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I-45 closure at Rayford, Sawdust roads overpass continues through Monday morning

January 11, 2019

The extensive repair project of the northbound lanes on the overpass on Interstate 45 at the intersection of Rayford and Sawdust roads continues through 5 a.m. Monday, and officials said Friday the project is still on schedule as planned despite rainy weather in the forecast.

Emily Black, a spokesperson for TxDOT, said on Friday that construction workers will begin repairs to the I-45 northbound lanes Friday night before moving to the southbound lanes of the overpass later this month. However, she stressed than no information had been finalized for the southbound lane closures, which are tentatively scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 18-21.

“Everything stands as is (with the construction schedule) for the northbound lanes,” Black said Friday afternoon. “There is rain predicted, but we don’t expect that to impact the project.”

The northboud closures began at 9 p.m., Friday, and are scheduled to continue through 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14. The repair work is considered important as the bridge has been deemed to have some structural issues that led to the project.

“We are going to be replacing the (load) bearing pads, which are the pads under the (overpass) columns. We have to jack the (overpass) deck up to do that. We are going to have some closures (on I-45),” Black said. “We are going to have to close the U-turn lanes during non-peak hours, too.”

Black said TxDOT officials and construction crews from the firm doing the repairs — ISI Contracting Inc. — will follow department guidelines in regard to closures, trying to keep traffic flowing during peak commuting hours in the early morning and evenings and weekdays.

She urged drivers to follow the TxDOT mantra when it comes to navigating their way though construction projects: “Slow down. Be Aware. Obey signs and instructions.”

“We are asking drivers to avoid the area if possible,” Black added. “If they can find an alternate way around the project, that is ideal.”

Black also if drivers need to go through the area, they should expect delays as vehicles will be required to exit I-45 at the Rayford/Sawdust roads exit and travel along the northbound feeder road before re-entering the interstate at the next on-ramp.

The project involves only 0.12 miles of repairs to the overpass, with the focus on replacing the various load-bearing pads under the columns of the overpass and then a full replacement of the bridge deck as a whole on the southbound side of Interstate 45. The project has an overall price tag of slightly more than $405,000.

“It is general maintenance,” Black said of the repairs.

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