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IAH to port travel times on 4/1


Pika8347
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Can someone help me understand the IAH to port traffic on a Saturday? I've read anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours?!?!? How is 2.5 hours possible? Granted I'm from Ohio and I'm very accustomed to Cincinnati traffic. But the whole 2.5 hours is really concerning. Are the highways only from IAH to the port only two lanes?

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Houston metropolitan area population 7.2 million people, Cincinnati metro population 2.2 million. Those other 5 million people are on the road between the airport and the cruiseport. I'm being sarcastic. When people say 2 1/2 hours it's because there has been a nasty wreck in an area where there's road construction  I 45, aka the Gulf Freeway, the road into Galveston, was started in 1954 and has been under construction somewhere between downtown Houston and Galveston Island every minute since then. Generally, I'd allocate an hour and a half and hope for the best.

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Houston to Galveston even during construction , contracts provide for  all of time there are 6 lanes open , 3 on each side plus frontage access roads. The times, which are infrequent,  are when main lanes are closed , like when major over passes are being demolished necessitating closures. Alternative routes are always provided by contract .  Saturday mornings are free sailing unless a major wreck occurs , which can happen anywhere in the world  . Don't overthink this . We travel back and forth between Galveston Houston often and rarely experience major stoppages. It can happen with extenuating circumstances. 

 

     

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What time do you land? If you are here before noon or so it's about 90 min from IAH to Galveston. Don't come through Houston, take the Beltway 8 system around the east side and reconnect with I-45 South. The tolls are a little step, but you will do fine. Leaving the terminals make sure to take the Airport Exit marked I45 and not US 59. It's a direct down JFK Blvd to the Beltway system, go East!
 Your date is past the spring break crowds for the island, so your trip will be smooth.

 

.

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15 hours ago, BallFour4 said:

What time do you land? If you are here before noon or so it's about 90 min from IAH to Galveston. Don't come through Houston, take the Beltway 8 system around the east side and reconnect with I-45 South. The tolls are a little step, but you will do fine. Leaving the terminals make sure to take the Airport Exit marked I45 and not US 59. It's a direct down JFK Blvd to the Beltway system, go East!
 Your date is past the spring break crowds for the island, so your trip will be smooth.

 

.

8:30 a.m. Thank for the advice!

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I assume you are renting a car.  Do not take the toll road as the rental agency will charge you extremely high fines as rental cars do not have easy tags to pass through. Hwy travel is almost a straight shot to Galveston,   Exit airport, take 59 South (not HWY 45) to Houston then follow signs  45 South to Galveston.  Your choice, but I would not want to pay the high fines assessed by the rental company.

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On 2/18/2023 at 6:50 PM, Galveston Cruiser said:

I assume you are renting a car.  Do not take the toll road as the rental agency will charge you extremely high fines as rental cars do not have easy tags to pass through. Hwy travel is almost a straight shot to Galveston,   Exit airport, take 59 South (not HWY 45) to Houston then follow signs  45 South to Galveston.  Your choice, but I would not want to pay the high fines assessed by the rental company.

Yes, we secured a rental via Hertz. However, I understand they're a few toll roads available.The issue is that Hertz charges approximately $6/day if I choose to opt in for a "plate pass" reader plus tolls. We're literally renting the car and leaving it at the port for the duration of cruise Thus, why should I drive a toll route when it's only three minutes faster. I've attached copy of the map Google created (with no tolls). Is the non toll route a headache? 

 

Oh, and here's the real kicker if I choose to decline the plate pass:

 

If you decline the optional PlatePass All-Inclusive service at the start of the rental period, but still use electronic toll roads and/or bridges during the rental period (including “cashless” or “all electronic” toll roads and bridges, as noted above), you will be liable for and we will charge you: (a) all tolls incurred for such use (at the highest, undiscounted applicable toll rate); (b) a $9.99 usage day fee; and (c) all other applicable toll charges or fees, if any.”

 

If y'all think I should just suck it up and opt for the plate pass reader and tolls, let me know. 

 

iah.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, Pika8347 said:

Yes, we secured a rental via Hertz. However, I understand they're a few toll roads available.The issue is that Hertz charges approximately $6/day if I choose to opt in for a "plate pass" reader plus tolls. We're literally renting the car and leaving it at the port for the duration of cruise Thus, why should I drive a toll route when it's only three minutes faster. I've attached copy of the map Google created (with no tolls). Is the non toll route a headache? 

 

Oh, and here's the real kicker if I choose to decline the plate pass:

 

If you decline the optional PlatePass All-Inclusive service at the start of the rental period, but still use electronic toll roads and/or bridges during the rental period (including “cashless” or “all electronic” toll roads and bridges, as noted above), you will be liable for and we will charge you: (a) all tolls incurred for such use (at the highest, undiscounted applicable toll rate); (b) a $9.99 usage day fee; and (c) all other applicable toll charges or fees, if any.”

 

If y'all think I should just suck it up and opt for the plate pass reader and tolls, let me know. 

