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Author Topic: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status  (Read 12623 times)

bwana39

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2021, 01:05:43 PM »

The only way to stop the NHHP north of I-10 is to have a viable alternate route (or total gridlock). Hardy can be that alternate route IF it has increased access. The current access to I-610 is far from optimal due to congestion.

If I-45 is indeed rerouted around the east side of downtown Houston, an extended Hardy Toll Road would access I-45 on both ends.  Hardy extension should be a win-win situation. (Even if they don't do the I-45 reroute.)
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2021, 06:22:32 PM »

A consultant is being solicited for the downtown extension.

https://harriscountytx.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/51520

Quote
21/0311 - RFSQ - Professional Architectural and/or Engineering Services for the Planning and Conceptual Design Process for Phase II of the Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector Project for the Harris County Toll Road Authority

The objective of this contract is not clear to me. My perception is that this will be a public input process which could be used to change the design from a toll road to something else. But I really don't know. We'll find out eventually if/when public meetings are scheduled.

bwana39

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2021, 11:11:30 PM »

A consultant is being solicited for the downtown extension.

https://harriscountytx.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/51520

Quote
21/0311 - RFSQ - Professional Architectural and/or Engineering Services for the Planning and Conceptual Design Process for Phase II of the Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector Project for the Harris County Toll Road Authority

The objective of this contract is not clear to me. My perception is that this will be a public input process which could be used to change the design from a toll road to something else. But I really don't know. We'll find out eventually if/when public meetings are scheduled.

I know you are more boots on the ground in Houston, BUT They are (taking bids for the) hiring (of) consultants. This appears to draw plans to build road. I think if it were a non-tolled roadway, that the primary agent would be TXDOT, Harris County,  or the City of Houston. While HCTRA is an integral part of Harris County government, it is technically a separately operating unit.  This looks like they are continuing the tollway construction to I-10. I hope I am right and you are wrong, but in today's political quagmire who knows. (as to hoping I am right, it is just I hope they are not building some sort of surface streets so that developers can buy up the surplus land and develop it.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2021, 11:34:59 PM »

Please let this just be an extension of the freeway toll road and not an at grade boulevard. I mean something would be better than nothing but a direct connection to downtown from Hardy TR is needed.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2021, 12:20:15 AM »

Please let this just be an extension of the freeway toll road and not an at grade boulevard. I mean something would be better than nothing but a direct connection to downtown from Hardy TR is needed.

I agree, I hope this is for actual design of long-planned (20+ years) extension. But my perception was that the project was ready to proceed to construction before it was suspended (based on the original schedule on the official web site), which suggested to me that the design was already complete. Notice the words "Planning" and especially "Conceptual Design Process" in the solicitation. This suggests to me that this could be a process to get input from the "community" which will mainly be the same folks who oppose NHHIP, and that input could result in a new design such as a boulevard that anti-freeway folks seem to fixate about. Based on the current political climate on Harris County Commissioners Court, this is a very plausible.

As I mentioned, I'm not in a position to know anything more than the solicitation description, so I'll continue to monitor developments about the project and of course post any news in this thread.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2021, 01:41:31 AM »

Well, if it ends up being an at grade boulevard I’ll be disappointed but I’ll still be more likely to use it then I-45. I wonder if they went they went that route if they’d be more open to an expressway/parkway type setup with minimal curb cuts, grade separated interchanges arterial roads, etc.
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bwana39

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2021, 01:54:33 AM »

The people who have received the bid packets so far are an environmental testing and remediation firm, a plans aggregator, a heavy road building contractor / engineering firm who primarily builds freeways, a demolition contractor (who also does environmental remediation work ), and the elephant in the room; the foremost engineering firm for designing neighborhood friendly streets and roadways.

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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2021, 03:28:46 PM »

If Hardy Toll Road extension to downtown is reduced to a mere at-grade boulevard they might as well not build anything at all. An at-grade boulevard would just be a waste of money. It would do zero to improve the flow of traffic.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2021, 04:56:08 PM »

If Hardy Toll Road extension to downtown is reduced to a mere at-grade boulevard they might as well not build anything at all. An at-grade boulevard would just be a waste of money. It would do zero to improve the flow of traffic.
I disagree. As stupid as I think the idea of reducing this to an at grade boulevard is, it would still serve a purpose moving through traffic to downtown Houston rather than that traffic having to use existing routes that are already congested.

Now if this becomes a boulevard with bike lanes, too many traffic lights/roundabouts, and low speed limits then yes it’ll be a waste of money. But an at grade boulevard with maybe two roundabouts at Quitman and Cavalcade streets with the rest of the access being RIRO with a 50 MPH speed limit I’d settle for that.

Of course the freeway option will always be better and I hope they go with that. We’ll see.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2021, 01:47:48 AM »

But that's just it. An at-grade boulevard in that location WILL be pigged-out with traffic signals. There's too many at-grade crossing streets. It's not enough to limit them to RIRO access. The access for most of those secondary streets needs to be cut-off completely. The same goes for driveways and parking lot entrances. Considering the area, even if this route was not made into a full blown freeway they would still need to keep grade separations for some intersections on the table.
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rte66man

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2021, 05:14:04 PM »

If a boulevard is chosen, it seems like they could get more bang for their buck by expanding Elysian and using the new viaduct to access downtown.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2021, 09:29:14 PM »

I hope they do build the southern extension as a toll road, not as a boulevard. On another note, is there anything to report on a potential northern extension of the Hardy Toll Road? I heard there were studies about extending it northward all the way to Loop 336, although I doubt it will be built anytime soon.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2022, 11:13:56 PM »

A consultant is being solicited for the downtown extension.
https://harriscountytx.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/51520
Quote
21/0311 - RFSQ - Professional Architectural and/or Engineering Services for the Planning and Conceptual Design Process for Phase II of the Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector Project for the Harris County Toll Road Authority
The objective of this contract is not clear to me. My perception is that this will be a public input process which could be used to change the design from a toll road to something else. But I really don't know. We'll find out eventually if/when public meetings are scheduled.

An agenda item for this week's Commissioners Court meeting says the proposals were rejected and the item will be readvertised in the future. I have no idea about the reason. There is no indication about the timing of "a later date", if this is a short-term or long-term delay.
https://harriscountytx.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=907420&GUID=BF7BAEEF-453C-4664-B13F-972E91FB622B

"Request for approval to reject the responses received for professional
architectural and/or engineering services for the planning and conceptual
design process for Phase II of the Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector
Project for the Toll Road Authority, and that the project be readvertised at a
later date with revised specifications (210311)."


I also checked the project web site and discovered it has been updated. The schedule shows the "Re-imagine Hardy" study from April 2022 to March 2023, with downtown connector construction from April 2023 to April 2026. However, I'm thinking that schedule is no longer valid.
https://www.hctra.org/HardyDowntownConnector

« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 10:09:30 AM by MaxConcrete »
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