Jump to content
ToryGattis

The Pierce Elevated/I-59 Redesign Thread

Pierce Skypark or Demolish Pierce Elevated?  

146 members have voted

  1. 1. Pierce Skypark or Demolish Pierce Elevated?

    • Pierce Skypark
      49
    • Demolish Pierce Elevated
      97


Recommended Posts

Northbound, it seems to be the traffic trying to come on from the Brazos/St. Joseph/Pease/Walker collector (many of whom want to make the left exit to the Katy just a bit up the road) duking it out with people trying to get on 10 eastbound or just to continue north.

 

Southbound, the first squeeze is the Houston/Memorial collector from the right at the same time that the Allen Parkway ramp is doing the Merge of Death on the left.  Neither ramp has an adequate acceleration lane, and the Allen Parkway ramp also has terrible sight lines.  The weaving for 59/288 at the other end of the Pierce doesn't help much, either.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Allen Parkway ramp needs to be closed, first and foremost. I can't emphasize this enough. It does far from fixing the congestion and the other old ramps, but it will be a good start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Allen Parkway ramp needs to be closed, first and foremost. I can't emphasize this enough. It does far from fixing the congestion and the other old ramps, but it will be a good start.

 

I can't agree more.

 

People would just have to realize that to get to 45 north from west of downtown, you take Allen parkway... to get to 45 south, you take memorial. Simple and safety / congestion is improved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IDK about full on removal - there's a lot of traffic that gets on 45 from Allen Parkway.  Perhaps a realignment that would join it with the Memorial/Capitol/Houston collector, plus an additional lane on SB Pierce would be helpful.

 

The thing that gets me is that I used to be pretty calm about entering from that ramp in an air cooled VW with its screaming 50 HP (and a zero to 60 time best measured with a sundial), with traffic bearing down at 70 or so.  Now, flooring a 300+ HP performance car, I feel the need to cross myself or something.  Granted, we also used to be much more accustomed to slow cars merging, but surely there is some reason for today's anxiety other than maturity and the knowledge that half the traffic is distracted by their cell phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Full removal I am of course against, not unless you wanted to build new lanes along Interstate 10 and 59, and they don't need new lanes. What I am in favor of is a three pronged approach:

- Making the Pierce look better

- Reconfiguring/rebuilding exits and on ramps to relieve congestion

- Improving pedestrian/bicycle accessibility

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Full removal I am of course against, not unless you wanted to build new lanes along Interstate 10 and 59, and they don't need new lanes. What I am in favor of is a three pronged approach:

- Making the Pierce look better

- Reconfiguring/rebuilding exits and on ramps to relieve congestion

- Improving pedestrian/bicycle accessibility

You're not down with trenching a few sections of the existing highways like the 59 Montrose trenching project a decade ago? You could even build a deck park or two linking the different districts, a la Phoenix's Margaret T Hance Park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Northbound, it seems to be the traffic trying to come on from the Brazos/St. Joseph/Pease/Walker collector (many of whom want to make the left exit to the Katy just a bit up the road) duking it out with people trying to get on 10 eastbound or just to continue north.

 

Southbound, the first squeeze is the Houston/Memorial collector from the right at the same time that the Allen Parkway ramp is doing the Merge of Death on the left.  Neither ramp has an adequate acceleration lane, and the Allen Parkway ramp also has terrible sight lines.  The weaving for 59/288 at the other end of the Pierce doesn't help much, either.

 

The ramp from Houston/Memorial isn't as bad as the Allen Parkway ramp. I drive that ramp often and the acceleration lane isn't that bad. The biggest problem is from people in the mainlanes who insist on tailgating the vehicle front of them so people on the ramp can't merge with the mainlanes easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sketched up an idea for expanding the Pierce Elevated to utilize the space underneath for light rail/parking/retail/Pierce Street.  I'm sure I haven't thought of all of the logistics (i.e. freeway support column placement/setbacks from buildings...but would love to get feedback on how feasible this would be.)

Screen%20Shot%202014-08-11%20at%202.54.0

Edited by houstonartstudent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ramp from Houston/Memorial isn't as bad as the Allen Parkway ramp. I drive that ramp often and the acceleration lane isn't that bad. The biggest problem is from people in the mainlanes who insist on tailgating the vehicle front of them so people on the ramp can't merge with the mainlanes easily.

