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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)

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On 12/30/2019 at 12:32 PM, X.R. said:

I have two thoughts that I've been mulling:

1) Considering how long its taken 288 and 610 to finish various projects (Post Oak exit says hello), is it fair to worry about the length of time this construction will take? This is probably going to take forever and a day to do during a time period where Houston is finally experiencing the type of densifying development growth you'd expect out of a city so large. Maybe do a smaller phase to see how that goes and what disruption that brings? I have zero confidence in any timelines that have been put out.

 

2) But then again, I do see the benefits of giving easier access to downtown from various suburbs. I feel like TxDot's selling point to why this works, to me, is Klyde Warren Park being the game changer for Dallas. This whole project change so much of what is Houston that it almost gives one anxiety to think about a project this big. However, Klyde Warren worked because of how disconnected the area towards Elm street and the farmer's market was getting from Downtown Dallas. There was no cohesion, and the thing that burying did was bring those communities together, let people who worked in Downtown (like myself back then) let out a sigh of relief that they weren't working in this barren concrete wasteland of excessively priced food and Concrete Cowboys, and partially shift the homeless away from that part of DT to make people feel safer about living there (and people certainly started moving into those condos and apartments since then). Burying a freeway and creating a huge park did all of that for DT Dallas. But if you don't get the parks, or the capped areas aren't utilized in a non-car centric fashion, then haven't you lost a significant portion of why this is worth doing? 

 

if we use the big dig as an example. it will cost about 2.5x as much as expected and it will take about 2.5x as long as predicted.

 

who really knows. 

 

this project doesn't really give better access to downtown, and it doesn't give better access to people moving from one part of the central area of town to another part of the central area of town. the purpose of this project is to allow people to move from one side of town to the other faster, and make millions for the property owners along the pierce elevated.

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Maybe irrelevant to this specific thread, but I heard that Tout Suite has "every intention of remaining in the East End" after the expansion.

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On 1/9/2020 at 12:02 PM, ljchou said:

Maybe irrelevant to this specific thread, but I heard that Tout Suite has "every intention of remaining in the East End" after the expansion.

I hope so, their food is amazing.

 

But such a weird vibe with the giant window they have overlooking the super homeless camp under the freeway.

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Why go then? 

Just stay home and read about it later then you don't have to be disappointed or feel like you have wasted your time. 

Thats why I record sporting events now.

I got tired of the disappointment. I just catch the score and if I like the outcome I might watch some of it.

If not I don't waste any time.

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

Why go then? 

Just stay home and read about it later then you don't have to be disappointed or feel like you have wasted your time. 

Thats why I record sporting events now.

I got tired of the disappointment. I just catch the score and if I like the outcome I might watch some of it.

If not I don't waste any time.

Because I represent my area. And for some less well off and older folks who aren't that connected to the internet, the only way of getting news are during neighborhood events through people like me. That's why the last round of talks with TXDOT came across as so promising, when it sounded like TXDOT was actually pouring over the city's suggestions that we saw in renderings last year... and then we get the December "update" from TXDOT and literally next to nothing had changed. The only benefit I see coming out of this next meeting is to represent my community yet again and ask, what happened? What happened to all the things "we [TXDOT] are looking at" and where did all that progress go?

 

The community isn't even asking for any difficult things. They understood that in highway projects, there's a good chance homes and businesses get torn down. People get relocated.. it's really the very nature of these expansions. And during these TXDOT meetings, people are usually yelling "racists!" and all these other things because, yes, this expansion does affect a lot of low income areas. But see, that's not where I am coming from.... there's A LOT of smaller changes that can be made to make this project a success, with the city presenting truly incredibly ideas in those city planning sessions last year.... but TXDOT has not agreed to implement a single one of them. They are always just things "we are looking at" and now that this is THE final year to say anything, I felt like nothing has really moved the needle.

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It sounds like you answered your own question.

On 1/24/2020 at 11:32 AM, Triton said:

 

I feel like I've wasted my time going to every single one of these.... and yet here I am thinking wasting my time again.

 

13 minutes ago, Triton said:

Because I represent my area. And for some less well off and older folks who aren't that connected to the internet, the only way of getting news are during neighborhood events through people like me. That's why the last round of talks with TXDOT came across as so promising, when it sounded like TXDOT was actually pouring over the city's suggestions that we saw in renderings last year... and then we get the December "update" from TXDOT and literally next to nothing had changed. The only benefit I see coming out of this next meeting is to represent my community yet again and ask, what happened? What happened to all the things "we [TXDOT] are looking at" and where did all that progress go?

