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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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11 hours ago, samagon said:

if you can't see how that post is directly relevant to what that poster said, I really don't know what to say, maybe read it again?

It wasn't relevant. It had nothing at all to do with what was being discussed regarding government bureaucracy and how long this project was taking to manifest, which was actually an interesting discussion. Many of your statements aren't relevant, in fact. Mostly they are retreading old arguments and statements that have already been trodden to death in this thread, or dis-proven by relevant information since provided.

 

11 hours ago, samagon said:

at the end of the day, you have your opinion on my response linked above, and I will respect you by placing as much value on your opinion as you place on mine. 

Opinions are like anuses: everybody's got'em. Yours ain't special and isn't worthy of any special deference or consideration. Opinions can be weighed like everything else. You having an opinion is not an excuse to be factually wrong or to wave it around in people's faces ad nauseum.

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1 hour ago, Big E said:

It wasn't relevant. It had nothing at all to do with what was being discussed regarding government bureaucracy and how long this project was taking to manifest, which was actually an interesting discussion. Many of your statements aren't relevant, in fact. Mostly they are retreading old arguments and statements that have already been trodden to death in this thread, or dis-proven by relevant information since provided.

 

Opinions are like anuses: everybody's got'em. Yours ain't special and isn't worthy of any special deference or consideration. Opinions can be weighed like everything else. You having an opinion is not an excuse to be factually wrong or to wave it around in people's faces ad nauseum.

Wow, your surfeit of personal attacks is disgusting. Must suck to be at a party with you telling everyone their opinions don't matter. Nothing you've written advances the conversation at all, since all you do is tell people how much they suck. So, essentially, why don't you just be quiet and let the adults keep talking?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Big E said:

It wasn't relevant. It had nothing at all to do with what was being discussed regarding government bureaucracy and how long this project was taking to manifest, which was actually an interesting discussion. Many of your statements aren't relevant, in fact. Mostly they are retreading old arguments and statements that have already been trodden to death in this thread, or dis-proven by relevant information since provided.

 

Opinions are like anuses: everybody's got'em. Yours ain't special and isn't worthy of any special deference or consideration. Opinions can be weighed like everything else. You having an opinion is not an excuse to be factually wrong or to wave it around in people's faces ad nauseum.

AMEN

@samagon

“but to suggest that I don't care about the issues of the other communities that are negatively impacted, or that I am simply using them towards my own evil ends? 

it is very easy for me to be empathetic to their issues, because I will experience some of the same issues they do related to this project.”

I define my opposition to this project, not based on the substance, but rather that I have realized that others—you know, ahem, the less unfortunate types—may be inconvenienced like me.

Not, “way more than I,” not “I’m lucky to not be inconvenienced as much as others,” not “Oh, I’m so concerned about my beloved Near Northside that I know and love and went to at least once in the last 20 years” (I mean, plenty of allusions to people being ripped from their homes and their lifelong neighborhood), but, at the end of the day, an implicit admission “It’s inconvenient for me and, if it’s inconvenient for me, surely I can rely on someone else’s real inconveniences to achieve a political end.”

The above is a textbook, yet admittedly modern, example of NIMBYISM.

You know the one thing missing in all of this commentary? 

Comments from the people actually affected.

There’s been a hell of a lot of speculation … and plenty of people (including I) … here’s the thing … I’m actually sensitive to it … but I actually don’t think there is any real opposition. I’m sure people want to be treated more fairly, but c’mon, in an MSA of 7 million people we can’t find a way to make the not even 10% of not even 10,000 people affected without true compensation (if that even is the REAL argument) whole? This City put men on the moon! I’m sure we can come up with a great solution! I mean, if the City came to me and said, “Matty, we need your help to build a new sewer line and it just so happens your house is where the exhaust line needs to be and you need to move,” before we got to “we can do this one way or the other,” I’m sure we could have come to an agreement under tried-and-true federal law, and, at the end of the day, I’d be better off. (And, forgive me if I am being insensitive, but if I lived in an apartment, I sure as hell wouldn’t expect any say in the matter, and I doubt many apartment dwellers would either, especially not in Houston, Texas. I’d certainly be happy to get a check for a year’s rent and moving expenses, though.)

