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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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I made the same assumption. the overall map (even though it's listed under the 2019 timeline on the site) is the overall map from 2015, which doesn't include changes made on the final 2019 revisions. 

this is the 2019 version from Houston to McKee

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/nhhip-segment-3-i-10-rollplot-ph-1-2.pdf

this is the 2019 version from McKee to Waco

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/nhhip-segment-3-i-10-rollplot-ph-2-2.pdf

which is the one that shows the exit you're seeing from the 2015 drawing is gone as of the 2019 version:

VU4Qrbd.png

Edited by samagon
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http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Board-Book-FINAL-3.8.22.pdf

Plenty of red meat here for y'all to argue about. For what it's worth, I did genuinely find this informative and very fair in terms of how well TxDOT is working with Central Houston and how they are actually open to negotiation/changes. Very different from the story given in the media.

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1 hour ago, texan said:

http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Board-Book-FINAL-3.8.22.pdf

Plenty of red meat here for y'all to argue about. For what it's worth, I did genuinely find this informative and very fair in terms of how well TxDOT is working with Central Houston and how they are actually open to negotiation/changes. Very different from the story given in the media.

This is great — lots of actual information instead of conjecture. It does show the hard work being taken by txdot and the city to make this project successful. A few things I thought were particularly relevant:

- txdot is committing to putting a concrete cap on the highways in eado and the areas in midtown. So yeah there isn’t a park on them yet but they WILL be covered. No more of this ‘it’s going to be a trench’ nonsense. 

- I found their comments about rejoining some streets in near northside to be really interesting, this was the first time I saw those ideas. 

- the detention ponds and new trails along the white oak were also news to me. 
 

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9 hours ago, sapo2367 said:

This is great — lots of actual information instead of conjecture. It does show the hard work being taken by txdot and the city to make this project successful. A few things I thought were particularly relevant:

- txdot is committing to putting a concrete cap on the highways in eado and the areas in midtown. So yeah there isn’t a park on them yet but they WILL be covered. No more of this ‘it’s going to be a trench’ nonsense. 

- I found their comments about rejoining some streets in near northside to be really interesting, this was the first time I saw those ideas. 

- the detention ponds and new trails along the white oak were also news to me. 
 

Your first point was the most important thing I saw in there. It significantly reduces the financial obligation of the city and partners to build the park. Can we go ahead and start digging yesterday?

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2 hours ago, texan said:

Your first point was the most important thing I saw in there. It significantly reduces the financial obligation of the city and partners to build the park. Can we go ahead and start digging yesterday?

I know it depresses (trench? . . . pun!) people on here but that has always been the case.  Somehow some deep "cap park conspiracy" seems to be more convincing to most.

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42 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

When right of way is purchased along the freeway north of 610 is the whole property purchased or just the portion of the property effected by the freeway expansion?

I'm sure it varies by parcel--they take what they can get.

Legally there must be some standard by which the land can be acquired (e.g., freeway footprint plus a certain "buffer" area), but in practice it has to be negotiated with each land owner.  I'm sure it some cases you get more and in some cases you get less than "desirable," but still allows the project to work.

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3 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

I'm sure it varies by parcel--they take what they can get.

Legally there must be some standard by which the land can be acquired (e.g., freeway footprint plus a certain "buffer" area), but in practice it has to be negotiated with each land owner.  I'm sure it some cases you get more and in some cases you get less than "desirable," but still allows the project to work.

I'm just curious because where Doggett Ford and tractor dealership are the new freeway pretty much takes their front parking out.

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3 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

I'm just curious because where Doggett Ford and tractor dealership are the new freeway pretty much takes their front parking out.

You make a good point, I wonder to what extent anything has actually happened. I mean they’ve spent, what, $750 million on land acquisition, does that mean they have what they need or is there still a lot to go?

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13 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

You make a good point, I wonder to what extent anything has actually happened. I mean they’ve spent, what, $750 million on land acquisition, does that mean they have what they need or is there still a lot to go?