 

The community isn't even asking for any difficult things. They understood that in highway projects, there's a good chance homes and businesses get torn down. People get relocated.. it's really the very nature of these expansions. And during these TXDOT meetings, people are usually yelling "racists!" and all these other things because, yes, this expansion does affect a lot of low income areas. But see, that's not where I am coming from.... there's A LOT of smaller changes that can be made to make this project a success, with the city presenting truly incredibly ideas in those city planning sessions last year.... but TXDOT has not agreed to implement a single one of them. They are always just things "we are looking at" and now that this is THE final year to say anything, I felt like nothing has really moved the needle.

Then go, and make a difference.

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:22 PM, Triton said:

Because I represent my area. And for some less well off and older folks who aren't that connected to the internet, the only way of getting news are during neighborhood events through people like me. That's why the last round of talks with TXDOT came across as so promising, when it sounded like TXDOT was actually pouring over the city's suggestions that we saw in renderings last year... and then we get the December "update" from TXDOT and literally next to nothing had changed. The only benefit I see coming out of this next meeting is to represent my community yet again and ask, what happened? What happened to all the things "we [TXDOT] are looking at" and where did all that progress go?

 

The community isn't even asking for any difficult things. They understood that in highway projects, there's a good chance homes and businesses get torn down. People get relocated.. it's really the very nature of these expansions. And during these TXDOT meetings, people are usually yelling "racists!" and all these other things because, yes, this expansion does affect a lot of low income areas. But see, that's not where I am coming from.... there's A LOT of smaller changes that can be made to make this project a success, with the city presenting truly incredibly ideas in those city planning sessions last year.... but TXDOT has not agreed to implement a single one of them. They are always just things "we are looking at" and now that this is THE final year to say anything, I felt like nothing has really moved the needle.

 

There is also no reason the city can't coordinate and layer their stuff in after the fact. I think people place way to much on TXDOT, an outside authority that isn't charged with understanding the minutia's going on within Houston. There job is plain and simple. Design a new highway and build it. That is it. Everything else for this is fluff. These are also federal highways with federal money coming in to fix it. Federal highways have very strict standards and where funding should be used. The city can do what they want independently from TXDOT as everything is being constructed, but what the city is asking for isn't going to be implemented by TXDOT because its simply not within their purview. They are here to design the skeleton on which other things can be put on top later.

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I live within spitting distance of Triton, and have attended a bunch of the meetings over a very long time as well.  Some very small changes on the structural side (TxDOT's responsibility) can make a huge difference to the final result - we're not talking about placing the ferns here.  There are a bunch of such issues in the segment between 610 and 10, and in particular between Cavalcade and White Oak/Quitman.

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37 minutes ago, mollusk said:

I live within spitting distance of Triton

 

😯

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1 hour ago, mollusk said:

I live within spitting distance of Triton

44 minutes ago, Triton said:

 

😯

 

Metaphorically, of course

 

image.png.c7be598a2e138e45345b40d2b1504b43.png

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Attended the 45 proposal from the city this morning. Their alternative proposals, especially with all the BRT stations, are really great. Was hoping to post the proposals here because they said they posted the new schematics online but I've checked the Planning Department's page several times and I can't find the new alternatives. I reached out to the city, we'll see what they say.

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This is the latest I could find on the website: http://www.ih45northandmore.com/DesignSchematics.aspx

It says updated December 2019

 

Metro things I noticed:

- mentions of MAX lane ramps to greens point TC

- T-ramp at shepherd (looks 2 way)

 

I didn't see any BRT mentioned, so what you saw at the meeting is probably newer

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15 hours ago, Triton said:

Attended the 45 proposal from the city this morning. Their alternative proposals, especially with all the BRT stations, are really great. Was hoping to post the proposals here because they said they posted the new schematics online but I've checked the Planning Department's page several times and I can't find the new alternatives. I reached out to the city, we'll see what they say.

 

I attended the meeting at Emancipation.  There were some great ideas.  I did manage to get a copy of all the proposals but was hopping they would put something online at it's several pages long and I don't have a scanner.