 

Agreed.  I think the biggest difference between the two is that the Houston/Memorial ramp has much better sight lines than the Allen Parkway ramp.  The Memorial ramp is pretty much level with the freeway a good ways back, is a gentle curve, and has not even so much as a Jersey barrier blocking the view; OTOH the Allen Parkway ramp comes up from below, follows a relatively sharp tight turn that requires all your forward attention, and enters from the left, so your only prayer of being able to see diddly before you are right on top of the merge is if your convertible top is down in a car without head restraints or back seat passengers.

 

In theory, traffic coming from the left has the right of way.  In theory, I would always eat healthy food and exercise daily, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not down with trenching a few sections of the existing highways like the 59 Montrose trenching project a decade ago? You could even build a deck park or two linking the different districts, a la Phoenix's Margaret T Hance Park.

Well, I did think of that, but there are a few problems, namely that while trenching sounds like a pretty good idea in theory, there's just too many roads underneath.

See, one of the things that are legitimate complaints about freeways is that they break the existing grid, but with the Pierce, the grid isn't broken. Every segment is drivable.

With a trenching project, you'll end up having way more bridges than 59 (and in a much shorter span) and every one of those (assuming that you have all of them; otherwise, you'll break the grid) will require interruptions. This means that the light rail will have interruptions or some sort of horrifically expensive rerouting scheme. Costs will go up into the billions just for that sort of thing alone (the Klyde Warren Park was also very expensive, but that had the advantage of having the trenching part ready-made). Since 288/59 is also sunken, the ramps will have to rise even more, which means that streets WILL get cut off either way and the blocks immediately west of 59/288 will still suffer from freeways.

Finally, if you don't decide to proceed with an even-more-expensive parks scheme, you'll get a wide canyon or a bunch of landscaped but vacant lots, with the net gain being 0.

Edited by IronTiger
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

true.. so even if you got air-rights to the railroad ROW and elevated a 4 lane freeway above the tracks, not taking up any additional ROW/tearing down structures/buying land/ect, you wouldnt be cool with it? what about a 610W traffic reliever 4 lane tollroad along side the rail line that goes through Memorial Park (and unfortunately Afton Oaks, so it would probably never happen), from 610 south to 610 north? even if it were trenched like the Dallas North Tollway is in the inner city? ive always thought that would be a semi-decent solution to avoiding 610W, logistics/political obstacles aside. only have connections/exits/onramps at 610S, Westpark/59, i10, and 610N.

 

agreed.. this interchange sucks and is the root of most of the problems i feel. it needs to be reworked badly if nothing else.

 

Expanding and updating existing freeways is a hard enough venture on the community. You read about small businesses being crunched by the rerouting of traffic, moving lanes, all of the things like this.If they manage to scrape by, they can consider themselves lucky, a lot of small businesses don't make it through that kind of ordeal. Yeah, the huge chains and conglomerates make it through by laying off workers when it gets lean and absorb the losses to come out clean on the other side, but in the meantime you have people who are going to lose their job, and you have businesses that are going to go under.

 

So during the process of building the freeway you're going to close roads, disrupt traffic, how exactly would it be built over the existing railroad without disrupting the railroad (even if they would agree to having a freeway on top of their tracks, getting them to agree to stop traffic for long enough to build the roadway would be impossible). Then there's the railway locomotive yard and some switching tracks that it would have to maneuver.

 

Not to mention the number of people who live within 25 feet of the railroad, let along 100 yards. They all signed up knowing that a train would sound the horn whenever it went by, maybe they're close enough to feel the train rumble past, maybe they hear the clickity clack of the rail cars passing. It happens maybe as frequent as 30 minutes, maybe not for a few hours. They signed up for that (and should at least) have known what they were getting into. They didn't sign up for all the pollution that comes with a freeway, tire noise, exhaust, lights, fluids, anything and everything that comes with it. 

