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Engineer Proposes I-45 Tunnel

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Not really. Much of the Boston tunnels were build in a cut and cover process. Earthen material is excavated and the tunnel is built and then covered over.

Other types of tunnels actually rest on the bottom the body of water they cross (Baytown Tunnel, Washburn Tunnel). These tunnels are tubest that are sealed. Some of the Boston tunnels (Ted Williams Tunnel) was built this way.

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I'd be interested in reading Max Concrete's take on the guy's cost estimates. They seem to be significantly underestimated at just 25% over at-grade. I wonder if he is using some convoluted/bogus 'social cost' accounting to inflate at-grade?

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I'd be interested in reading Max Concrete's take on the guy's cost estimates.  They seem to be significantly underestimated at just 25% over at-grade.  I wonder if he is using some convoluted/bogus 'social cost' accounting to inflate at-grade?

the cost estimate was done by Dr. Sauer http://dr-sauer.com/index_html_flash.

the actual cost of constructing the tunnels are two times the construction of at-grade lanes. the cost savings comes from environmental impacts, not having the need to purchase right of way, reduced cost of engineering, and reduced cost of construction management. to give you an idea on the magnitude of the numbers, i believe the cost of right of way for I-10 is around $300 million.

Dr. Sauer is what I would consider and expert in the field, he does not need to play games with numbers because he knows his business.

You all would find his knowledge about the big dig very interesting. Per his comments, before construction of the big dig was started he told public officials and engineers that they were doing the wrong thing.

With the I-45 Coalition we plan to have a public meeting in July and hopefully will have Dr. Sauer in town so he can share his thoughts on the project.

Will keep you posted.

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Rhino-

Isn't the ROW costs on the Katy far in excess of $300 million? The original estimate was $1.4 Billion, and it has now soared to $2.2 Billion. I believe the lion's share of that increase is ROW aquisition.

Point made, though.

Article in this weeks Houston Press estimated $200 mil for tunnel versus $100 mil for at-grade.

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On I-45, most of the ROW acquisition would occur inside loop 610 and from just north loop 610 to just north of Airline.

North of that, TxDOT could facilitate mangaged lanes without much if any ROW acquisition.

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Wouldn't the cost of ROW acquistion in Katy include those properties that were/are being torn down? I would imagine that property values are pretty high along the Katy to begin with, especially with those fully developed structures.

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ROW includes everything from the original feeder road to the new curb, basically. All of the homes and businesses that disappeared had to be bought. TxDOT wildly underestimated this cost. Additionally, many of the landowners went to court, because they wanted a lot more money. Apparently, planners thought that westside residents would be so happy to get a new freeway, that they would virtually give the land away (and dance in the street and give flowers to the bulldozer drivers).

Didn't happen.

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Something I haven't seen discussed (and maybe I've missed it) is the fact that a tunnel can be built without interfering with the existing operation of the freeways on the surface. At least conceptually, in my mind, the majority of the tunnel could be completed without anyone on the surface knowing that construction is underway.

On a traditional freeway widening, management of the existing traffic is a significant cost. You have to build a freeway while not impeding traffic, which in its simplest terms means building temporary lanes, shifting the traffic over, demolishing the old lanes, building the new lanes, then shifting the traffic to the new lanes, demolishing the temporary lanes and building new lanes in their place.

While underground construction is by no means easy or cheap, it would in some ways be similar to constructing on virgin territory, because you don't have to worry about the existing freeway.

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They may be happy outside the GP, but even outside the loop residents near the freeway are pissed off for paying higher taxes. It usually is a tradeoff to help those who choose to live far off in the exurbs at the expense of those who live closer in. (And I45 was a classic case of this - the inner city neighborhoods received no benefit from the freeway when it was built right in the middle of them.) It's kind of a messed up set of priorities. That's why the tunnel may be a good idea.

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And why I hope it's built and tolled the whole way. That would be tolling new capacity. TxDOT can then rehabilitate the surface I-45 into something aethetic like Dallas' Project Pegasus.

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And why I hope it's built and tolled the whole way.  That would be tolling new capacity.  TxDOT can then rehabilitate the surface I-45 into something aethetic like Dallas' Project Pegasus.

Thank you for bringing this project to my attention. Tons of information at the following web page. http://www.projectpegasus.org/default.htm

My personal thinking - the redevelopment of the at-grade I-45 could be much better than the Project Pegasus in Dallas.