(Do we have to let @samagon drive a freeway through The Woodlands so he feels “justice”? Cuz that’d be old school freeway building.)

Edited by mattyt36
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ross said:

Wow, your surfeit of personal attacks is disgusting. Must suck to be at a party with you telling everyone their opinions don't matter. Nothing you've written advances the conversation at all, since all you do is tell people how much they suck. So, essentially, why don't you just be quiet and let the adults keep talking?

Pointing out inconsistencies in logic or rehashing what’s been proven wrong time and time again is not a “personal attack.”

And Ross, man, c’mon, I mean I agree with you 90% of the time, but this isn’t “adults talking,” unless it’s some over 60s mah jong club where the ante is bellyaching about the yesteryears.
 

It’s a discussion forum. People have different opinions, as you’ve noticed. If you, for example, keep on going on and on about how you don’t believe the cap park won’t be built, well for the love of God, someone who cares so much about “opinions” should certainly be able to appreciate when people point out all the reasons why, while there may not be a contract with dried ink, it’s more likely than not that it WILL be built ... and we provide way more evidence of that than you ever have to the contrary. Surely you must realize there’s a difference between stating an opinion and stating an opinion and backing it up with at least an ATTEMPT at providing a shred of evidence. To me, THAT is the difference between an adult conversation and one between children.

So, by your own darned standard, stop “attacking” us for pointing stuff like this out. You get to tell us time and time you again you “just don’t feel like it’ll be built” because you’ve somehow determined in a way that you can’t explain that TxDoT “doesn’t have the money,” and regardless, you’ll “be dead anyway” (which is an accurate paraphrase of almost everyone of your posts on this very subject … your words, not mine) … so give us the license to at least try to argue with something other than our feelings.

Edited by mattyt36
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I've been following this project for many years now, spending countless hours poring over the schematic maps, and many, many, many hours skimming the EIS (hundreds and hundreds of pages).  It's just something that has been of big interest to me because it will affect so much in this city for decades to come, and because I spend a lot of time in or near the downtown area.  And I say this even as someone who almost never drives on IH-45 (I think I haven't even driven on it all year so far!).

It's certainly not perfect, but there's a lot of good in this project.  Yes, some people will have changes forced upon them that they won't like, but they will be compensated, and that is the price of progress.  I'm a regular rider of METRO buses and rail, and I am particularly excited about this project adding multiple bidirectional HOV (or potentially HOT) lanes to greatly improve the reliability of bus service along the corridor.  This project also will be tightly coupled to the BRT lines that METRO will be building, especially the one to IAH.  IH-45 is one of the most dangerous interstate highways around, and this project goes a long way to improving safety on the Houston portion of it, by adding or widening shoulders, reconfiguring ramps to minimize weaving, and more.  Induced demand is a real thing, and people use that as an excuse to fight this project, but in reality, very little is being done to add extra lanes for regular traffic -- most of the route will either have the same number of regular (non-high-occupancy) lanes in each direction or just one more.  Everyone knows that traffic will never actually get faster long-term, but at the same time it's true the new road will allow more people to travel on it every day.

A lot of attention is being paid to flood mitigation, too, so this project should mean fewer problems due to flooding, not more.  And the replacement of a number of low bridges should mean a huge reduction in the number of incidents of trucks hitting bridges and shutting down the freeway for hours.  The trenched roadways in Segment 3 along with caps (upon which parks will hopefully -- and quite likely -- be funded) will greatly reduce the psychological barriers that were created when these highways were first built.  There are a couple places where bridges crossing the freeways will be lost, but they will be more than made up for by improved crossings elsewhere.  The barriers between Fourth Ward and Downtown, between Midtown and Downtown, between East Downtown and Downtown, and between Midtown and the Museum District will all be reduced compared to now.  The barriers in Segments 1 and 2 will admittedly be essentially unchanged, though.