Yeah I've been wondering too and that dealership was just built.

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21 hours ago, texan said:

http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Board-Book-FINAL-3.8.22.pdf

Plenty of red meat here for y'all to argue about. For what it's worth, I did genuinely find this informative and very fair in terms of how well TxDOT is working with Central Houston and how they are actually open to negotiation/changes. Very different from the story given in the media.

If this makes one thing clear, this whole idea the TxDOT didn't work with the city and local actors at all and ignored all outside input is a fantasy, pure and simple. TxDOT have been nothing but conciliatory. At one point, they weren't even building the caps, just making the freeway able to be capped. Now they are capping it themselves. They are also putting in detention ponds, rebuilding almost every bridge crossing, and reconnecting streets. Having seen this report, I have no complaints, about this project. I don't really see anything to complain about this. Its a net positive for the city.

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On 4/16/2022 at 6:48 PM, Big E said:

If this makes one thing clear, this whole idea the TxDOT didn't work with the city and local actors at all and ignored all outside input is a fantasy, pure and simple. TxDOT have been nothing but conciliatory. At one point, they weren't even building the caps, just making the freeway able to be capped. Now they are capping it themselves. They are also putting in detention ponds, rebuilding almost every bridge crossing, and reconnecting streets. Having seen this report, I have no complaints, about this project. I don't really see anything to complain about this. Its a net positive for the city.

yep, the problem isn't how much they've been working with the downtown district. the problem is how much they haven't been working with other neighborhoods, especially when you compare that against how much they have worked with downtown. but hey, this isn't anything new, the people with deep pockets get all the attention, and everyone else gets trampled. 

it is indeed genuinely good news to hear that TXDoT has committed to building the cap.

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

yep, the problem isn't how much they've been working with the downtown district. the problem is how much they haven't been working with other neighborhoods, especially when you compare that against how much they have worked with downtown. but hey, this isn't anything new, the people with deep pockets get all the attention, and everyone else gets trampled. 

it is indeed genuinely good news to hear that TXDoT has committed to building the cap.

Before we so loosely ascribe such sinister motivations to TXDoT yet again, can we just acknowledge the possibility that this has been a YEARS-long process during which "neighborhoods," "communities," what have you, could have been organized and involved from day 1 but really didn't until the very end?  And that it may very well have taken a lot of people by surprise when the County took the legal action it did?  I ask the question again who actually did the organizing and for what motivation . . . did someone really view this as some sort of political winner?

It seems like some think TXDoT should have gone around knocking on doors and telling them all the potential "cons" of the project and inciting them to oppose it.  Just bizarre reasoning yet again, but this thread seems to attract it.  

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

Good indeed, but hardly news.  This information has been previously shared in this very thread; more than once, IIRC.

I thought I had read that somewhere, but since I couldn't provide the citation that showed it was old news, I just took it as new news, especially in the context of this document.

but hey, if everyone agrees it's old news, then I can say what I was really thinking which is: so we're all happy that the downtown management district is counting old news as a new win, and oh so proud they are 'getting things done' for the community? 

are ANY of the details they put in that document news? or just a rehash of things that have already been accomplished in part of a campaign to swing public opinion?

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22 minutes ago, samagon said:

I thought I had read that somewhere, but since I couldn't provide the citation that showed it was old news, I just took it as new news, especially in the context of this document.

but hey, if everyone agrees it's old news, then I can say what I was really thinking which is: so we're all happy that the downtown management district is counting old news as a new win, and oh so proud they are 'getting things done' for the community? 

are ANY of the details they put in that document news? or just a rehash of things that have already been accomplished in part of a campaign to swing public opinion?

Well considering the attention span of someone supposedly so well informed, can you blame them?

