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Author Topic: I-610 West Loop elevated express lanes  (Read 3054 times)

Chris

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I-610 West Loop elevated express lanes
« on: November 26, 2015, 10:39:46 AM »

There finally seems to be plans to address the congestion problems on I-610 near Uptown Houston. TxDOT announced an open house for the construction of elevated express lanes along I-610 between I-10 (Katy Freeway) and I-69 (Southwest Freeway) with a length of approximately 3.7 miles. The express lanes may be tolled.

In 2014, the West Loop was quoted as being the state's most congested freeway. As of 2013 the AADT on this segment is 307,000 on just eight lanes plus frontage roads.

Could this turn the I-610 / I-69 interchange into a six-level stack?

MaxConcrete

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Re: I-610 West Loop elevated express lanes
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 12:24:44 PM »

I spoke to a TxDOT representative a couple months ago who said this will be four lanes (two each way) with a single large support column in the center of the freeway. I'm assuming this will wipe out the interior shoulders. However, that information was not necessarily final. But realistically, you can't place more than four lanes on a single column support about 12 feet wide.

From the announcement, it appears that there will not be connections to I-69 or I-10. It appears this will be for traffic going straight through, and will provide connections to US 290. I think that will be hugely beneficial, although I would have liked to see three express lanes each way with perhaps connections to the high-volume movements at I-10.

This plan is certain to generate a lot of opposition. However, since Governor Abbott has made congestion reduction a top priority, TxDOT may be ready to stand its ground and get this project built. An opposition lawsuit is certainly possible. The support (or lack of support) from the Uptown Houston district will probably be very influential. There is/was a lawsuit against the already-approved bus lanes on Post Oadk. (I don't think it has had any effect).

Elevated lanes are already planned to be built from Post Oak to Interstate 10 for the bus access project. The elevated bus lanes may have opened the door for elevated lanes on the full length.

I work at 2223 West Loop south, between Westheimer and San Felipe, and I can verify that the traffic on the West Loop is virtually always horrible. One aspect of the serious problem is backups on the frontage roads. Vehicles trying to get on the freeway back up on the ramps, and then cars on the frontage road cannot move forward, causing serious dysfunction.

As for the I-610/I-69 interchange, I don't see another level being added. Already existing plans include a new ramp which will go over the top of the interchange (southbound 610 to northbound (eastbound) I-69). The public meeting announcement suggests there will be not connections to I-69. The long-term plan for the interchange is to lower the I-610 main lanes to the third level when the new ramps are built. Then the express lanes would just continue at that level in the middle of the freeway.
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/59-610.html
https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/59_610/map.pdf

I'll definitely attend the meeting and get the details.
 

The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-610 West Loop elevated express lanes
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 06:09:44 PM »

If approved, how long before these lanes are built? Assuming the expected opposition is overcome, of course.
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