Jump to content

I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


Recommended Posts

Huh??

Who said anything about building buildings on top of the pierce elevated? I'm talkin bout tearing it down to reveal the remainder of the surface lots that have been hidden under there forever and using them as real estate again.

 

If we straight up tear it down fine, I was assuming that it would be tunneled roughly where it is now.  It would be very difficult to construct buildings over a tunneled freeway. 

 

If we just tear it down and don't construct an underground highway in it's place, then yea I guess, although they would likely remain surface for the next 25-50 years at least. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see it taking 50 years for those lots be developed, south downtown is quickly becoming THE residential district of downtown with the Beaconsfield, Houston House, Skyhouse 1 and 2, Fairfield residential, Leon Capital, Block 334, Allied orion and The Hamilton all in the same general area. Once all the newer ones comes online it's only going to spur more residential in that area, and the remaining surface lots anre gonna get scooped up. I'd say closer to 5-10 years before we see more residential plus retail projects filling up the remaining south downtown surface lots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a very old proposal.. Pretty sure all "tunnel" options were thrown out in favor of trench/cut and cover

 

Yea.. sorry I wasn't reading enough in this thread.  If the choice is to create a park out of it or just simply demolish it then I'd say demo it. 

 

With a cut and cover, you can really only put a park or some sort of public space on the surface though, which would be fine too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm voting to not do anything, leave it as it is, unless someone can explain why what is there already is not sustainable. I've lived here long enough to dread these major highway projects that drag on for years. They've been working on the 610-290 interchange for what seems like an eternity. There are definitely benefits here, but they are far outweighed by the cost and headaches it will cause. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reconstructing an interchange that is heavily trafficked to one that expands upon and redirects traffic in a way that wasn't already established takes quite a bit of work and time...

 

Exactly.   It's only been 4 years, with completion in sight.  The benefits already far outweigh the cost and so-called headaches (which in reality have been pretty few and short-lived for 610-290 interchange project).

 

Edited by Houston19514
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm voting to not do anything, leave it as it is, unless someone can explain why what is there already is not sustainable. I've lived here long enough to dread these major highway projects that drag on for years. They've been working on the 610-290 interchange for what seems like an eternity. There are definitely benefits here, but they are far outweighed by the cost and headaches it will cause. 

 

You can say that about any project. This opinion seems valid until a bridge collapses and dozens are dead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can say that about any project. This opinion seems valid until a bridge collapses and dozens are dead.

 

So you're saying the Pierce elevated is about to collapse? Is there some structural reason this is being done? I can remember when they rebuilt the Pierce elevated last time. Was it shoddy construction? If so, I'll change my opinion, but I just don't understand the benefit of doing this project other than removing some supposed barrier between downtown and midtown or building a sky park. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you're saying the Pierce elevated is about to collapse? Is there some structural reason this is being done? I can remember when they rebuilt the Pierce elevated last time. Was it shoddy construction? If so, I'll change my opinion, but I just don't understand the benefit of doing this project other than removing some supposed barrier between downtown and midtown or building a sky park.

The Pierce is not going to collapse barring some freak disaster. Unlike the I-10 widening or the 610/US-290 rebuild, I fail to see how traffic patterns would really be better downtown.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Pierce is not going to collapse barring some freak disaster. Unlike the I-10 widening or the 610/US-290 rebuild, I fail to see how traffic patterns would really be better downtown.

 

I don't think it's to help traffic patterns downtown really, but to help spur more growth downtown and provide for a larger district for the urban core.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's to help traffic patterns downtown really, but to help spur more growth downtown and provide for a larger district for the urban core.

Why would that be a good thing? Urban cores are overrated, and aren't a Houston sort of concept. Downtown and Midtown were way more interesting before massive redevelopment started.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn no one realizes you're still trolling :lol:

 

Certainly in the case of Midtown, I can't argue with the statement that it was more interesting before it was redeveloped. Some of us remember when the prevailing culture in that area was Vietnamese, as reflected by the residents, the businesses, and eventually the well-known street signs. Compare that with the current mix of undistinguished apartments, trendy restaurants, and brotastic bars. 

 

Note that "more interesting" does NOT mean "better". It just means more interesting. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn no one realizes you're still trolling :lol:

Actually, I am not trolling. Houston isn't as cool as it was in the 80s. There's more to do, and more restaurants, but it's not quirky and cool. Tearing down the Pierce would contribute to a greater loss of cool. If I wanted urban core stuff, I would move to somewhere that grew that way. Edited by Ross
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh damn my bad, did I give it away?

Having a dissenting opinion isn't trolling in and of itself. It's when you do things like "KEEPING THE PIERCE ELEVATED UP IS LIKE SUPPORTING SLAVERY" or some other nonsense like that. Not that any of us HAIFers would dare sink to such levels, of course. *coughs loudly*

(Or if you're being a straight-up asshole, like that banned Park West guy)

Edited by IronTiger
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would that be a good thing? Urban cores are overrated, and aren't a Houston sort of concept. Downtown and Midtown were way more interesting before massive redevelopment started.