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

I thought I had read that somewhere, but since I couldn't provide the citation that showed it was old news, I just took it as new news, especially in the context of this document.

but hey, if everyone agrees it's old news, then I can say what I was really thinking which is: so we're all happy that the downtown management district is counting old news as a new win, and oh so proud they are 'getting things done' for the community? 

are ANY of the details they put in that document news? or just a rehash of things that have already been accomplished in part of a campaign to swing public opinion?

Did you even read the document? The portions of the meeting packet related to NHHIP are part of a letter sent by Central Houston to an investigator with the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Civil Rights. This isn't a news release "counting old news as a new win" or "part of a campaign to sway public opinion", it's the fact finding process as part of the investigation instigated by the county.

The reason it seems like news to some is because these are details conveniently left out by leaders looking to cash in on political clout at TxDOT's expense. What this document provides that is new is the side by side of how specifically TxDOT has responded to community needs and what further Central Houston wishes to secure from TxDOT.

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3 hours ago, texan said:

Did you even read the document? The portions of the meeting packet related to NHHIP are part of a letter sent by Central Houston to an investigator with the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Civil Rights. This isn't a news release "counting old news as a new win" or "part of a campaign to sway public opinion", it's the fact finding process as part of the investigation instigated by the county.

The reason it seems like news to some is because these are details conveniently left out by leaders looking to cash in on political clout at TxDOT's expense. What this document provides that is new is the side by side of how specifically TxDOT has responded to community needs and what further Central Houston wishes to secure from TxDOT.

I did go back and read it more carefully, thank you very much. the way a lot of the responses on here read definitely made it seem as though it was some bunch of new info. so point taken that you can't just read responses on this forum and presume people know what they're on about.

anyway, that aside, the CBD has been all for this project the whole time, and of course they are going to use it to point out every artifact of why it is great for the city, sure they've done some things to show that segment 3 is better than it was at the beginning, but does that show that it's a good project now, or how bad it was to begin with, and how little progress has actually been made to be better for minorities? 

for instance, do you think the FHA office of civil rights cares about the Andrews street reconnection? CBD goes on to point out the UNESCO slave route project. never mind that this particular neighborhood has been gentrified for quite some time. to me, pointing out that reconnection only solidifies how out of touch they are. 

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14 minutes ago, samagon said:

anyway, that aside, the CBD has been all for this project the whole time, and of course they are going to use it to point out every artifact of why it is great for the city, sure they've done some things to show that segment 3 is better than it was at the beginning, but does that show that it's a good project now, or how bad it was to begin with, and how little progress has actually been made to be better for minorities? 

for instance, do you think the FHA office of civil rights cares about the Andrews street reconnection? CBD goes on to point out the UNESCO slave route project. never mind that this particular neighborhood has been gentrified for quite some time. to me, pointing out that reconnection only solidifies how out of touch they are. 

I'm sorry, as a resident of Fourth Ward, first of all, what exactly are you saying?  That Andrews St should not be reconnected because it is now gentrified?  

And, that in order for you to support this project, it was required to cure decades of ills from when it was originally built?

Seriously, how else to interpret that statement, other than, "Sammy no likey freeways?" which has been the only consistent part of your shtick since day 1?

Consider this very real possibility . . . the list of actual affected residents who are actively, actively protesting are very small.  And maybe the ones who are protesting it are doing it only because they've been told they could get something more out of it (e.g., higher relocation allowance, preference in subsidized housing, etc . . . more power to them BTW!) and many may not have a problem with the freeway itself?  Dare I suggest that you're the one who risks being entirely presumptuous about proclaiming what the neighborhoods want?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . you just don't strike me as a very serious person.  From the beginning, the only way you would have been "onboard" with this project is if TXDoT "listened the community," and need I point out to you that "consult the community" to you seems to be synonymous with not building it?  I know you won't answer, but do you seriously not see the contortions in your logic? 

