Beltway 8 reopens in west Houston

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON - Like a miraculous parting of the Red Sea, Houston's west side traffic gridlock may finally be coming to an end!

The Harris County Toll Road Authority has opened most of the Sam Houston Tollway-- so now both southbound and northbound lanes are once again flowing along Beltway 8.

"It definitely has helped to not take two hours to get to my job, but there's still a fair amount of traffic stuck in the city," area resident Shantal Huerta said.

"With the Beltway being open has really improved the traffic flow around here," Jill Wright suggested.

But the traffic gods have not made this move without a price.

Most Fort Bend County tolls are now being collected once again-- and most Harris County tolls will no longer be waived starting Tuesday, Except for the west Beltway 8 tollway from 290 to Hwy 59.

Officials say those tolls will likely resume later in the week.

Last week, as the city attempted to get back to normal, West Houston traffic in particular became a nightmare for many commuters.

"My first day getting back to work took about almost three hours, when it's usually about a 15-minute drive," Huerta shared.

"Each day I've been going home it's been taking me about an hour and a half to two hours," Chris Saggiotes summed up his commute. "Miserable!"

So, now that Houston roadways are starting to flow freely again, will local leaders learn from the Harvey aftermath and find some new solutions to H-town traffic blues?

"I certainly hope so," Wright chimed in. "I hope that they will take a look at the congestion and take a look at the street conditions."

"Engineers need to figure out something to do something, you know?" Saggiotes advised.

"I really don't know," resident Blake Drury admitted. "Hopefully it will. Traffic here is getting worse and worse every year."

At least for now, seeing traffic moving on both sides of the Beltway is a much-needed welcome sight!