Jump to content

I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, samagon said:

it does end at Emanuel.

if I were a business owner and 1/3 of my business were about to be taken over by TXDoT, I'd make it very clear the easy acquisition would be to buy all of it for a price I was happy with, or they could fight tooth and nail, and probably end up paying the same for just 1/3 of the property. 

TXDoT probably saw it as a great way to get land that they could use for staging equipment, raw material, and prep things onsite.

 

I think this is exactly what happened. Leaving the two blocks with 55-60% of the units of the original development (since the block right by the rail stop is essentially just a parking garage with a small number of units and a full block of units absolutely had to be taken out) probably majorly ruined the business case on the remaining part of the development. In the end they'll definitely need it for staging and when the project is all said and done it will more than likely be redeveloped into much larger transit oriented residential development that doesn't put a parking garage right next to a light rail stop (which has got to be a Houston joke).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/28/2022 at 2:19 AM, mattyt36 said:

I hate to ask, but can anyone enlighten as to the current status of the HTR extension?

In limbo, last I heard. Considering who the county judge is, I doubt its on their to-do list. Also, the end of that extension is tied directly into this project, since the terminus will have to be integrated into the new freeway system. So I don't see it moving forward until this gets off the ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Big E said:

In limbo, last I heard. Considering who the county judge is, I doubt its on their to-do list. Also, the end of that extension is tied directly into this project, since the terminus will have to be integrated into the new freeway system. So I don't see it moving forward until this gets off the ground.

Thanks, that’s what I figured. Seems like you’d want to get this in place ahead of the construction, but I suppose the person calling the shots wants neither.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, ADCS said:

Dug gets on my nerves with how slanted his reporting on NHHIP is.

I haven't read enough of his stuff to decide how/if on the slant.  But I appreciate someone named Dug reporting on construction.

  • Haha 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Bisnow had a decently fair story on NHHIP. Specifically it highlighted some business owners in the path who are quite happy with the project in general and how TxDOT is handling things. It also includes a significant testimony by Temenos leadership. It is, of course, missing the context that half of the Lofts that could remain is mostly just a parking garage next to a light rail stop and that the affordable housing is being replaced (and that many of the units were already unlivable to due Harvey). Overall one of the most honest and balanced pieces I've read on the project!

https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/multifamily/an-expanded-freeway-in-eado-looks-to-pit-car-transit-versus-dense-housing-but-the-fight-might-not-be-that-black-and-white-113788

 

TxDOT has a survey out for the portion of I-45 from the end of this project to the Beltway. One of the survey options was inclusion of commuter rail along it, which I was happily surprised to see. 

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/gulf-freeway-pel-study.html

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/23/2022 at 4:36 PM, texan said:

TxDOT has a survey out for the portion of I-45 from the end of this project to the Beltway. One of the survey options was inclusion of commuter rail along it, which I was happily surprised to see. 

I think that's the sort of thing that might make me more in favor of this project.  Leave some space down the middle for future rail, whether that's regional, or commuter, or Amtrak, or Metro.  That was the plan back in the 2000's when this was going to be part of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

If it becomes rail in ten years or 20 years or something, great!  If it doesn't, then that space may end up being used for yet another lane expansion.  But either way, as painful as it is, it's going to be at least 10x cheaper to buy right-of-way today than it will be when the next expansion is needed in 20 years. 

If there's one thing that HAIF lacks, it's comparisons to Chicago (that's a joke, son!), so here's an Apple Maps view how Chicago did it with the Blue Line subway running down the middle of I-290:

Screen Shot 2022-07-25 at 9.13.36 AM.png

 

And again with I-90/94:

Screen Shot 2022-07-25 at 9.15.36 AM.png

 

Some of you will note how the highway is below grade, which has made it only slightly less bad at dividing and destroying neighborhoods.

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/27/2022 at 9:43 PM, texan said:

Apparently TxDOT has started demolition although I did not see it from I-69 when driving past earlier.

https://www.costar.com/article/1395175284/apartment-demolition-underway-for-interstate-45-expansion-in-houston

Can anyone confirm this? I have seen zilch on my morning commute, but it's not like I get a good look from the side of a moving car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

per the Board Packet for Downtown Redevelopment Authority's August meeting:

Central Houston has facilitated discussions with TxDOT, the City, the Coalition, and a prominent local developer to determine if the 2 buildings that TxDOT acquired that it doesn't need for the Project can be rehabilitated as affordable housing.  

