Prelim construction on 610 at the Southwest Freeway is underway, and Houston already has a headache

Traffic backs up where Interstate 610 and U.S. Highway 59 intersect near the Galleria area Tuesday, Nov. 23, 1999 in Houston. According to a study by the American Highway Users Alliance, Houston is home to two of the nation's worst highway bottlenecks. The study found that fixing the most serious congested areas nationwide would save lives, reduce pollution and shorten delays. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

As crews prepare to begin multi-million dollar relocation construction on the West 610 Loop interchange at Southwest Freeway, Houston drivers are mentally prepping for traffic armageddon.

“Crews have been ripping out trees and other vegetation,” driver John Greiner said in an interview with Swamplot, a real estate and property-centered news website. “Much more than could be argued for improving traffic sight lines.”

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Construction on the interchange, which is located southeast of the Galleria, is slated to last eight years; all of the main lanes of I-69/US 59 near the interchange will be rebuilt as part of a $258.8 million project.

With the rebuild originally scheduled to begin before the end of the year, contracts and plans provide an end-date of 2021.

The winning bid awarded to Williams Brothers Construction allotted for 2,030 working days — nearly nine years of building.

RELATED: TxDOT takes next step in 610 Loop interchange project

Construction is set to begin near the retail capital of Houston just before the holiday season kicks off, and, while some favorite holiday traditions are cancelled thanks to the project, including the lighting of Post Oak, officials maintain they aren’t grinches, working on a plan to save Christmas – shopping, that is.

Hang in there, y’all.

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