HoustonMidtown

Upcoming construction on I-45 and US59 near downtown

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DNAguy    332

Some suggested this as an idea to reduce traffic on another thread not too long ago.

 

Yes they did. Does that mean TxDOT is reading HAIF? 

 

:)

 

If so, we should start a thread: Ideas for TxDOT!

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samagon    2,204

Yes they did. Does that mean TxDOT is reading HAIF? 

 

:)

 

If so, we should start a thread: Ideas for TxDOT!

 

I hope it does mean they are reading, and if so.

 

they need to close the ramp from 59 south to 45 north, redirect traffic to take i10 west to 45 north. 

 

also close the ramp from i10 west to 45 south, redirect traffic to take 59 south to 45 south.

 

from reading that article though, it was open for a public hearing back in 2011, and I posted that suggestion about a month ago, so looks like they've been sitting on it waiting for the idea to resurface here.

Edited by samagon

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Houston19514    2,458

Yeah, except that TxDOT started planning this about 5 years ago, including public meetings 3 years ago.  It's more likely that people on this board got the idea, directly or indirectly from TxDOT than vice versa.

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Luminare    1,570

Yeah usually these ideas take a long long time develop. For instance an active discussion is the Reroute of the Pierce Elevated and the major I-45 rebuild is still in preliminary design phase where they are just getting ideas. This means that a major rebuild of I-45 won't happen for another 5 years at the least. It's the same with this Project. 5 years ago they probably had some prelim meetings with people to field some ideas. Then a few years of designing, traffic studies, and research. Then 3 years ago they started major discussion with communities to discuss possible changes or improvements or concerns. As much fun as it would be for HAIF to have that kind of influence (which one day we might you never know) it's highly unlikely and that most the ideas probably came from those final meetings a few years ago.

 

EDIT: My theory is this was also an idea formulated after significant studies of the connections of 290, 610 and I-10. The design they are implementing there is exactly what is being done here. You position the exit to another highway at least a mile away making motorist commit sooner so you don't have the NASCAR "gotta get 6 lanes over at the last minute" effect. It's actually a very mature design philosophy which I hope they implement everywhere else (something that I'm actually quite shock by. TXDot....intelligent thought process...blasphemy!). They really need to do the same thing to the interchange of 59 to 610 to I-10. That is the worse bottleneck of all.

Edited by Luminare

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MaxConcrete    294

Does anyone have any links to schematics for how these new ramps will be laid out?

 

The construction plans are available online at

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/plansonline/plansonline.htm

CCSJ - 0500-03-572

 

However, I cannot get the browser to display the images in the window. Non-IE browsers are most troublesome. Older versions of IE have the best chance of working. For the most recent version of IE, I have to download each page and then view it - very annoying. Generally you want to view pages with names like "project layout" or "plan profile".

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IronTiger    805

Yeah usually these ideas take a long long time develop. For instance an active discussion is the Reroute of the Pierce Elevated and the major I-45 rebuild is still in preliminary design phase where they are just getting ideas. This means that a major rebuild of I-45 won't happen for another 5 years at the least. It's the same with this Project. 5 years ago they probably had some prelim meetings with people to field some ideas. Then a few years of designing, traffic studies, and research. Then 3 years ago they started major discussion with communities to discuss possible changes or improvements or concerns. As much fun as it would be for HAIF to have that kind of influence (which one day we might you never know) it's highly unlikely and that most the ideas probably came from those final meetings a few years ago.

 

EDIT: My theory is this was also an idea formulated after significant studies of the connections of 290, 610 and I-10. The design they are implementing there is exactly what is being done here. You position the exit to another highway at least a mile away making motorist commit sooner so you don't have the NASCAR "gotta get 6 lanes over at the last minute" effect. It's actually a very mature design philosophy which I hope they implement everywhere else (something that I'm actually quite shock by. TXDot....intelligent thought process...blasphemy!). They really need to do the same thing to the interchange of 59 to 610 to I-10. That is the worse bottleneck of all.

We've also discussed the 610/45/225 shift. My dream plan for that area would be removing the useless stub of 225 inside the Loop (no need to remind anyone of that freeway for good or bad), reconnect the streets east of Broadway (Woodruff and Roosevelt, say), and also in the process, make a true connection to Lawndale. I might post a plan later...

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BigFootsSocks    2,852

The construction plans are available online at

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/plansonline/plansonline.htm

CCSJ - 0500-03-572

 

However, I cannot get the browser to display the images in the window. Non-IE browsers are most troublesome. Older versions of IE have the best chance of working. For the most recent version of IE, I have to download each page and then view it - very annoying. Generally you want to view pages with names like "project layout" or "plan profile".

So that just takes me to the home page and I have no idea what I'm looking at..

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urban909    156

So that just takes me to the home page and I have no idea what I'm looking at..

