HOUSTON — Nearly three years after it was demolished, the Southmore Bridge reconstruction project is officially complete.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and representatives from several offices involved with the project had an official ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration Wednesday.
"While the regular portion of the bridge was completed late last year, we want to celebration the completion of the bridge together with the pedestrian bridges," said CEO Enrique Martin Blue Ridge Transportation, the developer of the SH 288 Express Toll lanes. "As you can see these bridges are different than the other bridges in the community."
Southmore Boulevard is a major thoroughfare for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic going east and west, officials said. The project has been a major undertaking with collaboration from different local and state agencies, such as the Texas Department of Transportation, and community organizations.
"[It's] about building and creating a more livable city," Turner said. "And what that means is recognizing that people are not just in their cars or trucks any longer, people are also riding their bikes or they're walking. And we want to create that more livable space."
In April 2018, the Southmore Bridge that connects the Third Ward and the Museum District over Highway 288, was taken down as part of the Drive288 project.
Tolling resumed Monday for the southbound lanes of the SH 288 Express Toll, officials said.
According to project organizers, the two left lanes of the Highway 288 southbound have been reopened from IH-610 to Bellfort Street. Meanwhile, the right lane and Bellfort Street exit will remain closed.
Construction was expected to take only a year to 18 months but ran into several delays.