Visit http://www.camachoassociates.com/i45vision.htm a web page I created for internal discussion. Observe the picture from a boulevard in Barcelona. It has the various elements that could be invision to be part of the I-45 parkway. :)

Gonzalo C.

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anyone one remember the "Texas TGV"?

what about the monorail?

i bet this is going into the Hall of Extremely Ambitious 67.8 kajillion dollar projects that never happened.

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The next North Corridor Coalition meeting will be August 16, 2005 at 3PM in conference room of the District office located at 16945 Northchase Drive, Suite 1900.

Our program will feature

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the cost estimate was done by Dr. Sauer http://dr-sauer.com/index_html_flash.

the actual cost of constructing the tunnels are two times the construction of at-grade lanes. the cost savings comes from environmental impacts, not having the need to purchase right of way, reduced cost of engineering, and reduced cost of construction management. to give you an idea on the magnitude of the numbers, i believe the cost of right of way for I-10 is around $300 million.

I am fascinated by this tunnel concept. The arguments in favor of it almost seem a little too good to be true, but certainly worth exploring. But I have a question: why would engineering costs and construction management costs be lower for a tunnel than for a surface project? Seems counter-intuitive.

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ROW costs on I-10 is $300 million? :lol:

They wish. Total cost is up to $2.76 Billion. Of that, I believe somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 to $1.8 Billion is ROW acquisition. Anyone have exact figures?

EDIT: I meant to say total cost is $2.67 Billion instead of $2.76 Billion. But, does anyone doubt that both of these numbers will end up being too low?

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Nice information Pineda.

I worked on acquisition of Data about to years ago to assist the several MUDs we provide engineering consultation service for GASB 34. I didn't know HCTRA has to go through the GASB process, albeit a different classification.

Also, lots of the right of way bought from I-610 to the Beltway will include open spaces that will be planted with trees.

From the shematics, it appears most of it will appear withing the Memorial Villages.

If someone wants, I can email the entire shematic for the Katy Freeway project in pdf format. Just PM me with you email address. The open spaces won't appear to be just strips of land along the feeder road.

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Engineer still wants an I-45 tunnel

Citizens group says plan addresses issues of flooding and air quality

By PATRICK KURP

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Gonzalo Camacho remains convinced that running 14.5 miles of Interstate 45 under the ground would cost less, be built faster, displace fewer people and businesses, and create less air pollution than any conventional, above-ground road design.

Chronicle Link

This article does not give a lot of details on this tunnel. I am sure it has been discussed on this site before. Anyone know where this tunnel is being proposed. 14 Miles seems extemely long !!

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He proposes to put directly under the current I-45.

I still feel the concept is ludicrous at best. He doesn't factor into his cost a critical factor that affects many of these project: constructability while maintaining current traffic.

Any rebuild on I-45 will require the existing mainlanes of I-45 to be maintained during all rush hours. This adds to project cost and coordination. The Katy Freeway and the West Loop are good examples of preventing the inconveince of motorist. Also, the Hardy Toll Road cannot be considered a temporary alternative since it will add cost to commuters.

It's a great dream, and TxDOT can use it as an alternative in there MIS and EIS reports and show it as failed. I don't see it occuring anytime in the future.

Also, this is a duplicated thread. Can it be merged or removed.

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He proposes to put directly under the current I-45.

I still feel the concept is ludicrous at best.  He doesn't factor into his cost a critical factor that affects many of these project: constructability while maintaining current traffic.

Any rebuild on I-45 will require the existing mainlanes of I-45 to be maintained during all rush hours.  This adds to project cost and coordination.  The Katy Freeway and the West Loop are good examples of preventing the inconveince of motorist.  Also, the Hardy Toll Road cannot be considered a temporary alternative since it will add cost to commuters.

It's a great dream, and TxDOT can use it as an alternative in there MIS and EIS reports and show it as failed.  I don't see it occuring anytime in the future.

Also, this is a duplicated thread.  Can it be merged or removed.

This is a duplicate thread, but I don't feel like finding the old one. Anyway, my comment was that wasn't one of his original points for building the tunnel was that it would not affect the current freeways? That it could be built without having to close/ alter the existing patterns? I don't remember what all he pointed out in the original plan, but I thought that was one reason he thought the tunnel was a better idea.