Great attention, particularly on the side opposing this project, is being paid to the apartment residents (particularly in subsidized, low-income housing) who will be displaced by this project.  But many of them have actually already been displaced or will be displaced regardless of whether this project goes through, and the new housing provided for them will be better quality and not far away from what they have now.  And all the land being acquired is right along the freeway already -- it's not like neighborhoods are being split up to build this (unlike what was shamefully done when these freeways were first built).

I do think there are things that still need to be addressed.  A very long list of requests have been made for improvements (posted earlier in this thread), and it does seem TxDOT and other parties are intending to incorporate many of them into the project.  Many of them are good ideas and are feasible.  But somehow this has been translated by some into a desire to stop the project entirely.  A big one from the list that I would personally like to see is the proposed re-routing of the UPRR near downtown.  The former "Be Someone" bridge will have to be rebuilt for this project anyway, and the North Canal project (not a part of this project but still intertwined) affects the rail route too, so by using a slightly different alignment and acquiring a little right-of-way, the barriers in the Warehouse District and the West End will be greatly minimized with the removal of tracks.  Again, I don't live in either of those neighborhoods, but I can see how it will benefit them.

However, and this is the real cause of my frustration leading me to making this post, because I am not opposed to this project, I have been variously accused (mostly on reddit, admittedly) of working for (or even owning) a construction company, working for TxDOT, and working for other Houston organizations interested in making this happen.  None of that is true.  It seems many of those who are opposed to the project just default to calling anyone in favor a "shill" and don't seem to believe anyone could be in favor without being financially vested in it.  It's so frustrating that people can't speak positively of this project without receiving personal attacks.  And the reasons they give for opposition are almost always disproven by things written in places like the EIS, or else just speculation with nothing to back it.  Yes, as with anything infrastructure-related, this is a tremendously expensive project, which is one of the few remotely valid reasons to be opposed to it, but the more it gets delayed, the more it's going to cost.  Regardless, something has to be done about the highways involved, and nobody has yet presented any better alternatives.  The evolution of the design over the decade of so of presentations has shown a lot of improvement, and overall I think it's very clear the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Any name-calling or unjustified attacks between people on both sides of this debate need to stop.  Instead we should just look at the facts as they are now.  Not things that happened in the past and can't be changed, not things that will happen regardless, but things that will happen if this project goes through and won't happen if it does not.  Look at the EIS and other sources of real information, not speculation, and then we can talk.

TL;DR: stop fighting, look at the facts

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On 5/23/2022 at 6:48 AM, Ross said:

What's your point? Many folks could not care less about the money. They want to stay in the neighborhood and home they've lived in for many years. There are other reasons as well - a friend got eminent domained by a gas pipeline that now runs across his ranch. He didn't want the money, and would have preferred to keep the trees as opposed to the 60 foot wide clear cut path across the West end of his property. In other words, it ain't all about the money for a lot of people.

In my experience, most people in this situation care greatly about money. It's usually the most important thing. We are talking about primarily taking out a single row of houses adjacent to the feeder road. These are not choice places to live today. Most are probably not owner occupied. Both landowners and tenants get money. Sometimes tenants get very significant money in relocation funds. In short, for the few unfortunate folks who lose their homes, those homes are almost all literally on the feeder road. In the end, these folks should receive enough compensation to buy a replacement home in the same neighborhood that is not on the feeder road and still have money left over. I would take that deal any day of the week. 

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21 hours ago, Ross said:

Wow, your surfeit of personal attacks is disgusting.

Were was the personal attack? Did I insult the man's mother? At worst, I did what Samagon claims to do; stated my opinions. Not sure how I could personally attack someone I don't know and have never met.

