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MaxConcrete last won the day on March 18 2017

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. That's interesting to know the Lodge rates poorly compared to peers. Big Bend Lodge is the only option in the park, and since the park is so big, it's a long way to any other options, Terlingua being the nearest. No competition, so they can get away with a mediocre property at a high price. The last time I looked into it several years ago, the Big Bend Lodge was booked far in advance during peak season, and was quite expensive. So I have never stayed at the Lodge. I have camped at Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village, and I have stayed at a lower-tier property in Terlingua.
  13. The proposed toll road along Post Oak Road connecting the Fort Bend Parkway is not going to happen, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. Today the commissioner's court approved a resolution to suspend any further study of it and cancel a consultant contract currently in progress. It is permanently dead? Probably. It appears that the new policy of Commissioner's Court is to end all future expansion of the toll road system, and only a few previous commitments will move forward, such as some ramps at 225 and the Sam Houston Tollway. See part 2 of the video https://harriscountytx.new.swagit.com/videos/79636
  14. The North Texas proposal for the Hyperloop certification center was eliminated from contention this week. See item 6.1. https://www.nctcog.org/nctcg/media/Transportation/Committees/RTC/2020/agenda-packet-aug.pdf?ext=.pdf I expected this result because the North Texas proposal mostly aligned the test tubes on elevated structures along the SH 360 freeway, which of course makes construction much more difficult and also limits accessibility. I'm thinking the winner will have a plan which has the tubes on the ground, or has a clear, unobstructed corridor for easier construction and access. There does not seem to be any information online about which proposals remain in contention.
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