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

per the Board Packet for Downtown Redevelopment Authority's August meeting:

Central Houston has facilitated discussions with TxDOT, the City, the Coalition, and a prominent local developer to determine if the 2 buildings that TxDOT acquired that it doesn't need for the Project can be rehabilitated as affordable housing.  

Can't wait to hear what the Stop I-45 group says now.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, texan said:

They're really fighting hard to save this parking garage!

Of course. Parking garages are endangered. Posters on this site have argued for the murder of parking garages, as if they don't deserve to exist. Parking garages have feelings too, you know. First they come for your parking garage, then they come for your surface parking lots. 🤣🤣🤣

(this is a probably lame attempt at humor)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, hindesky said:

 I passed by a while ago and saw nothing being done.

yep, on the drive home from work it was silent again. 

I guess the people I saw were just inspecting/maintaining and then gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, august948 said:

Sure, well done Greg from Gregg County, I am confident he was totally behind this. Must’ve been keeping him up for nights. Likely #2 priority for him after making sure there are no dead intrafetal dead babies. (Not to worry, extrafetal totally copacetic.)

Edited by mattyt36
  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I understand this correctly?
We give TXDOX a few billion dollars, part of which is used to buy a fairly new apartment complex as if it was a Happy Meal.
"Hmm," says TXDOT, "guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought. But we'll toss it in the trash anyway. Not that it's in the way or anything,,,,"
Someone pipes up, "Or maybe low income people who need it could have it."
TXDOT shrugs. "Whatever. Who cares."
And the people rejoice at TXDOT's altruism and sensible use of their tax dollars. 
 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, emmanume said:

There are some good concepts presented in the document, but these particular photos/renderings are a bit disingenuous.  They portray one of the spots where the freeways are being relocated to, but they don't show us before and after of any of the spaces that will be cleared of freeways.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

There are some good concepts presented in the document, but these particular photos/renderings are a bit disingenuous.  They portray one of the spots where the freeways are being relocated to, but they don't show us before and after of any of the spaces that will be cleared of freeways.

I was about to say the same thing, new views will open up elsewhere from it being moved. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

There are some good concepts presented in the document, but these particular photos/renderings are a bit disingenuous.  They portray one of the spots where the freeways are being relocated to, but they don't show us before and after of any of the spaces that will be cleared of freeways.

When you consider how many people use these spaces daily, these photos are an important reminder of how their spaces will be affected. Especially for those whose homes are not being affected. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

There are some good concepts presented in the document, but these particular photos/renderings are a bit disingenuous.  They portray one of the spots where the freeways are being relocated to, but they don't show us before and after of any of the spaces that will be cleared of freeways.

Yeah I had the same thought. How about before/after of 59/69 being covered by a highway cap?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/8/2022 at 1:27 PM, Houston19514 said:

There are some good concepts presented in the document, but these particular photos/renderings are a bit disingenuous.  They portray one of the spots where the freeways are being relocated to, but they don't show us before and after of any of the spaces that will be cleared of freeways.

 

23 hours ago, iah77 said:

I was about to say the same thing, new views will open up elsewhere from it being moved. 

it's not just about the views, it's about the impact to those living near, and the impact to the wildlife of the area.

removing freeways you don't have to worry so much about how it will negatively impact those living in the immediate area, or the impact to wildlife, do you? ignoring as well the possibility of the greenway that DT Houston has suggested might happen. the West, South, and East of downtown is very well served as far as that goes.

as far as views being opened up, literally, the only views that will be better will be between W. Dallas and 59 interchange, basically, the stretch of the Pierce Elevated. 

the downtown connectors for the west side of downtown are going to be more impactful to views than the current freeway structures. the illustration from TXDoT that shows the elevation next to Sabine street lofts, the new structure is going to be even higher than the existing structure. and that cutaway is cleverly placed away from any flyover ramps, which will make the elevation even higher. good times.

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/segment-3-pm4-exhibit-01-overall.pdf

image.png.90d187bb6e1cc63461d04ee9359b2a3d.pngimage.png.f4a2cd7cd8603810cb5116a7eda25b7d.png

on the plus side though, at least the west side of downtown will receive better local connectivity with Houston getting connected to Allen Parkway, and the sunlight that will get into that area of BBP should be greatly increased. so good for those living in close proximity to that area of downtown.

on the east side of downtown, yes, we'll have a section of freeway that is below grade, but for the distance that will be below grade, we'll have an uninterrupted view of the back side of the convention center, or a great view of the back side of the baseball stadium. .. otherwise the interchanges between 59/45, and 59/45/10 will all be well above grade, so no real improvement there. 

