Describing TXDOT’s I-45 expansion (the NHHIP - North Houston Highway Improvement Project) as a once-in-a-lifetime project, the Make I-45 Better Coalition are asking their elected representatives to urge the City of Houston and TXDOT to adopt the “Vision C” design alternative developed by the City’s task force for the project, which includes, among other design elements:
- Two direction transit lanes
- BRT (bus rapid transit) stations along the route of I-45
- Bringing I-45 up to current safety design standards
- Two lane frontage roads designed as city streets (which are generally safer)
- Improvements to drainage on Little White Oak and Halls Bayous
- Substantial flood mitigation in Independence Heights
- Minimal right of way increases in order to reduce residential and commercial displacements
- Cost savings for taxpayers
- Safe bike and pedestrian crossings over and under I-45
These design proposals come as TXDOT anticipates final approval of its Environmental Impact Statement by June 2020. It is unclear whether TXDOT would consider implementing such sweeping changes so late in the project development, particularly when these changes do not appear sufficient to garner the Coalition’s support for the project. Even if “Vision C” were adopted by TXDOT, the Coalition would still oppose the project moving forward.
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