TxDOT is giving us the gift of traffic this Christmas, taking the next steps for its 610 Loop Interchange project just in time for the holidays

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)

Just in time for the holidays, changes are coming to the 610 Loop.

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The highly anticipated rebuild of the interchange at US 69 near the Galleria is expected to begin later this year, following TxDOT’s contract award to Williams Brothers Construction earlier this week.

Once the entire $258.8 million project is complete, drivers will see a lot of changes to the highway:

In addition to rebuilding the lanes of 610, the project will rebuild all of the interchanges between the loop and both US 69 and US 59.

While the project is scheduled to run from 2017 through 2021, the contract awarded to Williams Brothers provides for 2,030 working days, which stretches out to nine years of work.

According to TxDOT, once completed, the project will alleviate congestion and allow for smoother entrances and exits from the highway.

With the project kicking off right around the time holiday shopping begins, the highway in and out of the Galleria area might be a little more festive this year – with tail lights.

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While drivers may be concerned about how the project will impact holiday shopping, TxDOT says they are working on a plan to avoid delays.

Let’s hope we receive a Christmas miracle.

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