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MaxConcrete last won the day on March 18 2017

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  1. The first photo was taken Wednesday. It shows the PowerTrac boom which is doing the demolition. There was also a large fan on the right side blowing a cloud of mist over the site, surely for dust control. The second photo was taken today.
  2. There is preconstruction (i.e. design) work in progress to get rid of the legacy toll plazas on the original 3 sections of the Sam Houston Tollway. I agree, they are a bottleneck which cause a slowdown when traffic reaches a certain level. I recall at least one Harris County Commissions Court agenda item for consultant contracts for this work. It was not recent, probably 6-18 months ago. If you really want to find out more, you'll need to search through Harris County Commissioners Court agendas and you should find mention of this work. https://agenda.harriscountytx.gov/Archive.aspx
  3. I recently posted an analysis of HCTRA's most recent annual report. http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2021/09/#863387292260407558 In short Harris County Commissioners Court diverted $545 million in toll payments out of HCTRA in FY 2021 Revenue was down $304 million (36%) in FY 2021, which ran from March 2020 to Feb 2021 and included the worst of Covid and the freeze shutdown. Revenue should return to near the 2019 value of $855 million in the current fiscal year. Assuming no more revenue disruptions like covid, HCTRA is collecting far more revenue than needed to meet its financial obligations Overcharging toll road customers and diverting the revenue is price-gouging, in my opinion Since Harris County Commissions court seems intent to end expansion and improvement of the toll road system after current obligations are complete, my view is that tolls should be reduced or eliminated once these obligations are done in a few years. The priority for toll removal should be facilities which have generated far more revenue than their original cost, and facilities which are mainly used by Harris County residents. This would be the original three sections of the Sam Houston Tollway which opened between 1988 and 1990 from the Southwest Freeway to the North Freeway, and also possibly the south Hardy Toll Road.
  4. Excellent detective work, mattyt36. Using your clues I was able to make a positive ID that the photo location is Shenzhen, China. The area of the photo has been radically transformed. The amount of construction in China is mind-boggling. I am reassured that this was not a location in North America or Europe which I should have been able to identify. It would be nice if the CoH water department would use a photo of Houston! Here is a link showing how the site looks today http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSy8TR7oBFPNVCpAfislmyq_AV3yLbs7_jVXe7PR4MO0hSNgZin
  5. If you log in to the City of Houston water utility site (houstonwater.org) and view your account information, there is a large background image showing a city scene. But it is not Houston, and I can't identify which city it is. The big clue is the twin-tower office building in the background with the X-style bracing, but I've looked online and can't find any photos of it. houstonwaterbills.houstontx.gov/ProdDP/images/image-bg.jpg
  6. At today's commission meeting, the commission decided to receive public comment on the removal of funding for NHHIP. Comment will be received starting July 9, and the plan is to have a decision at the August meeting (at the end of August). From the tone of comments from Chairman Bugg and Houston Commissioner Ryan, it sounds like they are ready to defund NHHIP. Public comment appears to be a necessary step before they can officially remove the projects (and their funding) from the UTP.
  7. In case you weren't aware, DFW builds more freeways and tollways than Houston and is better off economically than Houston. DFW has more job creation and more consistent job creation. In fact, they're almost always the #1 metro in the U.S. for job creation. Houston only ranks highly when oil prices are high. DFW has more population increase and attracts more domestic migrants (which is a sign that a city is attractive). DFW also has a more highly diversified economy including a much larger tech sector than Houston. DFW is often a viable candidate for national-level corporate expansions such as Amazon and Uber, but Houston is never a viable candidate. More funding for DFW will mean more success for DFW.
  8. Now we'll need to await the response of the TxDOT commission. Will they leave the $5 billion funding commitment in place, or will the project funding be reallocated elsewhere? I'm not in a position to know anything, but there may be some clues. At the June 10 NCTCOG meeting (NCTCOG is the Dallas-Fort Worth equivalent of H-GAC), NCTCOG director Morris stated "We have a major push working with TxDOT headquarters to advance projects in Dallas-Fort Worth as other big projects in the rest of the state do not move forward. So, [name] and Mo and Carl and John and our office are working hard to get really big projects slotted for any opportunities that either Washington or Austin wish to advance (transportation projects)." (Mo is the TxDOT Dallas director, Carl is the TxDOT Fort Worth director) NHHIP is the only project I'm aware of that is not moving forward. Morris is certainly in a position to have "inside information", and of course DFW would love to harvest money from Houston. Also, the TxDOT commission has an executive session scheduled before its regular monthly meeting on June 30. I've never seen an executive session scheduled before the main meeting, which suggests to me that something may be going on. There could be a response already developed, and the meeting could be to coordinate all the members, including Commissioner Ryan from Houston. However, any new decisions in an executive session would probably not be made public immediately at the normal meeting. https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/administration/commission/2021-meetings.html
  9. It's very unlikely this will have any effect on the Inner Katy BRT. The BRT will be on TxDOT right-of-way, but I don't think TxDOT will want to burn bridges with Metro, CoH and HGAC by causing delays. Also, it appears that (as of now) only Harris County is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against TxDOT. CoH and Metro are not suing TxDOT. Of course CoH and others (i.e. Link) may be glad to let Harris County do the dirty work.
  10. Driving on the new 610NB-69SB ramp High res This view shows the two ramps being demolished, 610NB-69SB in the foreground and 610SB-69NB in the background High res View of the old 610SB-69NB being demolished High res
  11. The Austin Business Journal recently (28-Jan-21) posted a report with a summary of downtown high-rise activity, including planned and rumored projects. There is no mention of this project, 98 Red River. This is what the article says about the tallest building in Austin This project is the closest mentioned to the site of 98 Red River It is quite mind-boggling to have 43 projects in this report, although of course many are planned and some won't happen. This boom is mostly because it is difficult, expensive and/or impossible to build adequate new housing in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, so the tech industry has to overflow to someplace, and for the moment the preferred overflow location is Austin. Most of the projects are in the 30-to-50 floor range, which is similar to what we see in Houston, so Austin is subject to the same height limits that apply to new Houston buildings. I agree with Kbates2 that the rendering is a much more attractive building than Houston's JPMorganChase or Wells Fargo buildings. Urbanizzer's 1/7 photo shows there is something going on at the site. It seems strange there is no mention by the ABJ.
  12. Here are some photos I took of the presentation board for the railroad realignment at the City of Houston meeting in September 2018. These maps don't suggest any improvement to Winter street, but that was more than two years ago. (I could not embed the image because the links are not https) This should be available somewhere on the CoH web site, possibly more up-to-date. http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20180904-0013-2000.jpg http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/AARoads/20180904-0012-2560.jpg
  13. I seem to recall that the original plan was to have the toll lanes connect into MacGregor, but there was substantial opposition so the MacGregor connection was nixed. The Holcombe exit was then proposed and was acceptable to the community. Good point about an exit to the main lanes where you suggest.
  14. The FM 1960 bridge over US 290 is now open! I don't know exactly when it opened, but Saturday a week ago (10/31) it was still closed, and crews were busy doing the final finishing tasks. It's nearly two years since the official opening ceremony on December 15, 2018. Regular closures for pavement texturing on the entire length of main lanes was ongoing until around Spring 2020 (and very annoying). There is still work needed to be done at ground level of the FM 1960 intersection, but the project could be finally, completely done by the end of this year or early 2021.
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