 

Besides, even with a 4 lane freeway, it's not wide enough. According to USdot, 12' lanes minimum for freeway traffic, just for the lanes, we're at 48' then you add breakdown lanes, 10' on each side, 68', inside shoulder, 8' on each side, 84' wide freeway. then you have to think of safety barriers, let's just round it to 90'. Considering the proximity to people's residences you'd need to erect those pollution walls (only they'd have to be really tall and now you're blocking the sun from someone's backyard, which if you look at the ashby thingy, that's a big no-no), again, let's just say 100' for the whole width.

 

There are areas where it would fit in the existing ROW, but there are other areas it wouldn't fit, not without closing roads and making people move, or shutting down businesses.

 

In case you were wondering, I'm very much against the hardy extension that is being added inside the loop.

Edited by samagon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LA's park idea is pretty crazy, since Klyde Warren Park cost about $471 per square foot (if what I read on another source was correct, dividing cost by square foot of park) and here they're talking about a 38 acre park, which if we multiply 1655280 square foot x $471, we're looking at $779,636,880 at the bare minimum. Due to earthquake retrofitting and other things (and why California costs more in general), we're easily looking at a billion, maybe more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything costs more in california

Yeah, I meant "and those extra California costs", or something, to indicate that it would be way more expensive than $800M (not to mention costs of upkeep). I do wonder about these cap-and-cover freeway plans...they have a mission to "reconnect" the city, do they intend on rebuilding road connections cut off?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, to at least one realistic idea.

 

They should re-arrange the exit ramps from 45 to 59 (northbound lanes) and from 59 to 45 (southbound lanes).

 

There's the exit right after telephone on the northbound section of 45 for the 'downtown exits and scott street' and the entrance from downtown destinations into the SB lanes of 45. these elevated sections were designed to ease the transition into the spur 5 runoff that now goes nowhere (was supposed to be part of the freeway down 35).

 

So, shut down the ramps from 45NB to 59 NB/SB and build them onto that spur section. same for from 59NB/SB onto 45SB. this would at least ease part of the interchange. it would eliminate people waiting until the last possible second from cutting over from 59sb exit back into 45nb traffic (which does cause quite a stir and often wrecks). It also eliminates people entering at scott who are trying to jog over to the other side of the freeway to get to the 59sb ramp. that's a really short distance to do that in and really slows things down as well. people who want to get from scott to 59sb could easily ride up to the entrance at gray street.

 

anyway, it would resolve the part of the problem with the pierce elevated, which is the horrible transitions from 59 to 45sb, and from 45nb to 59. the lanes on that elevated portion of freeway are horrible under utilized at all times of day.

I immediately thought about samagon's suggestion when I read article this this morning.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Project-aims-to-untie-I-45-northbound-traffic-knot-5736953.php?cmpid=twitter-premium&t=6220c6aed20519a485

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just drove that Allen Parkway ramp for the first time and it was borderline terrifying spiraling into the Freeway in my Jeep.

No objection closing that ramp. I like the proposal to reroute 45 along 59 and 10 and turn the Pierce into a Parkway. I'd really love a rail line that goes along such Parkway into Allen Parkway and then into Kirby...although that would take a shift in attitudes in this town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just drove that Allen Parkway ramp for the first time and it was borderline terrifying spiraling into the Freeway in my Jeep.

No objection closing that ramp. I like the proposal to reroute 45 along 59 and 10 and turn the Pierce into a Parkway. I'd really love a rail line that goes along such Parkway into Allen Parkway and then into Kirby...although that would take a shift in attitudes in this town.

 

If you thought the Afton Oaks opposition to the University line was bad, try and put a rail line through River Oaks. The streets would run red with the blood of MERTO officials. Ok maybe not, but it would be stopped faster than a hooker in sketchers. 

 

Even w/ a guarantee not to make a stop between Shephard and San Felipe or even all the way to Westheimer, RO would be opposed. Although, it would be an awesome route / ride.... especially during the azalea bloom in early spring and during the Christmas light season after Thanksgiving. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just drove that Allen Parkway ramp for the first time and it was borderline terrifying spiraling into the Freeway in my Jeep.

No objection closing that ramp. I like the proposal to reroute 45 along 59 and 10 and turn the Pierce into a Parkway. I'd really love a rail line that goes along such Parkway into Allen Parkway and then into Kirby...although that would take a shift in attitudes in this town.