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In Houston that would be fairly difficult and even more expensive is they don't affect the current freeway. The more you leave the orginal I-45 alone, the more expensive the tunnel gets. I never like this concept from the beginning. I would much rather effort to be put in to depressing the freeway, but that would just as expensive.

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In Houston that would be fairly difficult and even more expensive is they don't affect the current freeway.  The more you leave the orginal I-45 alone, the more expensive the tunnel gets.  I never like this concept from the beginning.  I would much rather effort to be put in to depressing the freeway, but that would just as expensive.

YOu would also think the dissastor in Boston might scare them off a bit as well. The big dig was a big waste

Of time and money.

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Funny thing is, now that the Big Dig is nearing completion, most folks around town are LOVING the benefits.

The people who seem to delicate flower the most about the Big Dig are people who DON'T live in Boston or Massachusetts. They scream the same old song about taxachusetts and union cost overruns but really have NO IDEA how much better the city is becoming.

Every single person I know who lives in Central Boston loves the Big Dig. From the new beautiful bridge to the new parks to the air rights development over the Mass Pike to the better connections to Logan to the removal of the green eyesore to the reclamation of the waterfront to the new Aquarium T stop to the better flow of traffic on Storrow to the spurred revival of Eastie, the Big Dig will prove to be worth the cost and effort in the long run.

Houston also used to take chances. People thought Houstonians were nuts for trying to build a port or even dreaming of a domed stadium. Where would this city be if we collectively didn't try to accomplish great things?

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I have merged the original thread with one of the two new ones on this topic started earlier today.

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While I think a tunnel might work inside the loop, a tunnel going all the way out to Greenspoint seems farfetched, and would cause several problems.

Number one, while this would be great for the quality of life of the people who live near it, consider the quality of life of the people who drive on it every day. Would you want to be underground for 15 miles, to and from work? With moderate traffic, that is a good 20-30 minutes spent underground. Think how depressing that would be. Think how horrible it would be if somebody got in an accident - where would they go? How much harder would it be to see and go around them?

Secondly, what does this do to our visual orientation of the city? Much of the time, people rely on familiar sights and landmarks to know when they are getting close to their exit or what they are passing by. Sometimes it's not "North Shepherd" that you need to exit on, it's "the road next to the big flea markets." You may not know that West Road is the road you need to exit to get to Aldine High School, but when you see the school going by, you know you missed it, and can turn around.

Third, what about commerce? The I-45 commercial strip from 610 to BW8 is one of the most significant concentrations of retail in our city. I once counted 28 different car dealerships along this stretch, to say nothing of that great retail landmark, Gallery Furniture. These businesses rely on passersby to notice them, and people shopping for furniture or a car rely on the view from the freeway to find what they need. Even if you built the tunnel and created a scenic parkway, it would not be very scenic with hundreds of closed-down businesses on both sides.

Finally, while there are places in cities where a tunnel could be useful, this is not it. Tunnels are necessary when concentrations of residents are so high that the added cost is offset by the lessened impact of a big freeway outside their window. The land along I-45 between 610 and BW8 is of very low density (even by suburban standards) and is separated from the freeway by giant swaths of commercial land. If this freeway should become a tunnel, it seems like any freeway inside a metropolitan area would qualify. In Houston alone, I-10 (inside the loop), 59 (inside the loop), the North Loop, the West Loop, 288, and even Hwy. 290 with its fewer exits all would be better choices. There's a good argument for this thing inside the loop, but not outside.

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Those are all very good points, H-town Man. I especially find this one poignant:

While I think a tunnel might work inside the loop, a tunnel going all the way out to Greenspoint seems farfetched, and would cause several problems.

This is why I thought a trenched section from I-10 to about W. Little York might be a bit more feasible, but even that might be a bit much. A better alternative may be to alternately trench the freeway at certain exits, such as W. Little York & Tidwell. The I-17 in Phoenix isn't entirely trenched either and uses the alternately depressed scheme. Granted, it's not a "pretty" freeway either but I found the design somewhat interesting.

Here's one example:

http://www.rockymountainroads.com/arizona0...exit_206_03.jpg

And another (and, yes, they do use the same high-mast lighting on this freeway as well as some others in PHX):

http://www.rockymountainroads.com/arizona0...exit_205_01.jpg

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Funny thing is, now that the Big Dig is nearing completion, most folks around town are LOVING the benefits.