 

Go to State Let Construction Projects and click on September 2014. When the window pops up click on Harris county and you will see the file CCSJ-0500-03-572. I can't get it to display on my computer at work but maybe you'll have better luck.

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IronTiger    805

Definitely a terrible user interface, but I followed all that to the zero KB folders, then clicked the yellow button at the upper right to see the pages, but then I had to download them.

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urban909    156

That's what I did and it said it contains a 0KB file which means nothing's in there. Maybe because I'm using a Mac?

 

I'm having the same issues on a Dell.

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Houston19514    2,458
2 hours ago, samagon said:

So this project is finally starting...

 

http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Changes-coming-to-downtown-I-45-interchange-10837963.php#photo-12143280

 

The schematic link farther up this thread is dead.

 

I wonder if they're still accessible anywhere?

 

I had been wondering what had become of this project.

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samagon    2,204
26 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

This sucks! This is going to take forever to finish! The East End is screwed for a long time.

 

While this one is being constructed it's going to suck, but I think once complete, from what I have heard, it'll be a benefit for the local community. Where there is negative impact, it is outweighed by the positive. There's no ROW being taken from communities, they aren't removing local street access from the grid. The worst I see is that if you plan on entering the freeway at Scott street, or Cullen, you won't have access to 59. 

 

Maybe with enough local residential complaints (and UH too) there can be an entrance added down the line? 

 

The positive results should be reduced congestion, and less accidents from this sudden congestion.

 

Overall though, this is an example of smart and responsible planning/design vs the pierce elevated mess.

Edited by samagon
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j_cuevas713    1,251
3 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

While this one is being constructed it's going to suck, but I think once complete, from what I have heard, it'll be a benefit for the local community. Where there is negative impact, it is outweighed by the positive. There's no ROW being taken from communities, they aren't removing local street access from the grid. The worst I see is that if you plan on entering the freeway at Scott street, or Cullen, you won't have access to 59. 

 

Maybe with enough local residential complaints (and UH too) there can be an entrance added down the line? 

 

The positive results should be reduced congestion, and less accidents from this sudden congestion.

 

This is an example of smart and responsible planning/design vs the pierce elevated mess.

Yeah you're probably right. I'm just tired of free construction everywhere, especially freeway construction 

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cspwal    2,140

From the project tracker:

http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps-cq/project_tracker/

Quote
Project ID 050003605 District Houston
Highway IH 45 Project Length 1.64 Miles
From Limit SP 5 County Harris
To Limit IH 69 Bid Received Date 2017-Jan
Description Construct Entrance And Exit Ramps, Remove And Replace Existing Ih 69 Nb And Sb Direct Connectors Project Class INC
Project Note This project is being developed by non-TxDOT resources. Estimates have been provided to TxDOT by these resources. Strategic Score 0.00

 

The closest thing I've found to a schematic of it is the current pdf for the I45 north project.  That has ramps coming off spur 5 going to 59, that are unlikely to be demoed for the big project.

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs5/20160428_NHHIP_Seg3_Project_Updates.pdf

 

45 59 ramp.JPG

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samagon    2,204

yeah, that was the best I could find too. I suspect that they will absolutely have to redo portions of the ramp from 45 to 59nb, as the current ROW of 59 is a block to the west of where the future will be.

 

it looks like the 45 to 59sb is kind of landing in the same spot.

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Triton    9,105
2 hours ago, samagon said:

 

While this one is being constructed it's going to suck, but I think once complete, from what I have heard, it'll be a benefit for the local community. Where there is negative impact, it is outweighed by the positive. There's no ROW being taken from communities, they aren't removing local street access from the grid. The worst I see is that if you plan on entering the freeway at Scott street, or Cullen, you won't have access to 59. 

 

Maybe with enough local residential complaints (and UH too) there can be an entrance added down the line? 

 

The positive results should be reduced congestion, and less accidents from this sudden congestion.

 

Overall though, this is an example of smart and responsible planning/design vs the pierce elevated mess.

 

I feel like there's been some change in TXDOT over the past several years... might just be perception, but it feels like they're truly focusing on smart design now. They understand where people want to go across several lanes and try to eliminate problems like that. Where I live close to I-10 and I-45, they've been reconstructing the highway and all the little improvements here and there, including longer merge lanes for access ramps, all seem to be adding up to improve traffic flow. 

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mollusk    1,678
7 hours ago, Triton said:

 

I feel like there's been some change in TXDOT over the past several years... might just be perception, but it feels like they're truly focusing on smart design now. They understand where people want to go across several lanes and try to eliminate problems like that. Where I live close to I-10 and I-45, they've been reconstructing the highway and all the little improvements here and there, including longer merge lanes for access ramps, all seem to be adding up to improve traffic flow. 