The Current ramp is severely outdated to days long past of lower speed limits, courteous drivers, and slower vehicles. However, it does serve it's purpose. It would need to be reworked somehow into the plan. I for one would be outraged if 45 didn't connect to Allen Parkway. Or for that matter has an exit to Memorial (which should be redone as well to not stop at Houston Street).

 

Maybe I'm selfish but these on/off ramps have served me and continue to serve me very well. Even more so when Google Maps finds me quicker alternatives to go home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't take Allen Pkwy if my goal is to get on a freeway going south (45, 59, 288), I make my way to Memorial. 

 

I also thought I recalled that they were supposed to start work on changing the 45 south to 59 interchange this quarter? only a few days left to get started and I've seen nothing yet. Guess it got pushed.

Edited by samagon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm late to the game but here is my contribution.

 

RED - NEW 45 Routed North Side

Green - Below/Above Grade Parkways including existing 45 but adding Eastside Parkways to handle more traffic flow. Possible Cap Park over below grade 45 parkway.

Grey - Below Grade 59, Possible Park Caps as well.

 

I think the Eastside Parkways are the key and could more than handle 45 traffic terminating inside 610 loop. Any additional traffic passing through the loop area would use 610 East or BW8 East anyway. If done properly eastside parkways shouldn't be voted against since they're not freeways.  This work, since multiple routes, could also be phased which helps ease citizen concerns. Well that's my .02 in the matter.

 

UkTpDbC.jpg

Edited by ipaman
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if they got rid of i45 around downtown all together and rerouted the 45 traffic along 59 and 10, (expanding the 59 and 10 ROW a little of course) and then buried the stretch of 59 thats not already submerged, past the Toyota Center, it could skip the GRB and use the current elevated road for that portion since the GRB creates a barrier of its own, be submerged again past GRB, before coming back up around Commerce street. then the whole 45 corridor could be developed once thats removed, blending downtown with the surrounding areas, and some parks built over 59 on the north and south sides of GRB to help connect downtown and the East End.

looks like they are planning on (hopefully) going through with this idea..(!!!)

they just left some of the old 45 on the north side of downtown as downtown connectors. pretty smart, though im going to tweak them a bit in a revision here shortly.

EB9663F4-7ECE-4CBC-A001-8E29C07C1D5C_zps

5F417DF6-5201-4C74-A8E4-82DB6A9278BD_zps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The downtown freeways advanced design shows a complete realignment of Interstate 10 on the north side of downtown, and that new alignment would also carry Interstate 45. The depiction is very preliminary and it seems more realistic to me that the new alignment would be from McKee street westward. Either way, it would be a huge project if it is in fact the recommended design.

 

Last year around summer (I think) there was a presentation to HGAC on the status of the study. (Unfortunately I can't find it now). The audio was posted and the presenter stated that routing IH-45 on the east side of downtown would require about half the block on the east side of US 59, and acquiring the entire block along the east side would cost about the same due to damages and that acquisition of the entire block would be their recommendation for that particular alternative. The advanced design image is consistent with that statement since it seems to show a cross-hatched vacant area on the east side of the expanded US 59 corridor. I'm also wondering if the cross-hatching is intended to indicate that the freeway will be sunk into a trench.

 

The Houston 2015 presentation does seem to be a compelling "clue" about the recommendation of the study, which is not yet public. I think if this idea had been determined to be infeasible, it would not be included in the presentation.

Edited by MaxConcrete
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think in that proposal that both highways would be trenched, which is why they need so much space

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting project, especially considering that most of the support comes from the notion of having no freeway barrier between midtown and downtown in order to reconnect the two areas. I haven't seen any discussion about the impact of having dual freeways between downtown and the East End, Fifth Ward, and Near Northside. Wouldn't those areas have to endure a wider barrier between them and downtown for the sake of more affluent and/or more influential midtown residents and business interests?

Edited by JLWM8609
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting project, especially considering that most of the support comes from the notion of having no freeway barrier between midtown and downtown in order to reconnect the two areas. I haven't seen any discussion about the impact of having dual freeways between downtown and the East End, Fifth Ward, and Near Northside. Wouldn't those areas have to endure a wider barrier between them and downtown for the sake of more affluent and/or more influential midtown residents and business interests?