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42 minutes ago, samagon said:

I did go back and read it more carefully, thank you very much. the way a lot of the responses on here read definitely made it seem as though it was some bunch of new info. so point taken that you can't just read responses on this forum and presume people know what they're on about.

anyway, that aside, the CBD has been all for this project the whole time, and of course they are going to use it to point out every artifact of why it is great for the city, sure they've done some things to show that segment 3 is better than it was at the beginning, but does that show that it's a good project now, or how bad it was to begin with, and how little progress has actually been made to be better for minorities? 

for instance, do you think the FHA office of civil rights cares about the Andrews street reconnection? CBD goes on to point out the UNESCO slave route project. never mind that this particular neighborhood has been gentrified for quite some time. to me, pointing out that reconnection only solidifies how out of touch they are. 

Exhibit 1 states the suggestions to move 45 to the East and trench the entire thing came from Central Houston which arose out of community concerns. The trenching specifically benefits Third Ward (historically African-American) and East End (historically Hispanic). Additionally, the Four Corners Park would be a union point for these two neighborhoods with downtown and midtown. That park along with the EaDo cap park is a direct benefit for these communities.

Exhibit 2 states Central Houston got TxDOT to pay for the cap. That brings the timeline for the cap park forward by a number of years since it eliminates a major funding hurdle for the city. Major benefit for EaDo/East End.

Exhibit 4 states Central Houston got TxDOT to commit to building extra wide bridges to accommodate garden bridges. These will be placed in Third Ward, EaDo, and Fifth Ward. These allow for comfortable pedestrian and cyclist access between the communities and with downtown and midtown. That's a direct benefit, especially for individuals in those communities who may not own a car.

Exhibit 8 highlights TxDOT's accommodation of the green loop which will go through EaDo and Third Ward. This is a direct benefit.

Parks and connectivity do improve the lives of all whom they benefit. 

And yes, I do think the Andrews St reconnection is important. That's one of the few instances in America of physically fixing racial divides caused by the interstate system. A DoT administration that talks about the structural racism built into the interstate system should very highly value an opportunity to undo even a small piece of it. Additionally, physically connecting Antioch with the African-American institutions across I-45 does benefit the African-American community due to better access between them.

 

Attached are sheets from TxDOT that show their view of the benefits provided to the traditionally minority communities of Third Ward, EaDo, Fifth Ward, and Independence Heights (assume this is what you mean by "been made better for minorities"). 

Third Ward:

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/i-45-nhhip-direct-community-benefits-third-ward.pdf

EaDo:

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/i-45-nhhip-direct-community-benefits-east-dowtown-eado.pdf

Fifth Ward:

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/i-45-nhhip-direct-community-benefits-fifth-ward.pdf

Independence Heights:

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/i-45-nhhip-direct-community-benefits-independence-heights.pdf

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After looking at the presentation, I'm relived by what I see.  This could have gone very bad, but as it is — it's fine.  It's not spectacular, but it's far better than a lot of freeway trenches and caps that were poorly executed in other cities (*cough*Cincinnati*cough*).

I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges.  They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway.  And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully.  Meaning, not at all.

That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city.  Now they're an embarrassment.

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4 minutes ago, editor said:

After looking at the presentation, I'm relived by what I see.  This could have gone very bad, but as it is — it's fine.  It's not spectacular, but it's far better than a lot of freeway trenches and caps that were poorly executed in other cities (*cough*Cincinnati*cough*).

I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges.  They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway.  And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully.  Meaning, not at all.

That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city.  Now they're an embarrassment.

I hear there's gonna be a cool signature bridge over Buffalo Bayou.

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2 hours ago, editor said:

After looking at the presentation, I'm relived by what I see.  This could have gone very bad, but as it is — it's fine.  It's not spectacular, but it's far better than a lot of freeway trenches and caps that were poorly executed in other cities (*cough*Cincinnati*cough*).

I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges.  They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway.  And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully.  Meaning, not at all.

That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city.  Now they're an embarrassment.