 

I'm going to miss all those Merges of Death (***sniff...***).  They made such a great flimsy justification for daily devotions to Our Lady of the Blessed Acceleration :ph34r:.

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mkultra25    606
16 hours ago, mollusk said:

 

I'm going to miss all those Merges of Death (***sniff...***).  They made such a great flimsy justification for daily devotions to Our Lady of the Blessed Acceleration :ph34r:.

 

All parishioners are commanded to downshift twice while double-clutching and recite Verse 4 from Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto:

 

Quote

We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

 

Although I suspect "Ora pro nobis" has probably been uttered far more often by countless drivers just prior to attempting one of those Merges of Death. :lol:

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cloud713    3,580
UHsecondary

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has informed the University of Houston that it will close a significant portion of Spur 5 northbound from the University of Houston campus to downtown destinations beginning at 9 p.m., Friday, March 3. It will be closed for the next seven to nine months.

All traffic that travels Spur 5 northbound (the fully elevated portion from UH to downtown exits) will be immediately detoured to the Scott St. exit ramp. Drivers will loop around and turn right to access the I-45 northbound frontage road to reach downtown. Only the elevated portion of Spur 5 northbound to downtown destinations is affected in the first phase of the I-45 Northbound Direct Connector Project. Drivers will still be able to access the I-45 northbound lanes from Spur 5. 

Drivers traveling from UH to downtown are encouraged to find alternative routes and avoid Spur 5 northbound to downtown destinations. Additionally, all commuters should avoid the area of Scott St. at I-45 or expect delays.

The work is part of the first phase of a construction project that will build a direct connector from I-45 north to I-69/US 59/SH 288 southbound and a second connector to I-69/US 59 northbound alleviating the bottleneck at the current I-45/US 59 split just south of downtown. Road construction is expected in this area until 2019.

For more information visit www.houstontranstar.org for a complete list of closures related to this construction project. 

The University of Houston will post updates on construction as they become available at http://www.uh.edu/af-auxiliary-services/parking/parking-on-campus/traffic-alert/45-construction.php.

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j_cuevas713    1,251

And it begins... driving through the East End yesterday, I tried my best to envision a covered freeway park. I guess when it all comes together, it will really connect downtown to the East End. The good thing is a lot of the sidewalks and walkability will increase greatly on that end of town due to the construction. I guess I'm a little bummed to see a couple of historic buildings with so much potential get leveled to the ground. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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hindesky    19,386

Luckily I have 2 options coming home from work in Baytown, IH10 to IH45 exit Bagby/Dallas or 225 to 610 to IH45 and downtown destinations exit. Unfortunately I took the second option the other day, it's a mess and will only get worse. I guess if I get off at Cullen and hop on Elgin would be better than dealing with the Scott St exit mess.

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cspwal    2,140

My commute used to be 10-20 minutes going this way.  Friday, it was 45 minutes.  I hope they finish this ahead of schedule

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skwatra    371

Is this the construction that has closed Pierce/St Joseph northbound from 45 going to downtown forcing you to get off at Scott and u-turn back to the feeder? That closure seems north of what is described in the article and also is not on the main lanes. Trying to figure out what they are doing and the timeline. Its really bad in the afternoons, I can't imagine what that is causing in the morning for people headed downtown.

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JLWM8609    496
44 minutes ago, skwatra said:

Is this the construction that has closed Pierce/St Joseph northbound from 45 going to downtown forcing you to get off at Scott and u-turn back to the feeder? 

 

Yes.

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UtterlyUrban    1,525
On 3/28/2017 at 8:55 PM, Sanjorade said:

So, we are spending $9b on new road projects for cars at the same time we are trying to stall/kill a privately owned and funded high speed railroad that would take pressure OFF some of those roads?

 

Public policy in this State (and country) is broken.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sanjorade    165
2 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

So, we are spending $9b on new road projects for cars at the same time we are trying to stall/kill a privately owned and funded high speed railroad that would take pressure OFF some of those roads?

 

Public policy in this State (and country) is broken.

 

 

 

 

 

Policy in general is broken. Society could be so much more advanced ...

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CrockpotandGravel    4,336

This makes no sense. The connector from I-45 S into downtown that takes you to Pierce, is roughly new compared to other parts of 45. It works fine and never had traffic. It was a straight shot into downtown and now, it's a mess. Texas...would rather build more roads or tear down new ones and rebuild than bringing high speed rail to cities that would greatly benefit from it.

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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Triton    9,105

The system I love the most is the one in DC. Went there just a few weeks ago and the stops that connect out to the suburbs are just wonderful. We stayed with some family in Vienna, Virginia, and parked at the parking garage at Vienna Metro South, the very last stop for the Orange Line. Easy to hop on, stopped at each major spot along the way, but it eventually took us into the heart of the Capitol, all while being in the center of the highway. What was very interesting about each stop was how major developments quite similar to City Centre had developed around each stop. Not all of them but a good number of the stops had something unique at each. Here's the Mosaic.... this one isn't right on the train line (was about 15 mins away walking) but the area was quite walkable to the Mosaic.