That's really cynical but probably also realistic. I wouldn't support a removal of the Pierce until they figure out how to better integrate the 288/59/45 switching, since that seems to be another confusing mess altogether.

Edit to say that rendering post looks a lot like Klyde Warren.

Edited by IronTiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

probably because it is Klyde Warren.. lol. yeah true about the connection between the near northside and downtown. it appears the east end/downtown segment would be trenched though with a deck park over it (hence the KWP image), so it wouldnt be negatively effected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what they have proposed in that June 4th 2014 schematic..

Note the shaded green between the G and I

Edited by cloud713

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's always been a barrier between downtown and the Northside - Buffalo Bayou.  :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my downtown street connectors I follow a modified version of the i10 downtown connector ramp (one from i45 would merge into it), going south all the way to W Dallas.

I would realign smith/Louisiana and Milam/Travis closer to white oak bayou, opening up a tract of land north of the rail road tracks, great for a large addition to the Post Office site development.

Screen%20shot%202015-02-09%20at%206.11.5

Following the i10 downtown connector would also allow the i45 bridge sticking out over the bayou next to Sesquicentennial Park/Bayou Center to be eliminated, and get rid of 5 of the 8 overpasses crossing Buffalo Bayou around old i45. There would be more land for the Aquarium, the parks around Buffalo Bayou, and Allen Center.

Screen%20shot%202015-02-09%20at%206.11.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my downtown street connectors I follow a modified version of the i10 downtown connector ramp (one from i45 would merge into it), going south all the way to W Dallas.

I would realign smith/Louisiana and Milam/Travis closer to white oak bayou, opening up a tract of land north of the rail road tracks, great for a large addition to the Post Office site development.

Screen%20shot%202015-02-09%20at%206.11.5

Following the i10 downtown connector would also allow the i45 bridge sticking out over the bayou next to Sesquicentennial Park/Bayou Center to be eliminated, and get rid of 5 of the 8 overpasses crossing Buffalo Bayou around old i45. There would be more land for the Aquarium, the parks around Buffalo Bayou, and Allen Center.

Screen%20shot%202015-02-09%20at%206.11.2

 

I like your plan. It keeps the connection of Memorial to Prairie and Texas. For some reason, the advance design wants Prairie and Texas to terminate as ramps to and from I-45, realign Memorial with Walker and McKinney and eliminate the ramps there to and from I-45, and connect Houston Avenue to Rusk and Capitol streets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5F417DF6-5201-4C74-A8E4-82DB6A9278BD_zps

 

 

I like your plan. It keeps the connection of Memorial to Prairie and Texas. For some reason, the advance design wants Prairie and Texas to terminate as ramps to and from I-45, realign Memorial with Walker and McKinney and eliminate the ramps there to and from I-45, and connect Houston Avenue to Rusk and Capitol streets.

thanks. obviously both downtown connector plans could be critiqued. they went extreme with reconfigurations and i just went with a slimmed down version of the current format.

but what i was noticing though while going through google earth and the "pencil sketch" was the development potential if this realignment happened (and a few large swaths of bayou park land that would benefit from being cleared of overpass obstructions).

there is all that space north of the Post Office Site for an expansion to that development. space just east of the post office site where either UH-D could expand or the potential HSR Terminal could build a parking garage or something. and obviously all the other areas where the Pierce is/hopefully was, between Allen Parkway and 45/288/59, could be developed too.. though part of me hopes they reserve a small strip along the old Pierce ROW for a bike lane connecting midtown to Buffalo Bayou. if you want to get real theoretical.. a modern day "Houston Center" could be developed between Buffalo Bayou and i10. some of that would have to be demoed for the i10 realignment anyways, and most of the rest is crummy warehouses.

with the potential new freeway alignments, does anyone think Houston would ever get a new version of the "Western Wall" of highway architecture skyscrapers, to the north or east?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite part of this plan is that it appears to have done away with the ridiculous 10-lane surface boulevard that  replaced the Pierce Elevated in the earlier version of this plan, which would have made the pedestrian disconnect between downtown and midtown far worse than it currently is.

Edited by Houston19514
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a clue to suggest that the recommendation will NOT be to move Interstate 45 to the east side of downtown.