 

iah.jpeg

 

 

NO 

 

 

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Here's info from Houston Trans Star regarding I45 South Traffic in Galveston County. Be mindful it's a government job so March 31st might not actually mean March 31st.
Houston TranStar Road Closure
Location IH-45 Northbound and southbound from FM-518 to FM-517 in League City
Description Construction
Lanes Affected 1 Alternate Lane(s)
Duration Closed Daily from Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:00 AM to Friday, March 31, 2023 3:00 PM
Live Status Active
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On 2/20/2023 at 2:52 PM, CC Rider 69 said:
Here's info from Houston Trans Star regarding I45 South Traffic in Galveston County. Be mindful it's a government job so March 31st might not actually mean March 31st.
Houston TranStar Road Closure
Location IH-45 Northbound and southbound from FM-518 to FM-517 in League City
Description Construction
Lanes Affected 1 Alternate Lane(s)
Duration Closed Daily from Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:00 AM to Friday, March 31, 2023 3:00 PM
Live Status Active

From experience, these lane closures can cause an hours-long delay in the summer, but should only add 30-60 minutes extra to your trip at most in April. There's a new festival on that day called the Galveston Steampunk Festival, but it shouldn't be a huge draw that would back traffic up. It SHOULDN'T take you more than 2.5 hrs to get to the island on that day. But probably won't take you just 90 minutes either. Plan on 2 hours from the time you drive off the lot just to be safe.

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27 minutes ago, MujerIsla said:

From experience, these lane closures can cause an hours-long delay in the summer, but should only add 30-60 minutes extra to your trip at most in April. There's a new festival on that day called the Galveston Steampunk Festival, but it shouldn't be a huge draw that would back traffic up. It SHOULDN'T take you more than 2.5 hrs to get to the island on that day. But probably won't take you just 90 minutes either. Plan on 2 hours from the time you drive off the lot just to be safe.

 

IH-45 Northbound and southbound from FM-518 to FM-517 in League City

Lanes Affected------ 1 Alternate Lane(s)

 

Which 1 Alternate Lane Northbound or southbound will be closed ?????

If Northbound is closed during your southbound period of travel time , it will have no effect on you .

.  

 

Edited by ssb
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34 minutes ago, ssb said:

 

IH-45 Northbound and southbound from FM-518 to FM-517 in League City

Lanes Affected------ 1 Alternate Lane(s)

 

Which 1 Alternate Lane Northbound or southbound will be closed ?????

If Northbound is closed during your southbound period of travel time , it will have no effect on you .

.  

 

Right, but usually when they say northbound and southbound they mean both directions will have a lance closure at the same time, and the "one alternate lane" thing means they change which lane in each direction is closed at any given point throughout that closure period. 

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1 hour ago, MujerIsla said:

Right, but usually when they say northbound and southbound they mean both directions will have a lance closure at the same time, and the "one alternate lane" thing means they change which lane in each direction is closed at any given point throughout that closure period. 

 

Just an observation .

You may be right .. 

Usually ?

Good luck to Pika8347.

We live in Galveston and travel 45 often ,

even during construction .

 

Edited by ssb
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You are renting a car, just to then also pay to park it for a week?  I get the convenience factor, but I would also price a private shuttle service.

 

I didn't do any math, but I would likely vote for the toll "option" from the rental place.  Why?  Because it gives you options.  Yes, most Saturdays, the mainlanes of 59/45 will be just fine.  But I would have Transtar and Waze loaded up and at least know the alternate toll routes that would take you around further east.  Coming or going.

 

Keep in mind if your flight arrives at 8:30 (on time), it is probably 9:30 by the time you deplane, get to baggage claim, wait for bags.  Then the rental shuttles are about a 10+ min ride to the offsite lots, whatever paperwork or express checkout of car...on the road by...maybe 10?  Could be way faster, but all the ducks have to align.

 

That still leaves plenty of time to drive down, park, and get to the terminal.

 

If you set the expectations you won't be stressed too much if one leg of the journey stalls abit.

 

 

I think from the IAH rental car area, the only decent exit route is to take JFK South down to Beltway8.  From there go EAST regardless of going toll/notoll.  Then either stay on Bwy8 (toll), or take US59 South to downtown then switch to I45 South.  I advise against taking I45 all the way from IAH.

 

But.  Always a but - that is what Waze is for.  That specific day/hour - one big backup might sway you to take any of the other pathways.

 

Drive safe, don't overthink it.  Just prep a little.  But don't overlook that private shuttle option either, it could jumpstart your relaxing vacation hours earlier.

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I'd also look at Android Auto (or equiv) with the Avoid Tolls option enabled, it will warn you of any issues and route you through the most efficient free route.  We were rerouted once in January after a rainstorm resulted in flooded roadways.  

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On 2/24/2023 at 6:15 PM, jbrinkm said:

What about in the evening (same day - 4/1)? Around 9 or 10pm, is there a lot of traffic on Saturday night between IAH and Galveston? Surge pricing on rideshares?

Shouldn't be bad traffic in April. A Saturday night in the summer is a whole different story. There are often traffic jams leaving the island, and it can take people a couple of hours to get back to Houston. I can't speak to rideshares, because there's not a ton of that between Galveston and Houston. 

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