IT, when that's the defense, then yeah I assume that's trolling. Cmon man, you know I'm better than that. I like both sides of this issue, and don't really have a solid opinion either way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IT, when that's the defense, then yeah I assume that's trolling. Cmon man, you know I'm better than that. I like both sides of this issue, and don't really have a solid opinion either way.

It is a bit blunt, but you know how many posts I've seen on HAIF in support of a fantasy Manhattan-like "urban core"? Far too many. Were you here for the this thread, for instance?

** Edit: To me, it's like all those Internet sentiments where New Yorkers have said "I liked Times Square before they sanitized it" or something along those lines. Are those not valid complaints?

Edited by IronTiger
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I am not trolling. Houston isn't as cool as it was in the 80s. There's more to do, and more restaurants, but it's not quirky and cool. Tearing down the Pierce would contribute to a greater loss of cool. If I wanted urban core stuff, I would move to somewhere that grew that way.

 

There are plenty of wonderful suburbs for you to move to if that's what you like, along with suburban-style areas in the inner loop. Please stop getting in the way of those of us who like urban environments and want to develop some of that in Houston. There's enough space for both styles of development.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah man those are just typical hot takes, but to say that Houston was better before all of this development in its core is the hottest take of them all.

Back when I went to A&M, there would be constant talk in message boards about how "Old Army" was much better--stories of dorm rooms with no air conditioning even into the late 1990s, having food fights in the dining hall instead of the Chick-fil-a Express in the basement, and the like.

 

The whole "urban core" idea that "Abandon the Pierce" promote is based on what San Francisco or New York City is like. Even the whole "Pierce Skypark" idea is cribbed straight from the High Line!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, the idea of opening up downtown to the south and west is not the only reason to take down the Pierce, but it's a decent one. The Elevated Park idea is nice but it's not gonna happen.

I just don't see how keeping the Pierce to discourage development is anywhere near a great, or even decent, idea. There are good reason to keep it, like the park, but saying downtown is better off staying a 9-5 center of activity just does not jive with the way downtown is unfolding.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, the idea of opening up downtown to the south and west is not the only reason to take down the Pierce, but it's a decent one. The Elevated Park idea is nice but it's not gonna happen.

I just don't see how keeping the Pierce to discourage development is anywhere near a great, or even decent, idea. There are good reason to keep it, like the park, but saying downtown is better off staying a 9-5 center of activity just does not jive with the way downtown is unfolding.

Who said the Pierce was going to discourage development? I remember some veiled comment about the "canyon" could discourage EaDo, but Midtown? As it stands, the Pierce isn't going to do anything bad to Midtown, which has been improving for years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be concerned whether demolishing the pierce elevated will just produce a whole bunch of parking lots... is there a similar case of this kind of reroute going through? And things where an elevated highway cut downtown off from a river front or the coast are not what I'm talking about but just removing a highway like this to just one corridor

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be concerned whether demolishing the pierce elevated will just produce a whole bunch of parking lots... is there a similar case of this kind of reroute going through? And things where an elevated highway cut downtown off from a river front or the coast are not what I'm talking about but just removing a highway like this to just one corridor

Yup. Even in San Francisco, the removal of the Central Parkway left freeway ROW-shaped surface parking lots for decades, with them not getting built on until just a few years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I am not trolling. Houston isn't as cool as it was in the 80s. There's more to do, and more restaurants, but it's not quirky and cool. Tearing down the Pierce would contribute to a greater loss of cool. If I wanted urban core stuff, I would move to somewhere that grew that way.

Trollolololololololol

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who said the Pierce was going to discourage development? I remember some veiled comment about the "canyon" could discourage EaDo, but Midtown? As it stands, the Pierce isn't going to do anything bad to Midtown, which has been improving for years.

His "argument" was that the Pierce shouldn't be removed because Downtown was better before development. So, he wants to keep the Pierce, because having no development is better than any.

I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, the idea of opening up downtown to the south and west is not the only reason to take down the Pierce, but it's a decent one. The Elevated Park idea is nice but it's not gonna happen.

I just don't see how keeping the Pierce to discourage development is anywhere near a great, or even decent, idea. There are good reason to keep it, like the park, but saying downtown is better off staying a 9-5 center of activity just does not jive with the way downtown is unfolding.

 

I think there's more than enough proof that the pierce elevated doesn't discourage development. It staggered the growth of the area when it was put in because it ripped the fabric of the area (as did every freeway, and is why 225 wasn't completed as a good example), but so did every freeway. it's taken midtown however many years for it to get to a point where it can be successful in spite of the elevated being there. 

