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North Houston Highway Improvement Project (project halted by FHWA)

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MaxConcrete:
http://www.ih45northandmore.com/scoping_documents4.aspx

In particular see these schematics
http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs4/16_20150417_Seg3_PM4_Exhibit_02_Eastern_Half.pdf
http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs4/17_20150417_Seg3_PM4_Exhibit_03_Western_Half.pdf
http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs4/15_20150417_Seg3_PM4_Exhibit_01_Overall.pdf

Earlier "leaks" of info hinted at a major rebuild, but this is more than I expected.

* Complete rebuild of the *entire* downtown Houston freeway complex. Everything.
* Removal of the Pierce Elevated and realigning I-45 along US 59 on the east side of downtown
* A super-wide new trench on the east side of downtown with 18 freeway lanes plus frontage roads.
* Abandoning a wide section of US 59 in northeast downtown and realigning it to eliminate curves, sending it directly through the Clayton Homes housing project. The abandoned section is relatively new, rebuilt and widened in 2003.
* Demolishing and rebuilding the US 59/I-10 interchange, most of which was built in 2003.
* Interstate 10 on the north side of downtown widened to 18 freeway lanes to accommodate I-10, I-45 and the I-10 express lanes. Since the term "express lanes" is used rather than "managed lanes", it suggests the I-10 express lanes will not be tolled.
* Realignment of I-10/I-45 west of Elysian, and abandonment of the existing I-10 corridor.
* Freeways on the west side of downtown no longer serve through-traffic and are downsized to provide connections into downtown. Freeway will still exist northward from the current western end of the Pierce Elevated.
* On the south side of downtown, the elevated US 59 is sunk into a trench and widened, with five northbound lanes and four southbound lanes.
* The US 59/SH 288 interchange is completely rebuilt.
* The US 59/SH 288 trench gets more lanes, generally around 20 lanes.
* On the northwest side of downtown, complete rebuild of the I-45/I-10 multiplex. It looks like the elevated HOV structure is also a goner, replaced by the four elevated I-10 express lanes.

The I-45 corridor north of downtown is also slated to be widened from downtown to Beltway 8.
* From I-10 to I-610, the corridor is kept narrow to appease the neighborhood, 4-2M-2M-4 plus frontage roads (M=managed). At North Main, the frontage road is on top of the main lanes.
* Complete rebuild of the I-45/I-610 interchange to be five-level.
* 4-2M-2M-4 configuration from I-10 to BW8. I think this is underdesigned. It needs to be 5-2M-2M-5, especially since a very wide corridor is being cleared and space is available.
* From I-610 to BW8, the corridor is widened to be 480 feet wide. This will be a huge right-of-way clearance event. But as anyone who has driven the corridor knows, the corridor is a dump and leaves a bad impression of Houston, so this clearance should be beneficial.

There's no mention of the cost. I'm thinking this is between $5 and $7 billion. I think there is political will to get the downtown rebuild done. But it is anyone's guess how long the entire project will require.
 
 

bjrush:
Who is coming up with this stuff? TxDOT or a consultant for TxDOT

MaxConcrete:

--- Quote from: bjrush on April 22, 2015, 09:41:45 PM ---Who is coming up with this stuff? TxDOT or a consultant for TxDOT

--- End quote ---

TxDOT led this study, and they always have consultants on the team.

This study has been ongoing for a very long time (early 2000s) and the delays appear to be caused by the need to get more input and approval from stakeholders, mainly the City of Houston and the downtown Houston business establishment. So I think downtown Houston interests are on board with this. In fact, they probably demanded these costly features which added immensely to the cost.

ARMOURERERIC:
You know, with the short linear distance of the loop in downtown Houston, has anyone ever thought of making an 8-10 lane one way loop, like a massive freeway rotary around the core.

nexus73:
Lordy, if ODOT could only Think Big when it comes to the PDX freeway mess! 

Rick

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