HOUSTON – Houston City Planners are set to unveil their recommendations to segment three of TxDot’s North Houston High Improvement Project during a community workshop Thursday night.
This marks the second series of workshops where concerned residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about the design. The first workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Emancipation Community Center, 3018 Emancipation Ave.
What are the plans?
The Texas Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Highway Administration, said they plan to evaluate the I-45 North corridor from near downtown Houston to Beltway 8 North, Beltway 8 North from I-45 North to the Hardy Toll Road, the Hardy Toll Road from I-610 North Loop to Beltway 8 North, I-610 North Loop from I-45 North to the Hardy Toll Road and portions of I-10 and US 59 near downtown Houston.
What are critics saying?
Critics condemning the project believe people living in low income and minority neighborhoods will be negatively impacted more than anyone else. They fear too many homes, businesses, jobs, historic sites and green space would be lost, not to mention the impact a wider freeway would have on air pollution levels and the increased potential for flooding.
Critics, including members of LINK Houston, admit there are issues with I-45 and that some of them need to be addressed but say expanding its footprint is not the answer. They are eager to see what adjustments and recommendations Houston planning officials will be making to TxDot.
“What we’re hoping to see tonight is a full range of options and possibilities where residents can continue to ask questions and provide feedback on the project,” said Ines Sigel, of LINK Houston.
LINK Houston is a non-profit advocating for a better transportation network for the city.
What is TxDot saying?
A decision on the design of segment three is expected this summer. Until then, TxDot spokesman Danny Perez told KPRC 2, “Today’s design includes input TxDot received from the public. We will continue to work with all stakeholders as we move forward with this project.”