 

Might removing the pierce promote more growth? It will be just as easy to make that direct connection as it is to say that building a rail line promotes growth.

 

Maybe the only thing we can really say is that growth has occurred, and continues to occur in spite of the pierce.

 

There's no long term guarantee that removing the freeway will be a positive impact, there are plenty of short term examples, but there are lots of long term examples that building/expanding freeways in the core do far more harm than good and it takes decades for recovery to occur, if ever. Which is the whole reason I'm fearful of the re-alignment.

 

But anyway, this thread's about the possibility of the pierce being re purposed into a park. to that end, it's not a nice idea, it's a horrible idea.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I think re-purposing it as a park would be the worst of both worlds - it creates a large barrier on the east side of downtown without really removing a barrier in the middle of downtown.  A linear park like that would be nice, but we already have one - buffalo bayou

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back when I went to A&M, there would be constant talk in message boards about how "Old Army" was much better--stories of dorm rooms with no air conditioning even into the late 1990s, having food fights in the dining hall instead of the Chick-fil-a Express in the basement, and the like.

 

The whole "urban core" idea that "Abandon the Pierce" promote is based on what San Francisco or New York City is like. Even the whole "Pierce Skypark" idea is cribbed straight from the High Line!

Uh... wouldn't the people who want Houston to stay car-centric and suburban be the Old Army in this case?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you guys even know what a "barrier" is?

That __________Park sure is a barrier to _____________, I'm sure that barrier will depress all the properties surrounding the park.

That Hermann Park sure is a barrier to the Medical Center/Museum District, I'm sure that barrier will depress all the properties surrounding the park.

That Memorial Park sure is a barrier to the West End, I'm sure that barrier will depress all the properties surrounding the park.

That Midtown Park sure is a barrier to 4th Ward/Midtown, I'm sure that barrier will depress all the properties surrounding the park.

That Water Wall Park sure is a barrier to the Galleria/Williams Tower, I'm sure that barrier will depress all the properties surrounding the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uh... wouldn't the people who want Houston to stay car-centric and suburban be the Old Army in this case?

Not a great example, but the main idea I was thinking was "unpretentious".

However, the use of rhetoric like "car-centric" says all I need to know about where you stand on issues like this.

Edited by IronTiger
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a great example, but the main idea I was thinking was "unpretentious".

However, the use of rhetoric like "car-centric" says all I need to know about where you stand on issues like this.

 

Are you saying that Houston's development scheme since World War II has not been primarily oriented toward automobile access?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you saying that Houston's development scheme since World War II has not been primarily oriented toward automobile access?

 

It has been, not that there's anything wrong with that. But use of words is also important. One who refers to himself or herself as "pro-choice" would tend not to use "pro-life" for the opposition, for instance. Secondly, the use of "car-centric" also assumes that pedestrian use is somehow mutually exclusive. Adding sidewalks to a previously unutilized ROW is one such example where a city could become more pedestrian friendly without sacrificing mobility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup. Even in San Francisco, the removal of the Central Parkway left freeway ROW-shaped surface parking lots for decades, with them not getting built on until just a few years ago.

 

But you can't say it isn't looking beautiful in that part of downtown SF since they have started to get developed though, or that it's not adding to SF's skyline.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Many of you loathe the Pierce Elevated. Personally I have no hatred or love toward it.  The area I find awful is the freeways and jails at the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo Bayou. This area could have been a beautiful park area. What a lost oppurtunity. Thank God for the fixing up of  Buffalo Bayou. They have done a beautiful job.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I 100% agree! 

 

Many of you loathe the Pierce Elevated. Personally I have no hatred or love toward it.  The area I find awful is the freeways and jails at the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo Bayou. This area could have been a beautiful park area. What a lost oppurtunity. Thank God for the fixing up of  Buffalo Bayou. They have done a beautiful job.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I'm quite a bit late to this party, but....

 

 

Why in the holy hell would anyone want to tear apart another stretch of I-45 for a park, or parking, or any other such nonsense?

 

With there being over 6.5 million in the greater Houston Metro area, many of them using that corridor, that would be a terrible and very costly mistake. Our traffic is borked bad enough as it is, and y'all are only asking... nigh, BEGGING for it to become much worse with an idea like this.

 

Or so it seems, from what I'm reading here. Would anyone care to enlighten this knuckle dragging neanderthal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Demolishing the Pierce elevated (or at least abandoning that right of way) is part of the I-45 and US-59/I-69 redesign for downtown, which TxDot has put forward as the plan.  The current plan is to reroute I-45 along the East side of downtown to be next to 59, buried in a trench for most of it.  It's part of a larger plan of widening 45 all the way out to the Woodlands.

 

There are some problems with it; the site http://houstonfreeways.com/analysishas a good breakdown of the problems

 

Another thread on it is here:

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/32167-txdot-plan-for-downtown-and-i-45-analysis-and-problem-list/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)

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...