The people who seem to delicate flower the most about the Big Dig are people who DON'T live in Boston or Massachusetts. They scream the same old song about taxachusetts and union cost overruns but really have NO IDEA how much better the city is becoming.

Every single person I know who lives in Central Boston loves the Big Dig. From the new beautiful bridge to the new parks to the air rights development over the Mass Pike to the better connections to Logan to the removal of the green eyesore to the reclamation of the waterfront to the new Aquarium T stop to the better flow of traffic on Storrow to the spurred revival of Eastie, the Big Dig will prove to be worth the cost and effort in the long run.

Houston also used to take chances. People thought Houstonians were nuts for trying to build a port or even dreaming of a domed stadium. Where would this city be if we collectively didn't try to accomplish great things?

Good points, Kinkaid

I have alot of cousins, aunts and uncles in Boston. They love it. Also note the relevant word: Dig. This was mostly a cut and fill job [except for the Ted Williams Tunnel, I believe.] The proposed I45 tunnel would be TUNNELED 100 feet below the current freeway using technology similar to the Chunnel. There would be no interuption to I45 traffic as I understand the proposal.

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I personally would like to see a smaller tunnel used near downtown along I45. I've never been a fan of the elevated. It works, I just dont like it.

I also think the reason this would never go through is directly tied into H-town's 3rd comment above. The commerce. I hate that stretch of I 45 north of downtown but I think that those businesses will have enough sway to keep anything like this from ever happening.

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But, also note that, if we were to have a major aboveground expansion of the freeway, then, many of the businesses would suffer, as a result of the purchasing of right of way. Look at what is happening on I-10 right now; the ROW was almost doubled in most parts, and as a result, many businesses had to be taken down, as well as many residences.

But, hey, eihter sunken/tunnel, or at grade, any expansion of i-45 would be great. After all, I-45 north of 610 is quite an ugly drive, and a ROW acquisition would help clean it out. A tunnel would hide the drivers from such an eyesore, and a trench, which might still need additional ROW, would clean it out a bt, and make for a nicer freeway.

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While I think a tunnel might work inside the loop, a tunnel going all the way out to Greenspoint seems farfetched, and would cause several problems.

Number one, while this would be great for the quality of life of the people who live near it, consider the quality of life of the people who drive on it every day.  Would you want to be underground for 15 miles, to and from work?  With moderate traffic, that is a good 20-30 minutes spent underground.  Think how depressing that would be.  Think how horrible it would be if somebody got in an accident - where would they go?  How much harder would it be to see and go around them?

Secondly, what does this do to our visual orientation of the city?  Much of the time, people rely on familiar sights and landmarks to know when they are getting close to their exit or what they are passing by.  Sometimes it's not "North Shepherd" that you need to exit on, it's "the road next to the big flea markets."  You may not know that West Road is the road you need to exit to get to Aldine High School, but when you see the school going by, you know you missed it, and can turn around.

Third, what about commerce?  The I-45 commercial strip from 610 to BW8 is one of the most significant concentrations of retail in our city.  I once counted 28 different car dealerships along this stretch, to say nothing of that great retail landmark, Gallery Furniture.  These businesses rely on passersby to notice them, and people shopping for furniture or a car rely on the view from the freeway to find what they need.  Even if you built the tunnel and created a scenic parkway, it would not be very scenic with hundreds of closed-down businesses on both sides.

Finally, while there are places in cities where a tunnel could be useful, this is not it.  Tunnels are necessary when concentrations of residents are so high that the added cost is offset by the lessened impact of a big freeway outside their window.  The land along I-45 between 610 and BW8 is of very low density (even by suburban standards) and is separated from the freeway by giant swaths of commercial land.  If this freeway should become a tunnel, it seems like any freeway inside a metropolitan area would qualify.  In Houston alone, I-10 (inside the loop), 59 (inside the loop), the North Loop, the West Loop, 288, and even Hwy. 290 with its fewer exits all would be better choices.  There's a good argument for this thing inside the loop, but not outside.

I wouldn't be that concerned about how depressing the drive is for drivers. It's pretty depressing already. Maybe the ceiling could be painted with a blue sky with puffy white clouds, and the walls painted calming country pastures. Or they could just paint pictures of the crappy, eye-sore businesses at run along the highway now. If there's an accident, what are you gonna do? The same things that you do on any other highway. You sit and wait, slowly inch forward, and get off at the first exit. If you're in a tunnel or above ground, the sightlines from your drivers seat are not gonna change.