 

21 hours ago, Ross said:

Must suck to be at a party with you telling everyone their opinions don't matter.

The fact of the matter is, most opinions don't matter in most situations. Yes, that includes mine. And when opinions cross the line into assertions, well, assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. An opinion is only objectively useful if its informed; as in, based on factual evidence. Otherwise its of no use to anyone but the person asserting it.

 

22 hours ago, Ross said:

Nothing you've written advances the conversation at all, since all you do is tell people how much they suck.

If all you've gleaned from everything I've ever wrote in this thread is that I tell people "how much they suck", then you have not read anything I've actually wrote very stringently. Its not even a surface level reading, its just off base.

 

22 hours ago, Ross said:

So, essentially, why don't you just be quiet and let the adults keep talking?

Why do all you guys feel the need to be petulant and patronizing? For all you know, I'm older than you. Are you Samagon's spouse or something? Is there any particular reason you feel the need to white knight for him? He or she seems perfectly capable of speaking for themself.

 

6 hours ago, rechlin said:

Induced demand

You know, and this isn't directed at you specifically @rechlin but I feel the need to go on a tangent here, I hate the term induced demand. Like the freeway is magically making people drive more or conjuring cars out of thin air. Its not induced demand, its existing demand that's finally being met. Contrary to the theory of induced demand, cars don't just conjure themselves out of thin air to use new or improved roadways, won't just disappear if you get rid of it (yes, some people actually argue this). The cars always existed. They just took alternate routes that were probably longer routes to their destination. This newer route is shorter and more direct to where they want to go, so people take the newer route, because "the shortest way between two points is a straight line". These may even be people who took the old highway (if the improved route already existed) in the past, stopped because it took too long and started taking other highways, and now are returning hoping the new roadway will be "faster". Its not induced demand, its latent demand. People already drive everywhere in Houston, so the new I-45 will not make them drive more. And even if it did, even if induced demand was a thing, so what. Freeways are literally the only form of transportation that people criticized for being used according to its purpose. More people are using a newly widened freeway? Good! Its doing its job. If a freeway was expanded and traffic counts actually dropped off a cliff afterward, we would call that highway a boondoggle and say it was unnecessary. The entire concept behind induced demand is flawed. We want people to use the infrastructure we build. What urban planners should be doing is trying to figure out why just building a light rail network or bus network doesn't automatically "induce" people to ride them, causing many of America's metro systems to run into the red and risk bankrupting themselves.

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2 hours ago, Big E said:

Contrary to the theory of induced demand, cars don't just conjure themselves out of thin air to use new or improved roadways, won't just disappear if you get rid of it (yes, some people actually argue this).

If the widening or creation of a freeway makes people more comfortable with moving farther out, that means they will be driving more miles, using more freeway capacity, than they would otherwise have.  That is induced demand.  The danger here is that it encourages sprawl, which is the opposite of what we want in a modern city.  As you acknowledge, I wasn't using that as a reason to oppose this project, because I don't think induced demand is a major factor with this particular project, but it is still a real thing that we should be aware of.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, rechlin said:

If the widening or creation of a freeway makes people more comfortable with moving farther out, that means they will be driving more miles, using more freeway capacity, than they would otherwise have.  That is induced demand.  The danger here is that it encourages sprawl, which is the opposite of what we want in a modern city.  As you acknowledge, I wasn't using that as a reason to oppose this project, because I don't think induced demand is a major factor with this particular project, but it is still a real thing that we should be aware of.

Is this even true, though? I certainly get it conceptually, but to a fault I don’t meet anyone who actually really “wants” to live in, say, Willis. There’s always a long list of reasons that describe why they compromised to live there. Most people would much rather live in The Woodlands if they “could afford it.”