We just need a Super Bowl here every 5 years

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18 hours ago, editor said:

After looking at the presentation, I'm relived by what I see.  This could have gone very bad, but as it is — it's fine.  It's not spectacular, but it's far better than a lot of freeway trenches and caps that were poorly executed in other cities (*cough*Cincinnati*cough*).

I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges.  They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway.  And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully.  Meaning, not at all.

That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city.  Now they're an embarrassment.

@editorcan you enlighten on the reference to Cincinnati?  The Fort Washington Way?

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6 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

@editorcan you enlighten on the reference to Cincinnati?  The Fort Washington Way?

Yeah, Fort Washington Way.  For those of you who don't know it, it's the trenched highway that separates downtown Cincinnati from the riverfront. 

When American cities started embracing their waterfronts, Cincinnati was on board early.  Coincidentally, it was already planning to de-tangle the I-71, I-75, US-50 mess downtown, and rebuilding Fort Washington Way was going to kill two birds with one stone. 

The plans that I saw when I lived there were that it would be capped with a six-block-long park that would seamlessly integrate downtown with the riverfront.  That, plus a pair of new stadia would reinvigorate the whole area.

It didn't happen.

They trenched the freeway and then just re-build the existing street grid.  I've walked between downtown and the riverfront a bunch of times, and it's just not pleasant.  The National Underground Railroad Museum was actually supposed to be part of the cap over the freeway.  It ended up next to it. 

Cities don't get big opportunities like this very often.  Usually only a few times a generation.  Cinti blew it with this one.

Screen Shot 2022-04-21 at 5.52.22 PM.png

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3 hours ago, editor said:

Yeah, Fort Washington Way.  For those of you who don't know it, it's the trenched highway that separates downtown Cincinnati from the riverfront. 

When American cities started embracing their waterfronts, Cincinnati was on board early.  Coincidentally, it was already planning to de-tangle the I-71, I-75, US-50 mess downtown, and rebuilding Fort Washington Way was going to kill two birds with one stone. 

The plans that I saw when I lived there were that it would be capped with a six-block-long park that would seamlessly integrate downtown with the riverfront.  That, plus a pair of new stadia would reinvigorate the whole area.

It didn't happen.

They trenched the freeway and then just re-build the existing street grid.  I've walked between downtown and the riverfront a bunch of times, and it's just not pleasant.  The National Underground Railroad Museum was actually supposed to be part of the cap over the freeway.  It ended up next to it. 

Cities don't get big opportunities like this very often.  Usually only a few times a generation.  Cinti blew it with this one.

Screen Shot 2022-04-21 at 5.52.22 PM.png

Much appreciated @editor, not something I had read about

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6 hours ago, kennyc05 said:

Reading different articles I think they still have plans to eventually cap it one day.

From your mouth to God's ears.  But it's been almost 30 years.  There's now an entire new generation of people running things in Cincinnati who have no idea this was the plan. 

Just like my generation didn't know that Cincinnati has a subway that was going to be reactivated "some day."  According to Wikipedia, it's currently the largest abandoned tunnel system in America.

The generation before mine forgot that the conversion of Central Parkway from a canal to a boulevard was supposed to be temporary, and that Central Parkway was supposed to be re-trenched and re-connected to Mill Creek.

This is why you can't build things for "some day."  There are at least a dozen skyscrapers in downtown Chicago (oh God, please stop talking about Chicago) that were not fully completed.  They were designed for a particular height, but only got so far before someone decided "that's good enough" and "we'll finish it some day." 

Some day almost never comes.

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27 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

WOW they are going to build a divider wall inbetween? To prevent the rubber necking of a wreck on the opposite side? Meaning there could be a fender bender traffic on the opposing side wouldn't have a clue?

Do it on every freeway TXDOT. 

Here's a semi-stupid idea: Make one side water-resistant.  Then install pumps to move the water from the outbound lanes into the inbound trench, so that people can still evacuate during flooding.

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5 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

WOW they are going to build a divider wall inbetween? To prevent the rubber necking of a wreck on the opposite side? Meaning there could be a fender bender traffic on the opposing side wouldn't have a clue?