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

On 9/9/2022 at 1:33 PM, samagon said:

it's not just about the views, it's about the impact to those living near, and the impact to the wildlife of the area.

The impact to wildlife and nearby neighborhoods will be minimal since there is already a freeway there at that location, they are just moving it over slightly and taking the pointless bend out of it. In other words, this section is one that is the least worth pointing to since it encompasses the most minimal changes, while ignoring the areas with the more drastic far reaching ones (like the removal of the Pierce Elevated and the sinking of the freeway between East Downtown and Downtown. 

I do agree that the presence of the Convention Center and stadium throw cold water on the situation a bit, but the new freeway cap will more than make up for it.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, corbs315 said:

Not sure this is the best place, but this is an interesting Times article

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/09/08/opinion/urban-highways-segregation.html?referringSource=articleShare

This opinion piece has exactly the lack of context the Stop I45 group has in all of their statements- not surprised considering the author lives in New York. There's really no independent, critical thought at all in the opposition to this project.

I'm extremely excited for the significantly improved access downtown will have to Fourth Ward, Midtown, and EaDo and the significantly improved low income housing that will be created because of this project.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, texan said:

This opinion piece has exactly the lack of context the Stop I45 group has in all of their statements- not surprised considering the author lives in New York. There's really no independent, critical thought at all in the opposition to this project.

I'm extremely excited for the significantly improved access downtown will have to Fourth Ward, Midtown, and EaDo and the significantly improved low income housing that will be created because of this project.

Oh I have literally no thoughts on the article itself opinionwise, just sharing since it was an NYT feature with a kinda nifty interactive aspect

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, texan said:

This opinion piece has exactly the lack of context the Stop I45 group has in all of their statements- not surprised considering the author lives in New York. There's really no independent, critical thought at all in the opposition to this project.

I'm extremely excited for the significantly improved access downtown will have to Fourth Ward, Midtown, and EaDo and the significantly improved low income housing that will be created because of this project.

I don't think the author  lives in New York. I think he lives in Boston. 
 

Also, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. He's an expert in the affects of freeways in neighborhoods and society around the world. 
 

Are you trying to say that because he doesn't live in Houston that he is not able to study an issue and write about it?  That defies logic. It's like saying someone can't be against the war in Ukraine because they don't live in Kherson.  Or that you can't prefer Windows over macOS because you don't live in Cupertino, California. 
 

There's plenty of good reasons to oppose the I-45 expansion. The problem is, as is often the case, neither side is willing to listen to the other with an open mind. 
 

Also, I'm not sure what magical opening up of access from downtown you're talking about. I live downtown, and there is plenty of access to the places you list.  Getting to and from certain parts of EaDo can be slightly inconvenient, but nothing that requires almost ten billion dollars and displacing a thousand people for. To say that downtown needs improved access to Midtown is particularly specious. Can you explain what you mean do I can understand better?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, editor said:

Also, I'm not sure what magical opening up of access from downtown you're talking about. I live downtown, and there is plenty of access to the places you list.  Getting to and from certain parts of EaDo can be slightly inconvenient, but nothing that requires almost ten billion dollars and displacing a thousand people for. To say that downtown needs improved access to Midtown is particularly specious. Can you explain what you mean do I can understand better?

So are you trying to argue that the massive freeways aren't a barrier between downtown and other central city neighborhoods? Doesn't this literally go against the entire dogma of anti-freeway advocates for the past several decades?

I'll grant that the Pierce Elevated isn't a physical barrier per se, if only because the entire street network passes unimpeded underneath, but I'd argue its far more of a psychological barrier, and depresses surrounding land value because of that. Eliminating it via the reroute would do wonders for downtown and midtown. Also, the Pierce Elevated is an aging mess, and would probably need replacement at some point in the coming decades anyway.

6 hours ago, editor said:

Also, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. He's an expert in the affects of freeways in neighborhoods and society around the world. 

I'm not sure what even makes one an expert of such or what that would entail. Does it make him different than any other average urban planners?