Sure, NHHIP will decrease transportation costs at the margin, but I see the ever-pushing northward suburbs less a function of freeways than a reflection of what an employment center The Woodlands has become and just the fact that whatever constitutes “affordable” real estate at the time is whatever is the newest construction the next exit north. I honestly find it difficult to argue that the NHHIP will increase sprawl. Grand Parkway, sure. NHHIP, not so much. New Waverly will inevitably become the next Willis and Huntsville the next Conroe. (I’m not going to transfer my living preferences on to others by telling them where they can or can’t live … mainly cuz it’s a false choice … you just can’t.) To me, the real question is whether you want at least a good chunk of the jobs downtown or a massive exodus north such that The Woodlands becomes Frisco and Houston becomes Dallas and Madisonville becomes Conroe. To me, that is the other side of the sprawl calculus.
 

But, I wholly admit I could be wrong!

Edited by mattyt36
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2 hours ago, rechlin said:

If the widening or creation of a freeway makes people more comfortable with moving farther out, that means they will be driving more miles, using more freeway capacity, than they would otherwise have.  That is induced demand.  The danger here is that it encourages sprawl, which is the opposite of what we want in a modern city.  As you acknowledge, I wasn't using that as a reason to oppose this project, because I don't think induced demand is a major factor with this particular project, but it is still a real thing that we should be aware of.

A whole lot of factors determine where somebody lives. It usually has more to do with things like affordability and amenities. And, of course, how close they are to their work. I'm not sure how many people, for instance, want to live all the way in Conroe or Huntsville to commute to downtown Houston, no matter how many lanes 45 has. Houston sprawls because land is plentiful and cheap, thus there is no incentive to crowd into existing neighborhoods, even though there are no traditional limits to development in most neighborhoods, like zoning. As long as Houston continues to grow, it will continue to sprawl outward. What differentiates Houston from other cities in America is that it is both sprawling and densifying, with visible signs of denser development inside the loop. But we are far beyond the whole "freeways encourage sprawl" idea. The freeways, and sprawl, are already here. More than a million people are expected to move west of Houston within the next decade. That was going to happen whether 1-10 and the Northwest Freeway were rebuilt or not. But now they are actually able to handle that growth. Induced demand is a chicken or the egg argument; what comes first, the expanding development or the freeway? Suburbs aren't a uniquely American phenomenon and poorer cities in the third world that lack extensive freeway networks can be pretty sprawling. Sprawl is a factor of radical human growth.

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11 hours ago, sapo2367 said:

In non flame war related news, they are boarding up the former lofts at the ballpark apartment complex. The streets are also blocked off. I’m assuming they are working towards demolishing the buildings. 

8F11BFA8-7A54-4AEB-AD76-150DBE9111FA.jpeg

OMG … PROGRESS!!!! 😢

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1 hour ago, Andrew Ewert said:

Is it going to be the whole complex? I thought it was just the one building West of St. Emanuel but it looks like I was wrong.

Yes all three blocks as well as the interior roads are currently blocked off. 

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On 6/3/2022 at 2:51 PM, mfastx said:

Let me guess.. gonna be replaced with a fresh parking lot. Smh. 

It will probably stay clear until they get the go-ahead to proceed with the actual freeway project.

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On 6/3/2022 at 2:51 PM, mfastx said:

Let me guess.. gonna be replaced with a fresh parking lot. Smh. 

What else would you do with it while waiting for road construction to proceed?

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On 6/5/2022 at 9:08 AM, Ross said:

What else would you do with it while waiting for road construction to proceed?

I'd keep the buildings there and occupied until it actually proceeds. 

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1 hour ago, mfastx said:

I'd keep the buildings there and occupied until it actually proceeds. 

That's actually a better idea, but given the difficulty in getting all the tenants out in time, it is probably simpler to demo it now. Plus, the owner almost certainly took the money and ran. TxDOT should never be in a position to act as a landlord for a large apartment building. TxDOT has enough trouble doing it's own job consistently well.

