industrial Complex on the south side of the Houston Ship Channel. Traffic diverted onto feeder roads, causing long lines at intersections, forcing some drivers to wind their way through side streets.
“All day, man,” said James Jackson, who drives a delivery truck for Dr. Pepper. “All day, man. Dr. Pepper gave me a late start. And I had to drive all the side streets because you know a lot of Houston drivers don’t know how to drive in this cold climate.”
Grand Prize Barbecue, one of the most popular restaurants along the highway, usually sees long lines of customers for lunch. But on Friday afternoon, the dining room sat almost empty. “Everybody’s staying home for the weather,” said Juan Soliz, who spent a lonely day working behind the counter. “And the business is very slow today.”