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2 hours ago, BeerNut said:

 

I attended the meeting at Emancipation.  There were some great ideas.  I did manage to get a copy of all the proposals but was hopping they would put something online at it's several pages long and I don't have a scanner.

If you have an iPhone, you have a scanner in the notes app! Not sure about android 

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10 hours ago, cspwal said:

This is the latest I could find on the website: http://www.ih45northandmore.com/DesignSchematics.aspx

It says updated December 2019

 

Metro things I noticed:

- mentions of MAX lane ramps to greens point TC

- T-ramp at shepherd (looks 2 way)

 

I didn't see any BRT mentioned, so what you saw at the meeting is probably newer

 

No, these meetings aren't TXDOT.

 

So how this process works (for those that don't follow this project closely), is TXDOT listens to the input from the city since this is in their zone. The city provides feedback and if the city accepts the direction TXDOT is going, then they'll agree to the project, and funding and construction will move forward. These meetings this weekend are from the City of Houston's Planning Department. ( houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/index.html ).

 

These are the proposals we've seen to move streets, move railroads, include dedicated bike trails, etc. etc. etc. Those proposals have been primarily from the city. The city is wanting to hear more from locals and these "most supported" alternatives will then be recommended to TXDOT which TXDOT will then take into consideration for their design. 

 

It is now Sunday and I still don't see these alternatives on the City of Houston's website which they said over a dozen times that they are posted online as of yesterday.

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5 hours ago, pablog said:

If you have an iPhone, you have a scanner in the notes app! Not sure about android 

I have an Android phone.  The document is ~25 11x17 pages double sided color...  Eh I would still need to find a place to host once i turned it into a pdf.  If the city doesn't post anything tomorrow I'll give it a go.

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On an unrelated note, it's nice to see they still use the same kind of lunch tables as when I was in middle school

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12 hours ago, Triton said:

 

No, these meetings aren't TXDOT.

 

So how this process works (for those that don't follow this project closely), is TXDOT listens to the input from the city since this is in their zone. The city provides feedback and if the city accepts the direction TXDOT is going, then they'll agree to the project, and funding and construction will move forward. These meetings this weekend are from the City of Houston's Planning Department. ( houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/index.html ).

 

These are the proposals we've seen to move streets, move railroads, include dedicated bike trails, etc. etc. etc. Those proposals have been primarily from the city. The city is wanting to hear more from locals and these "most supported" alternatives will then be recommended to TXDOT which TXDOT will then take into consideration for their design. 

 

It is now Sunday and I still don't see these alternatives on the City of Houston's website which they said over a dozen times that they are posted online as of yesterday.

 

This is why I wanted to wait to comment because I these were my suspicions on why we haven't seen a merger of COH ideas and TXDOT ideas and thats because they are both still in the preliminary design phase. If you look at TXDOT's latest documents, they all say "preliminary subject to change". Remember, TXDOT has only one goal in mind and that is to build a new highway and that is it. Its dependent on the City to add ideas for the other layers. What I'm reading from what you said is that the City is just as much not finished with their plans and ideas just like TXDOT. Once comment periods etc... for both sides are finished then their will be the moment were compromise and negotiations of both design between COH and TXDOT can even begin. Looking forward to what the city will place on the table. If some of y'all say they have come up with some good ideas then that gets me excited. Hopefully when both these institutions meet in the middle COH will have some balls and fight for what they want.

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Do the City's survey. The alternatives are in there. There's *a lot* about planned BRT station locations.

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That's helpful.  The Meeting Materials (Winter 2020) is the same as what's in the survey. 

 

That said - everybody take the survey!

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Converting all pdfs into jpegs over the course of today. All materials can be found from this post above:

 

1 hour ago, cspwal said:

Looks like they posted the meeting materials on the city website

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/

 

 

 

Once I look through all documents I'll probably put in my too cents, but my inital reaction is that this is an impressive amount of work. They really did listen to comments and actually working hard to pitch the cities side to TXDOT. I'm glad they also posted the timeline for what is going to happen going forward. This clarifies why TXDOT again didn't include recent inputs and that was because both are working parallel to each other, but will not cross over until both processes are complete. In order to not create one giant post I will be posting the jpegs in spurts.

 

INTRO:

 

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xrVNvcQ.jpg

 

I'll post the next segment in a couple hours.

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Yup, as others said, they finally released the material yesterday. The BRT lines are really impressive, though those are no doubt going to be expensive to build over some sections and they really have to plan with TXDOT for that BRT right of way, even if it is just columns holding the BRT bridges.