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

That's actually a better idea, but given the difficulty in getting all the tenants out in time, it is probably simpler to demo it now. Plus, the owner almost certainly took the money and ran. TxDOT should never be in a position to act as a landlord for a large apartment building. TxDOT has enough trouble doing it's own job consistently well.

Potentially dumb question but could the transaction not have been structured either as (1) as a contract for a purchase at a later date; or (2) TxDOT owning the property and hiring a property manager?  I guess of the two, (2) would be more problematic for the reasons you state and other, more practical ones, but either would allow the property to continue producing income, which would have the effect of reducing the effective purchase price.

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I have no idea why they did the website switch, because the new txdot.gov/nhhip.html site is a convoluted mess, which requires way too much clicking and scrolling, compared to the much more friendly ih45northandmore.com site.

Fortunately, it does seem most/all of the old information is still on the new site, even if it's not easy to find.  Just go here and click "Show All" below "Newsletters" and you can find the documents:

https://www.txdot.gov/nhhip/updates.html

If you still want to use the old site, it's on the Wayback Machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220120064733/http://www.ih45northandmore.com/

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On 5/17/2022 at 11:24 AM, mattyt36 said:

This thread is full of nakedly disingenuous arguments made by @samagon, none of which he actually engages on.  So many places to start . . .

 

Please talk about issues, not people.  I don't want this to devolve into personal attacks.

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Sounds like they want to get the Wheeler station area out of the way first. That’s good, since it’ll probably coincide well with the opening of the University Line. The Wheeler station re-do is something I’m very interested in. 

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4 hours ago, Amlaham said:

Estimated start date is by the end of this year?! AND they're going to start by trenching the elevated portion of i59 in Midtown/ Museum District?!981374773_ScreenShot2022-06-12at4_38_55PM.png.c3248f7913f95ffadfec101296d73e76.png

Even though that Metro document is recent, it is not consistent with recent information from TxDOT and H-GAC.

TxDOT published this update on May 26

https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2022/0526/7c.pdf

The project remains on hold by FHWA, and TxDOT is authorized for limited pre-construction work on sections 3A, 3B and 3C. See page 5 of document above. If the FHWA hold is released this month (which appears unlikely), earliest possible starts are

3A: 2024 (not 2023 shown in the Metro document)
3B: 2025 (not 2024 shown in the Metro document)

According to the recent H-GAC STIP update (link below), these are the ONLY projects scheduled to start before 2026. All other work is removed from the STIP (which covers four fiscal years 2023-2026), see page 15. In a presentation that was given for the STIP (but I can't find online), they mentioned that the next project after 3A and 3B would be 3C1 (Interchange at I-45 and I-10 northwest side of downtown), with the earliest possible start in 2028.

https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/d4768bd3-bd75-45a9-a512-fe477354c952/PDF-of-FY-2023-2026-TIP-Project-List-Public-comment

As long as the FHWA hold in in place, the delays will become longer. The only work that might begin construction within 5 years is I-69 in midtown.

Edited by MaxConcrete
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On 6/13/2022 at 6:43 PM, freundb said:

We should start a pool and make guesses on when the project will start (or finish). At this point I feel like I'll be able to vacation on the moon before I drive on this. 

It's scheduled to be completed right after the Trans Texas Corridor.

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Houston and Dally won the world cup bid for 2026. If I'm those cities I have an honest conversation with TxDot about what they can finish before the WC comes, for any portion of their highway proposals that already have the greenlight [so for Houston, only the midtown 59 part?]. Dally has a highway TxDot wants to entrench now too, the one by Deep Ellum, i think its i-345. 

The Dallas one won't be as bad since the main airport is on the west side and so i-345 won't be used by travelers to Dally or Jerryworld/Arlington. Still wouldn't want my city to have a gaping hole in it next to a major entertainment district [deep ellum]. Houston just can't tolerate a disruption to the redline during the WC. It was basically built for this moment. So they better get to work on entrenching that highway later this year or...😬

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15 hours ago, freundb said:

The most reasonable thing we can hope for before the World Cup is the lighting fixed on the I69 bridges. Completing road construction by then is a stretch.