With visual orientation, adapt. People will just have to learn to reorient themselves to the city. Maybe drivers could actually know the exits that they're supposed to be taking. Signs could easily be put in the tunnel to alert you to destinations above. There are signs on interstates that alert you to gas stations and restaurants at nearing exits. So I don't see why that couldn't be expansed on here.

The car dealerships and other businesses will move if they can't stay profitable without the highway. They'll just rely on print, television, and radio ads like other businesses without highway locations. The ads are where you learn about sales and store locations any way. Although I hope that if this did happen that land would either be purchased by the city or txdot to be turned into parks and/or rail lines and/or the reconnection of the neighborhoods that were ripped apart many years ago.

Tunnels can be useful anywhere. If a tunnel is used, it doesn't create a gash accross the city that will take many decades to fix if ever. So yes, all urban highways are canidates for tunnels.

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I thing the tunnel would be good! It would force all of the Ugly businesses to move (hopeful to the city center) and the tunnel would be very unique and give Houston more of an urban feel because you don't see tunnels in the country. Also It will clean up an area that looks bad. Look what the I-10 widening is doing, its clearing all of the ugly businesses along the freeway. Hopefully they wont come back. I would like to see a uniform look along I-10 with lotssssssssssssssss of trees.

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I still no benefit of a tunnel except to relieve the belly-aching of some people from looking at commercial establishments.

You people need to get over these silly concepts.

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It's really not silly! What I think is that Houstonians don't think big any more! Thats why there stuck with a funky lightrail system insted of a major heavy rail system.

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I don't see 'quality of life' as a silly concept. I am, however, not a fan of wasteful spending. I think this proposal ought to get the same cost analysis as the hideously ugly options that TxDOT is proposing. If the increased cost is palatable, or justifiable on environmental or aesthetic grounds, we should do it. A shorter tunnel, from 610 THROUGH downtown should also be considered.

To just ignore it, hoping it will go away, just shows that TxDOT doesn't work for us, but for the developers.

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It's really not silly! What I think is that Houstonians don't think big any more! Thats why there stuck with a funky lightrail system insted of a major heavy rail system.

That's comparing apples to oranges. Houston is getting commuter rail to link inner loop and suburbia. Light rail links inner city destinations.

This thread is about freeways.

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^^^

What are you talking about?

A lot of stuff has happened here in the last 10-years that is pretty big.

Also, quality of life is a relative term. Personally have no problems with I-45 as proposed currently. As discussed in other threads. The project will take little new right-of-way eventhough they are expanding it a lot more.

I also think the project if accepted by the heights instead of continously opposed could be much better. I thinkthe neighborhoods could work with TxDOT to build something architecturally significant such as the Central Expressway in Dallas for the stretch that is currently depressed. The bridges in the area can be lanscaped and made pedestrian friendly too.

I have problems with residents (some I know personally) that oppose anything TxDOT throws out in the way of proposals, then the residents don't offer feasible alternatives. A coalition such as the Katyfreeway Coalition needs to be formed. The Katy Coalition didn't get all their demands and some would say it's because they didn't push hard enough, but they got a lot of aesthetic and greenery options added to the project especially in the added of greens spaces that would not be able to be developed along the freeway in the villages. I-45 from I-610 to I-10 is built right can be a complete asset to the community and not an eyesore.

Something also can be said of the City of Bellaire and I-610. From the ground you can't really tell a freeway exists now the trees are growing and the side walls are red brick and not the standard concrete panels.

I would love to see something in the order of US 59 just southwest of downtown. Maybe not the arch bridges, but the greenscape, retaining walls, and the lighting are nice. Why not push for these options instead of just being opposed anything?

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What am I talking about? I am talking about Houston not getting monorail when it had a chance, I am talking about Houston not getting a subway system when it had a chance, I am talking about Houston not being good enough for the Olympics, I am talking about Houston missing out on alot of things because the people that live there don't think anything really good is feasible.

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Houston would have never gotten a subway system. Not feasible for the city. Olympics wasn't a big lost, much of the improvement from an Olympics are already built such as the stadiums. Monorail does not provide good urban transit, but functions much better as a commuter rail for longer distance. METRO has already moved forward and is working on two commuter lines.