Do it on every freeway TXDOT. 

Also, it'll keep you from getting blinded by the jacked up brodozers' headlights. :ph34r:

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9 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

WOW they are going to build a divider wall inbetween? To prevent the rubber necking of a wreck on the opposite side? Meaning there could be a fender bender traffic on the opposing side wouldn't have a clue?

Do it on every freeway TXDOT. 

Some of the highways in other states now have 6' high median barriers. The new I-10 construction in Louisiana has these. Not only do you not see wrecks on the other side unless you drive a high vehicle, the glare from opposing traffic's headlights doesn't mess with you anymore. That is the best reason for high walls.

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1 hour ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

Some of the highways in other states now have 6' high median barriers. The new I-10 construction in Louisiana has these. Not only do you not see wrecks on the other side unless you drive a high vehicle, the glare from opposing traffic's headlights doesn't mess with you anymore. That is the best reason for high walls.

I notice Atlanta has high walls as well!

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6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

This is the most exciting thing I've seen on HAIF in years.

 

I am going to remain skeptical until it actually happens. I figure I might have 20 years left. I'll be shocked if those cap parks happen before then.

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20 hours ago, Ross said:

I am going to remain skeptical until it actually happens. I figure I might have 20 years left. I'll be shocked if those cap parks happen before then.

I'll be shocked if they can get the lighting on the bridges to work.

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6 hours ago, august948 said:

You and me both.  😃

it's even worse than that.... *I* am wondering why those damned things don't work.

but I know why... it was built by the lowest bidder using cheap chinese garbage led strips and controllers instead of the good stuff which is manufactured out here in the middle of nowhere Ft Bend County....  Plus, the installer probably doesn't have a maintenance contract with the City...

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12 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

it's even worse than that.... *I* am wondering why those damned things don't work.

but I know why... it was built by the lowest bidder using cheap chinese garbage led strips and controllers instead of the good stuff which is manufactured out here in the middle of nowhere Ft Bend County....  Plus, the installer probably doesn't have a maintenance contract with the City...

Apparently the installer indeed does not have a maintenance contract with the city (or with anyone else).  The bridge lighting issue is a side effect of the problems with the Montrose Management District, which was disbanded several years ago.  Montrose Management District was responsible for the lighting, including its maintenance.  Montrose Management no longer exists, so there is no one to maintain the lighting.

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On 4/20/2022 at 4:33 PM, editor said:

I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges.  They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway.  And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully.  Meaning, not at all.

That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city.  Now they're an embarrassment.

Couldn't possibly agree more. It's horrible.

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:28 AM, Montrose1100 said:

WOW they are going to build a divider wall in between?

 

Do it on every freeway TXDOT. 

Driving up 59 inside the beltway was a surprise for me - THEY EXTENDED THE HEIGHT OF THE MEDIAN BARRIER!! You can't see opposing traffic anymore if your car is low (like mine). So far, they have done between the Beltway and halfway between Bellaire and Hillcroft.

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2 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

Driving up 59 inside the beltway was a surprise for me - THEY EXTENDED THE HEIGHT OF THE MEDIAN BARRIER!! You can't see opposing traffic anymore if your car is low (like mine). So far, they have done between the Beltway and halfway between Bellaire and Hillcroft.

I don't understand why they won't raise the barriers between the feeder roads and freeway.

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On 4/15/2022 at 9:25 PM, texan said:

http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Board-Book-FINAL-3.8.22.pdf

Plenty of red meat here for y'all to argue about. For what it's worth, I did genuinely find this informative and very fair in terms of how well TxDOT is working with Central Houston and how they are actually open to negotiation/changes. Very different from the story given in the media.

http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Board-Book-4-12-22.pdf

Cost information has been added to the original document packet sent to the FHWA. Additionally, two more exhibits were added that discuss the future of Pierce Elevated and effects on parks on the west side of downtown. 

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