Its so true, lol. Which is wild because so many other countries that get infected by the FIFA curse get so much construction done, meanwhile we're like "yeah, dunno if burying a short stretch of highway can be done in three and a half years." 

 

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9 minutes ago, X.R. said:

Its so true, lol. Which is wild because so many other countries that get infected by the FIFA curse get so much construction done, meanwhile we're like "yeah, dunno if burying a short stretch of highway can be done in three and a half years." 

 

That section should be well into construction, but because of the plodding, incompetent federal government, construction is still apparently a year or more away.

Send complaints/suggestions to:

Pete Buttigieg

U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590

cc:  Sheila Jackson Lee -- 1919 Smith Street, Suite 1180, Houston, TX 77002

Edited by Houston19514
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On 6/12/2022 at 8:44 PM, MaxConcrete said:

Even though that Metro document is recent, it is not consistent with recent information from TxDOT and H-GAC.

TxDOT published this update on May 26

https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2022/0526/7c.pdf

The project remains on hold by FHWA, and TxDOT is authorized for limited pre-construction work on sections 3A, 3B and 3C. See page 5 of document above. If the FHWA hold is released this month (which appears unlikely), earliest possible starts are

3A: 2024 (not 2023 shown in the Metro document)
3B: 2025 (not 2024 shown in the Metro document)

According to the recent H-GAC STIP update (link below), these are the ONLY projects scheduled to start before 2026. All other work is removed from the STIP (which covers four fiscal years 2023-2026), see page 15. In a presentation that was given for the STIP (but I can't find online), they mentioned that the next project after 3A and 3B would be 3C1 (Interchange at I-45 and I-10 northwest side of downtown), with the earliest possible start in 2028.

https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/d4768bd3-bd75-45a9-a512-fe477354c952/PDF-of-FY-2023-2026-TIP-Project-List-Public-comment

As long as the FHWA hold in in place, the delays will become longer. The only work that might begin construction within 5 years is I-69 in midtown.

Wow. What a kibosh they put on this. I'm not even going to say who. Everybody knows who.

 

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On 6/17/2022 at 2:43 PM, Houston19514 said:

LOL   She certainly had a hand in it and bears responsibility.  

As far as I can tell, this all originated with the Harris County lawsuit against the State after Mayor Turner tried very much to intervene between the two. The DoT may have taken the wrong side, and that’s certainly their fault, but it does seem to have been the product of the hyperbolic rhetoric about the community opposition and romantic ideas about Jane Jacobs and Babs Mikulski and stopping 1960s highway projects as some sort of larger political movement. Lina overplayed her hand in a big, big way by not knowing the majority of her constituents and digging the hole so unnecessarily deep. I’ll still vote for her since she doesn’t give me the full-on Leni Reifenstahl vibes, but I hope she will treat this as a “learning experience.”

Bringing Biden into this is more than a bit laughable, and I’ll keep that one in the memory bank when it comes to gauging credibility in the future.

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17 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

If anyone had to guess do you think the rebuild will be built as is with the current plans?

I'm sure there will be modifications--I believe that's what's being negotiated right now in connection with the original lawsuit, which I don't believe has been dismissed or fully settled (correct me if I'm wrong).  The first agreement was on proceeding with more preliminary work for the downtown segments.

Seems like of the 4 involved entities--the City, the County, the State, and the federal government--the City presented a compromise plan before the DoT halted spending with slight modifications that is probably the path forward.

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1 hour ago, mattyt36 said:

As far as I can tell, this all originated with the Harris County lawsuit against the State after Mayor Turner tried very much to intervene between the two. The DoT may have taken the wrong side, and that’s certainly their fault, but it does seem to have been the product of the hyperbolic rhetoric about the community opposition and romantic ideas about Jane Jacobs and Babs Mikulski and stopping 1960s highway projects as some sort of larger political movement. Lina overplayed her hand in a big, big way by not knowing the majority of her constituents and digging the hole so unnecessarily deep. I’ll still vote for her since she doesn’t give me the full-on Leni Reifenstahl vibes, but I hope she will treat this as a “learning experience.”

