Northbound Beltway 8 lanes reopen, sinkhole discovered

- On any normal day, heavy traffic along any Houston-area highways at rush hour is just a given. However, Thursday traffic along the northbound lanes of Beltway 8 near Memorial Drive was welcome. It was the first time that drivers could use this part of the Sam Houston Tollway since Harvey flooded the west side of Houston.

Along the southbound frontage road near Boheme Drive, Texas Department of Transportation crews were working to fix and fill a sinkhole.

"A lot of that area where the construction equipment is, there is no dirt under it, it's just road and a big empty cavern and I'm sure they are going to have to chisel all of that out and refill it," says John Robinson, whose home flooded just south of the intersection.

"The soil underneath the pavement had actually turned to liquid and drained off and we are having to remove the pavement," explained TxDOT public information officer Karen Othon. "We are expecting it as we go and then we are going to fill it, fill it with soil, fill it back up and repave the frontage road." 

Crews are working around the clock to get the west Houston roads back open for travelers. Another 200 yards of the southbound lanes of the tollway are also being worked on.

All positive signs that the work being done, will soon mean the area will be back open. TxDOT officials say it could be about a week before the feeder road is fixed.

Residents remain concerned about area traffic.

"So if you're trying to go from the north to anywhere south of the bayou, like let's say Westheimer, it takes two hours," says Vivian Yu.

"We've been having to make a whole lot of runs to see my dad," says Robinson. "He's in the hospital and every time we do it, it's alright, what about 610, no it's too crowded, what about Shepherd, so it's too crowded, what about Kirby, so it's definitely created some problems."

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