 

http://m.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/02/exclusive-groundbreaking-planned-for-52-million.html?page=all&r=full

 

This planned apartment building is east of Toyota Center on the block immediately east of the freeway bounded by Bell, Clay, Chartres and St. Emanuel streets. According to the depiction in the downtown association presentation, this block is needed for the project. You would think that there would be some coordination between city departments to preserve the block if the east side expansion is planned. Than again, maybe city departments don't talk to each other.

 

The article says the project will cost $60 million. After it is built, I could easily see the value demanded by the owner as much higher. It depends on the market, of course, but I could see a total cost of $100 million including acquisition, legal expenses, relocations and demolition.

 

So this leaves some possibilities

 

1. The study recommendation will be to relocate to the east side, and this property is not needed. (Would likely require elevated structures to accommodate Interstate 45, or maybe Interstate 45 would be further east.)

2. The study recommendation will be to relocate to the east side, and this property will be needed and will increase the cost substantially. However, there is no mechanism to stop the apartment building since the highway project does not yet have a Record of Decision. Sorry, taxpayers, for the extra cost. The extra cost could also delay the project.

3. Interstate 45 is staying on the Pierce Elevated alignment, so the development of this block can proceed with no impact on the highway project. The City of Houston is endorsing this apartment project.

 

I suppose we'll find out when the recommendation is revealed. But this apartment project does seem to be a clue suggesting that the Pierce Elevated will live.

 

Edited by MaxConcrete
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a clue to suggest that the recommendation will NOT be to move Interstate 45 to the east side of downtown.

 

http://m.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/02/exclusive-groundbreaking-planned-for-52-million.html?page=all&r=full

 

This planned apartment building is east of Toyota Center on the block immediately east of the freeway bounded by Bell, Clay, Chartres and St. Emanuel streets. According to the depiction in the downtown association presentation, this block is needed for the project. You would think that there would be some coordination between city departments to preserve the block if the east side expansion is planned. Than again, maybe city departments don't talk to each other.

 

The article says the project will cost $60 million. After it is built, I could easily see the value demanded by the owner as much higher. It depends on the market, of course, but I could see a total cost of $100 million including acquisition, legal expenses, relocations and demolition.

 

So this leaves some possibilities

 

1. The study recommendation will be to relocate to the east side, and this property is not needed. (Would likely require elevated structures to accommodate Interstate 45, or maybe Interstate 45 would be further east.)

2. The study recommendation will be to relocate to the east side, and this property will be needed and will increase the cost substantially. However, there is no mechanism to stop the apartment building since the highway project does not yet have a Record of Decision. Sorry, taxpayers, for the extra cost. The extra cost could also delay the project.

3. Interstate 45 is staying on the Pierce Elevated alignment, so the development of this block can proceed with no impact on the highway project. The City of Houston is endorsing this apartment project.

 

I suppose we'll find out when the recommendation is revealed. But this apartment project does seem to be a clue suggesting that the Pierce Elevated will live.

 

I think the key phrase in your post is "there is no mechanism to stop the apartment building..." 

 

Edited by Houston19514

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the key phrase in your post is "there is no mechanism to stop the apartment building..." 

 

 

Actually, I was wrong when I stated there is no mechanism for protecting the property. There is a mechanism: TxDOT's early acquisition of right-of-way.

 

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/acq/advance_acquisition_of_right_of_way.htm

 

"Protective buying is early parcel acquisition to prevent imminent parcel development that would materially increase right of way costs, or tend to limit the choice of highway alternatives. The parcel must be needed for a proposed transportation project."

 

So if the City of Houston is endorsing the apartment project and TxDOT is doing nothing to protect the needed property, this suggests the property may not be needed. Maybe Interstate 45 stays on Pierce Elevated, or maybe Interstate 45 is realigned further east. Or it could be that the future freeway plan depiction is accurate and the study needs to be final before early acquisition is an option.

 

Whatever is going on, if authorities allow the apartment project to proceed, it is consistent with Interstate 45 staying on the Pierce alignment.

Edited by MaxConcrete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I was wrong when I stated there is no mechanism for protecting the property. There is a mechanism: TxDOT's early acquisition of right-of-way.

