The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has announced that construction will begin in March 2019 to begin “flipping” how FM 646 intersects with I-45.
As a part of the I-45 Gulf Freeway Widening Project between FM 518 and FM 517, the I-45/FM 646 intersection will be flipped so that I-45 passes over FM 646.
The intersection will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will include the demolition of the FM 646 overpass, construction of the I-45 northbound mainlane overpass, and reconstruction of the intersection and frontage roads. Following the first phase of construction, the intersection will be reopened to east/west traffic and the access roads will be reconstructed along with the I-45 southbound mainlane overpass.
delays due to right of way acquisitions and relocations, crews are now scheduled
to begin demolishing the current FM 646 bridge in March. During demolition, project crews will
close FM 646 to east- and westbound traffic. While FM 646 is closed, eastbound
motorists will have to travel south along the I-45 frontage road to FM 517 and
make a U-turn before continuing on FM 646. Westbound motorists will have to
travel north to Highway 96 and make a U-turn.
TxDOT officials have signed an agreement with contractors
reconstructing the overpass that stipulates crews have six months to finish the
job, with disincentives for late completion and incentives for finishing early.
The reconfiguring or FM 646 and I-45 will also include the addition of
bi-directional access roads and U-turn lanes which will improve access to surrounding
businesses and homes plus reduce traffic congestion. Crews are tentatively
slated to reopen the intersection to travel across FM 646 in the fall of 2019. The project is part of a larger TxDOT initiative to widen I-45 from
six to eight lanes all the way to Galveston.