6 hours ago, editor said:

There's plenty of good reasons to oppose the I-45 expansion.

Name one (aside from the cost, which is only going up by pointlessly delaying it, or the displacement, which we've gone back and forth on in this very thread dozens of times already).

6 hours ago, editor said:

Are you trying to say that because he doesn't live in Houston that he is not able to study an issue and write about it?  That defies logic. It's like saying someone can't be against the war in Ukraine because they don't live in Kherson.  Or that you can't prefer Windows over macOS because you don't live in Cupertino, California. 

The issue isn't whether or not he lives in Houston. Is he saying anything that hasn't already been said a hundred times, or is he just parroting the arguments of those opposed to the project? If the latter is true, then he isn't saying anything of note to add to the conversation, regardless of where he lives.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/9/2022 at 1:33 PM, samagon said:

 

it's not just about the views, it's about the impact to those living near, and the impact to the wildlife of the area.

removing freeways you don't have to worry so much about how it will negatively impact those living in the immediate area, or the impact to wildlife, do you? ignoring as well the possibility of the greenway that DT Houston has suggested might happen. the West, South, and East of downtown is very well served as far as that goes.

as far as views being opened up, literally, the only views that will be better will be between W. Dallas and 59 interchange, basically, the stretch of the Pierce Elevated. 

the downtown connectors for the west side of downtown are going to be more impactful to views than the current freeway structures. the illustration from TXDoT that shows the elevation next to Sabine street lofts, the new structure is going to be even higher than the existing structure. and that cutaway is cleverly placed away from any flyover ramps, which will make the elevation even higher. good times.

https://www.txdot.gov/content/dam/project-sites/nhhip/docs/segment-3-pm4-exhibit-01-overall.pdf

image.png.90d187bb6e1cc63461d04ee9359b2a3d.pngimage.png.f4a2cd7cd8603810cb5116a7eda25b7d.png

on the plus side though, at least the west side of downtown will receive better local connectivity with Houston getting connected to Allen Parkway, and the sunlight that will get into that area of BBP should be greatly increased. so good for those living in close proximity to that area of downtown.

on the east side of downtown, yes, we'll have a section of freeway that is below grade, but for the distance that will be below grade, we'll have an uninterrupted view of the back side of the convention center, or a great view of the back side of the baseball stadium. .. otherwise the interchanges between 59/45, and 59/45/10 will all be well above grade, so no real improvement there. 

Wish they would get rid of the Giant looming flood flights , and update to something shorter and more modern. Nothing ruins the Sabine Street view like the giant power lines and flood lights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/10/2022 at 9:34 PM, texan said:

This opinion piece has exactly the lack of context the Stop I45 group has in all of their statements- not surprised considering the author lives in New York. There's really no independent, critical thought at all in the opposition to this project.

I'm extremely excited for the significantly improved access downtown will have to Fourth Ward, Midtown, and EaDo and the significantly improved low income housing that will be created because of this project.

Polk street crossing going away, access to Bell street from EE going away and there's better connectivity between downtown and East End?

that dog doesn't hunt.

but yes, 4th ward is absolutely getting better access (not just to downtown, but southwest as well connecting directly to Allen Parkway).

I guess we'll have to see how traffic entering the 45 connector only entering from Pease, rather than Pease and St. Joseph, but there won't be traffic they have to merge with from Pierce elevated. it'll be interesting to see how this plays out for access to and from midtown during rush hours. hopefully being able to just cross Brazos and not have to merge with other traffic, they'll be able to just get out of the intersections asap, and people won't be blocking the box for those headed south on Smith.

  

2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

Wish they would get rid of the Giant looming flood flights , and update to something shorter and more modern. Nothing ruins the Sabine Street view like the giant power lines and flood lights.

me too, but I've been watching them put in bases on the Gulf Freeway south of downtown for the huge flood lights. it'll be interesting to see if they are updating tech at the same time they are replacing the old lights. so have LED and make them more directional to light only the freeways and not create a lot of light pollution for the surrounding neighborhoods.

that to be said, I don't think they are going to shorter flood lights, maybe they'll at least be more modern.

Edited by samagon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

Wish they would get rid of the Giant looming flood flights , and update to something shorter and more modern. Nothing ruins the Sabine Street view like the giant power lines and flood lights.

Not to mention the need for blackout curtains nearly a half mile away... and now they want to elevate Katy inside the loop.

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

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...