 

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/acq/advance_acquisition_of_right_of_way.htm

 

"Protective buying is early parcel acquisition to prevent imminent parcel development that would materially increase right of way costs, or tend to limit the choice of highway alternatives. The parcel must be needed for a proposed transportation project."

 

So if the City of Houston is endorsing the apartment project and TxDOT is doing nothing to protect the needed property, this suggests the property may not be needed. Maybe Interstate 45 stays on Pierce Elevated, or maybe Interstate 45 is realigned further east. Or it could be that the future freeway plan depiction is accurate and the study needs to be final before early acquisition is an option.

 

Whatever is going on, if authorities allow the apartment project to proceed, it is consistent with Interstate 45 staying on the Pierce alignment.

 

Interesting. Thanks.

 

How is the City of Houston "endorsing" the apartment project?

Edited by Houston19514
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I was wrong when I stated there is no mechanism for protecting the property. There is a mechanism: TxDOT's early acquisition of right-of-way.

 

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/acq/advance_acquisition_of_right_of_way.htm

 

"Protective buying is early parcel acquisition to prevent imminent parcel development that would materially increase right of way costs, or tend to limit the choice of highway alternatives. The parcel must be needed for a proposed transportation project."

 

So if the City of Houston is endorsing the apartment project and TxDOT is doing nothing to protect the needed property, this suggests the property may not be needed. Maybe Interstate 45 stays on Pierce Elevated, or maybe Interstate 45 is realigned further east. Or it could be that the future freeway plan depiction is accurate and the study needs to be final before early acquisition is an option.

 

Whatever is going on, if authorities allow the apartment project to proceed, it is consistent with Interstate 45 staying on the Pierce alignment.

Not sure how you come to that assumption at the end. They could simply push 59 and I-45 further once it makes its way past George R Brown.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, there isn't anything really on the west side of 45 between the new affordable apartments at the 45/59/288 interchange and the GRB.. Just weave it around it if need be?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meant to say further west earlier. They could push the freeway further west past George R Brown before coming to this future 12-story complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, there isn't anything really on the west side of 45 between the new affordable apartments at the 45/59/288 interchange and the GRB.. Just weave it around it if need be?

 

Right. If you go to Google Maps/Earth, you'll also notice that on both sides there is a good amount of grass land that they can easily convert to freeway space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look closely at the illustration, it appears that the structure pops over slightly to the west, as suggested, right at that spot. It's the circled area 'G'. That block is also not in the exclusion area marked by the crosshatches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We need someone to start digging up the rest of the images that probably accompanied this one illustration we currently have. Either Enlarged areas or Sections would do wonders to further clarify what we currently have.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried searching the date and something to the effect of north Houston highway improvement project (I believe that's what the new 45 rebuild is being called), and found documents showing billions set aside however many years down the road for light rail to places like both airports (is that "new" or something that's been on the budget for years?), but nothing really about this highway improvement project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried searching the date and something to the effect of north Houston highway improvement project (I believe that's what the new 45 rebuild is being called), and found documents showing billions set aside however many years down the road for light rail to places like both airports (is that "new" or something that's been on the budget for years?), but nothing really about this highway improvement project.

 

If they are going to consider this kind of a rebuild they will need to either put away money in advance or be really rigorous in their budget planning. This rebuild probably won't start for another 5-10 years so it would be smart to start now especially if it's going to be this dramatic of a change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they are going to consider this kind of a rebuild they will need to either put away money in advance or be really rigorous in their budget planning. This rebuild probably won't start for another 5-10 years so it would be smart to start now especially if it's going to be this dramatic of a change.

 

The only thing the Houston office of TxDOT has in foresight is to look at an existing road and think "I bet I can add a couple more lanes to that."

 

What you're asking is a heavy lift.

 

I have zero confidence that this project is anything other than rebuilding the Pierce elevated w/ more lanes.

 

It's so sad b/c this could be an amazing catalyst for Houston. I mean, I can't state just how amazing it would be to Midtown / 4th Ward / Downtown if we were to get rid of the Pierce.

 

This would IMO spark the call for a redesign of 59 to the 59/45/288 interchange as well as a call for that interchange to be redesigned. 

 

But alas, TxDOT is TxDOT and we're going to get a really crappy recommendation unless politicians get involved.

 

What city council person has downtown in their district?

Edited by DNAguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...