 

 

Image result for mosaic district virginia

 

Image result for mosaic district virginia

 

Image result for mosaic district virginia

 

 

 

You just sit back and relax, and watch the traffic stopped on the highways as you zip by. It was all above ground until you got closer to Arlington so I could certainly seeing it work here in Houston. Anyway, I guess I got off topic here but yes.... wish we could do like DC and better integrate fast mass transit (one that's not tied to the street grid) with the highway system. I'd much rather sit back, read a book, and hope off at the Memorial City area than sit back in accident laden I-10.

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mfastx    469

Great post.  I often cite the DC system as an example of why heavy rail could actually work in Houston.  The system was built in the 70s, so it's not a typical example of "the only reason why rail works there is because it's 100+ years old."  Of course, the system in Houston wouldn't be laid out quite like DC's, as DC's jobs are more centralized, but similar technology, if the system were completely built out, would clearly attain the most transit ridership.  

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On 4/8/2017 at 10:22 AM, CrockpotandGravel said:

This makes no sense. The connector from I-45 S into downtown that takes you to Pierce, is roughly new compared to other parts of 45. It works fine and never had traffic. It was a straight shot into downtown and now, it's a mess. Texas...would rather build more roads or tear down new ones and rebuild than bringing high speed rail to cities that would greatly benefit from it.

 

The issue is that the connector was underused while the 45 main lanes were overused. The new configuration will eliminate drivers enter at the Spur 5, Cullen, or Scott St. on ramps and merging across three lanes for the 59 S exit. This will increase usage of the double left and exit for the Scott St. exit connector and reduce traffic on 45 between that point and 59.

For traffic heading downtown, a new exit will be added after Scott St. at the same location the existing connector terminated. 

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ADCS    343
5 hours ago, KyleJohnstonNet said:

 

The issue is that the connector was underused while the 45 main lanes were overused. The new configuration will eliminate drivers enter at the Spur 5, Cullen, or Scott St. on ramps and merging across three lanes for the 59 S exit. This will increase usage of the double left and exit for the Scott St. exit connector and reduce traffic on 45 between that point and 59.

For traffic heading downtown, a new exit will be added after Scott St. at the same location the existing connector terminated. 

 

Yep. The primary issue is that the Alvin Freeway was never built, so the expected traffic counts on the Spur 5/SH 35 parallel lanes never materialized. A bunch of excess capacity is not used, nor will it ever be used in its current configuration. This addresses that.

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9 hours ago, ADCS said:

 

Yep. The primary issue is that the Alvin Freeway was never built, so the expected traffic counts on the Spur 5/SH 35 parallel lanes never materialized. A bunch of excess capacity is not used, nor will it ever be used in its current configuration. This addresses that.

 

Do you know why they never built out Spur 5?

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samagon    2,204

1980s oil crash killed all the freeway projects. except 225. That was killed by local opposition, and it was killed prior to the oil crash.

 

I do wonder if the congestion that is currently trying to exit gulf freeway for 59, I wonder if that is just going to be pushed farther down the gulf freeway?

 

There's 1 dedicated lane and one split lane exit for the spur. So there will be 1 dedicated and one split exit for 59?

 

I assume they are going adjust that exit to at least make it 2 dedicated lanes to exit? maybe they can go as far as 2 dedicated lanes and one split lane, that would really be for the best.

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cspwal    2,140

They just made the stub that goes by UH recently, not in the 80s.

 

From Houston Freeways

Quote

But the Alvin Freeway never died, and in 1999 the first short section opened, [p 265]

 

The book also says that they were going to reevaluate the whole corridor

Quote

The entire Highway 35 corridor from the Gulf Freeway to Angleton, 40 miles (64 km) south, is the subject of a comprehensive corridor study expected to be underway by 2004. [p266]

I found the final report from that study:

https://www.h-gac.com/taq/publications/mobility studies/documents/sh35.pdf

and the cover image is A+

Render of SH35

 

Looks like after the study was done, people didn't like it enough for it to go forward

Quote

After receiving public comments on the previously identified Recommended Most Feasible Alternative, the Hybrid Corridor, during the public meetings held in 2005, TxDOT concluded that further discussions with stakeholders throughout the study area were needed to refine the alignment in order to achieve the project goals while minimizing environmental impacts.

 

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cspwal    2,140

It looked like they had rebar staged for the T section of the pillars.  What I'm wondering is how long before they start on the ramps from 45 to St. Joesph pkwy and Pease 

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