Also, the improvements in downtown and inner core urbanization is impressive over the last 10 years. Uptown continues to see massive growth. The TMC and the area around doesn't seem to stop moving either.

This city and region has done a lot. Sure we let some things go, but you can't live in regret. Look at all the stuff that's comming up.

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Yeah but if I hear about a development, and a developer says there going to build it, I want to see it happen. Don't get my hopes up on false advertisment!

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You are the one getting your hopes up. If the developer does drum up press on PROPOSALS (not garunteed), then he can get more sources of finacial backing to make the project go through. This in particular to residential projects.

If finacing falls through or if the group of interested parties faulter (Orion), then the project goes. That's why know who the development group an their history is just as important as the proposal.

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^^^

The project will take little new right-of-way eventhough they are expanding it a lot more.

I also think the project if accepted by the heights instead of continously opposed could be much better.  I thinkthe neighborhoods could work with TxDOT...

A coalition such as the Katyfreeway Coalition needs to be formed. 

Did you attend the Town Hall Meeting on I-45 Expansion on August 13 at Jefferson Davis High School organized by the I45 Coalition? I'd be curious to know and if you did then apparently you weren't paying attention when you say "The project will take little new right-of-way eventhough they are expanding it a lot more." Didn't you see the TXDOT map eleminating an entire niehborhood between Houston Ave. and I45? Didn't you see the effect on Germantown? "I also think the project if accepted by the heights instead of continously opposed could be much better. Didn't you hear the question and answer session when residents asked specific questions about new alternatives and were stonewalled by TXDOT and thier engineers? "A coalition such as the Katyfreeway Coalition needs to be formed." Did you miss the address from the I45 Coalition?

I don't know if you still live just a few blocks from I-10 in the Heights but if you do then I'm sure you attended this important meeting. I believe there were over 300 people there. If I saw you and recognized you I would have said "Hi!"

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You are the one getting your hopes up.  If the developer does drum up press on PROPOSALS (not garunteed), then he can get more sources of finacial backing to make the project go through.  This in particular to residential projects.

If finacing falls through or if the group of interested parties faulter (Orion), then the project goes.  That's why know who the development group an their history is just as important as the proposal.

Acctually I know for a fact that the Orion is still going ahead. They are just redesigning as they say they are. You will see! I have a connetion! :D

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I am all for Houston's "Big Dig". I think it is something that would be an asset, not detriment. People complain about the money, so what. If you want to be a city that is known as progressive, then you have to take this sort of opportunity. Oh, we can't, flooding! Stop your crying about flooding. People, Amsterdam is below see level and they don't have nearly the problems this city has. You think it could be ineffective planning. Maybe. I am not a civil engineer, so I don't have a clue as to how you develop freeway systems or subways. I just rather fly into a city and see green where a freeway once stood. Has anyone been to Portland? Where there once was a freeway, green spaces now abound. They have put themselves on the map around the world as a city of forward thinking innovation. My parents have lived off of Bunker Hill for almost 20 years. They have never been so disappointed in their entire lives. They had hoped TXDOT would have dug (like 59 by West U and 75 Central in Dallas. Intstead they are going to have a huge blight to look at for the rest of their lives. Can TXDOT and other not get a little creative??

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I think that the tunnel is a really great idea, but saying that it would be cheaper then above ground, I don't know about that.

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I think that the tunnel is a really great idea, but saying that it would be cheaper then above ground, I don't know about that.

I would think it would be more expensive for a dig, but I could be wrong. Plus, just think from an aesthtic point of view. Flying in our out of Hobby you would just see this stip of green (if covered). Even if not covered, just below ground, it would still look so incredible. Oh, and billboards. We have to do something about them. I am so sick and tired of billboards on top of each other down Westheimer and on our freeways.

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Stop your crying about flooding. People, Amsterdam is below see level and they don't have nearly the problems this city has. You think it could be ineffective planning. Maybe.

amsterdam averages 32" of rain per year. we average over 50", and we often see downpours of over 4"/hour. i don't think they ever see anything like that.

i'm not a civil engineer either, i'm sure they can build a tunnel to withstand our rainfall, but it can't be easy or cheap.

look at LA, they get 4" over several hours (obviously they don't have to deal with this very often, but it does happen) and there's chaos. i think houston does ok considering.

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