 

San Jacinto connection is still there!

BRT N Main.JPG

San Jac Connection.JPG

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7 minutes ago, Triton said:

Yup, as others said, they finally released the material yesterday. The BRT lines are really impressive, though those are no doubt going to be expensive to build over some sections and they really have to plan with TXDOT for that BRT right of way, even if it is just columns holding the BRT bridges.

 

San Jacinto connection is still there!

BRT N Main.JPG

San Jac Connection.JPG

 

The BRT will be a great start. I actually do take the bus from the airport to Downtown (I usually take an uber from wherever I'm at to the airport). Its about 1hr, and the buses are really infrequent. BRT from downtown to the airport would be a huge game changer.

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28 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

The BRT will be a great start. I actually do take the bus from the airport to Downtown (I usually take an uber from wherever I'm at to the airport). Its about 1hr, and the buses are really infrequent. BRT from downtown to the airport would be a huge game changer.

 

Looking forward to the BRT to Bush Airport, but the current buses already run about every half hour; 15 minutes during peak times (at least that's what the Metro schedule says...Unfortunately, I've noticed they have a number of routes that advertise frequent service but don't live up to the claims).

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19 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Looking forward to the BRT to Bush Airport, but the current buses already run about every half hour; 15 minutes during peak times (at least that's what the Metro schedule says...Unfortunately, I've noticed they have a number of routes that advertise frequent service but don't live up to the claims).

 

Yeah...not exactly as they advertise it. The route also needs to be streamlined as the inital departure from IAH goes through all the various cargo facilities before then make a stop at every last street before JFK, and then a bunch of stops at greenspoint. I get it, technically this is more of a local route for those that live in the Greenspoint area and those that work at the airport, but its also the only route that goes from downtown to the airport. They can keep that local line, but then have a dedicated and fast BRT from the airport to Downtown.

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So I haven't spent much time in this thread, and now at 35 pages catching up seems daunting, so I will just ask the question for anybody who may already know more.  Are they widening 45 around the north main/houston ave area?  If so are they going to expand both ways? Just west?  Just east?  Imminent domain going to be used anywhere?

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FLOODING:

 

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PROPERTY:

 

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EDIT: If anyone knows what was on page "19" then please let me know or if you have the page. Page 19 didn't exist in the pdf's

Edited by Luminare
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4 hours ago, kbates2 said:

So I haven't spent much time in this thread, and now at 35 pages catching up seems daunting, so I will just ask the question for anybody who may already know more.  Are they widening 45 around the north main/houston ave area?  If so are they going to expand both ways? Just west?  Just east?  Imminent domain going to be used anywhere?

The right-of-way is not going to be widened at North Main, except maybe for a very narrow strip of land (maybe 10 feet) from the fuel station on northwest corner.

 

Of course they can't widen to the east due the cemetery, and the neighborhood wanted to protect everything including the gas station and the McDonalds, so there is no significant eminent domain at North Main, and only minimal right-of-way acquisition between downtown and Loop 610.

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7 hours ago, Luminare said:

EDIT: If anyone knows what was on page "19" then please let me know or if you have the page. Page 19 didn't exist in the pdf's

 

Looking at the printouts used by staff at the Emancipation meeting there was no page 19.

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There were several exhibits missing at the meeting. I asked what happened and the city said they removed those alternatives. I'll forever be curious what they were.

 

Pretty interesting that Metro Next has this BRT line running along I-45 already in their proposal. 

BRT Houston.PNG

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10 hours ago, Triton said:

There were several exhibits missing at the meeting

 

it was 3.  19, 34, and whatever the last number was.   

 

 

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The Cross section at White Oak looks like a total you know what show. I'm starting to feel for the residents on that side. It's bad enough as it is, but these options are picking the lesser of two evils? I don't know which one is worse. Seems like it needs to be more tightly woven.

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Maybe they could reroute the MAX lanes to the west a little and join in with the Katy's MAX lanes; that would bring the lane count down by 4 at White Oak.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what they can do besides rerouting the whole thing away from there.  The whole design is basically a double wide freeway around all of downtown, including at White Oak

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

I now have MetroNext items updated/plotted on the map. The only thing I'm leaving out is the Boost Routes since thats just updated frequency in schedules.

I wouldn't worry about adding those, Luminare. Great job!

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