Bringing Biden into this is more than a bit laughable, and I’ll keep that one in the memory bank when it comes to gauging credibility in the future.

The FHWA Is part of the the Department of Transportation , the Secretary of which was appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States.  He is ultimately responsible.

1 hour ago, kennyc05 said:

If anyone had to guess do you think the rebuild will be built as is with the current plans?

The current plans have never been completely final, to be built without shot further change. But my bet all along has been that this go forward with very minor changes and TXDoT pressing to do things they were already planning/obligated to do.

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54 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

I'm sure there will be modifications--I believe that's what's being negotiated right now in connection with the original lawsuit, which I don't believe has been dismissed or fully settled (correct me if I'm wrong).  The first agreement was on proceeding with more preliminary work for the downtown segments.

Seems like of the 4 involved entities--the City, the County, the State, and the federal government--the City presented a compromise plan before the DoT halted spending with slight modifications that is probably the path forward.

 

8 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

The FHWA Is part of the the Department of Transportation , the Secretary of which was appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States.  He is ultimately responsible.

The current plans have never been completely final, to be built without shot further change. But my bet all along has been that this go forward with very minor changes and TXDoT pressing to do things they were already planning/obligated to do.

Do you think they go as drastic as just building within the current right away and not taking any right of way.

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34 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

The FHWA Is part of the the Department of Transportation , the Secretary of which was appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States.  He is ultimately responsible.

OK, then George W Bush was responsible for killing the University Line, I guess, not John Culberson.  C'mon, give me a break.

Tell me where I'm wrong on any of this:

-Someone, somewhere, my theory is some Democratic political operative thought that this was some "winning issue" and created this Stop NHHIP group as some sort of political grassroots organization--my best guess is it was thought this could be spun off into other political grassroots organizations and events to ensure Harris County continued to get "bluer."  It was totally misguided and stupid politics.  They had no plan, at least that I can see. God knows what they told people when they knocked on doors. And God knows who funded it all. This project had been in review for more than a decade and there had been very, very little vocalized opposition, why, because except for a few, everyone could see quite clearly that there was no comparison between this project and the early freeway projects. In fact, stating that is quite the insult to the ones who had to live through it before.

-Lina misplayed her hand and sued the State, thinking it was somehow a political winner, or she could somehow reprogram the funds, despite the City trying to intervene.

-The County asked the DoT to intervene, should be no surprise that a new administration, I don't believe even more than a week old, sided with the local government in this case, which was led by an "up-and-comer" in the Democratic Party where "up-and-comers" are few and far between.  Should they have done a little more research?  Absolutely.  Boneheaded political move?  It will probably work out that way, at least for Lina and certainly won't win any points for the Democrats in Houston, but when all is said and done, the DoT deciding to intervene pending further review versus choosing not to and leaving itself open to future Civil Rights lawsuits after being requested to do so by the County may end up saving time (and the project) in the long run--seriously, you must realize this.  Was Biden even consulted on it?  C'mon.  Should he have been?  Um, I think we should all hope the President focuses on the much bigger fish to fry, and delegating these things to a cabinet member is entirely understandable, and we shouldn't be surprised by his decision (at least I'm not).  Ill-informed, sure.  But what's done is done and it's all about saving face now.

 -The lawsuit has not been dismissed or settled, no?  The parties appear to be negotiating a settlement.  Maybe I’m wrong. I haven’t read about here or in the Houston Chronicle, although as far as the latter goes it doesn’t surprise me as I don’t think even Dug Begley has a full appreciation of what’s going on.

So, I ask you again, where did this all start?

Edited by mattyt36
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