I-45 North expansion will move forward after Friday's vote

By Vincent Crivelli - Reporter

HOUSTON - The planned expansion of I-45 in Houston will move forward after a vote by a regional transportation group Friday.

Members of the public attended the meeting.

How it will work

  • $100 million toward getting the project started
  • $50 million toward flood mitigation
  • $1.5 million toward planning

The meeting started with an official from the Texas Department of Transportation discussing details of the plan, adding the agency is addressing concerns about air quality, displacement of residents and safety issues.

Several members of the public spoke at the meeting. Most condemned the project as having a disproportionate effect on minorities. Others said the project would cause health issues for students at schools that would be near the expanded freeway.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo previously said she planned to recommend delaying the project for six months. After her efforts failed, she said she's concerned.

"What this is is seed funding from other government entities to expand I-45. The discussion took place well we may be able to turn it down later but in practice, we all know that's not how it works," Hidalgo said. 

What are the plans?

The Texas Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Highway Administration, said it plans 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."

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