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Author Topic: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts  (Read 2953 times)

MaxConcrete

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Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« on: February 06, 2021, 12:09:19 AM »

See pages 24-27
https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/e8f99ae3-8658-461a-b1a0-9f56c21160b6/January-2021-Meeting-Materials

The Metro BRT lanes are a top priority for Metro, so there is a high probability that there will be major work on the corridor. In conjunction with the BRT lanes, TxDOT is looking to add managed lanes. The City of Houston is now opposing most or all freeway right-of-way acquisition, so that means some or all the new lanes will need to be elevated. Of course, elevated lanes tend to incite community opposition.

Looking at the three concepts in the presentation, my first impression is
First (page 25, labeled A and C): This looks like the most feasible option. It requires limited right-of-way acquisition and should be constructable without major disruption to traffic.
Concept B: This would be a construction nightmare if the lanes remain open underneath. This would probably require closure of the lanes under the elevated structure to traffic, and putting all traffic on the unaffected side while the elevated structure is built, which would allow a maximum of 3 lanes each way.
Third (page 27, labels C and A): This puts the managed lanes at the same level as the freeway, eliminating the managed lanes elevated structure, but it requires the most right-of-way. This is probably the second most feasible option, and would be preferred if minimization of elevated structures is desired.


Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 01:12:46 AM »

Um, anyone living within Houston city limits probably needs to learn to understand that Houston is the 4th most populated city in the United States and among the fastest growing metros in the nation. A growing city like that is NOT going to be immune to such things as elevated highway structures.

Personally, I like the concept on Page 25, the "Concept A Ė Managed Lanes Elevated to the North of I-10" with "Concept C Typical Section" diagram.
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nolia_boi504

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 07:34:14 AM »

I would hope that they would setup 610 north loop as a bypass to I-10 inside of 610 before construction starts. This would include two dedicated exit lanes on/off 610, as well as an expansion of 610 through the 45N interchange (which would probably require the full rebuild of the 45N/610 interchange to be completed).

Pixel 4

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 02:49:34 PM »

Canít really go wrong with A or B. C looks very unrealistic. Personally Iíd choose B but Max is right about the construction aspect of it. It would be absolutely insane to try and keep the lanes beneath open and Iím not sure how it could be done. I bet A gets picked.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2021, 11:47:03 AM »

Disappointed there isn't any provisioning for high-speed rail. The typical reactionary assholes are going to be winning here yet again. Can't wait to get out.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 02:11:05 PM »

The ROW of I-10 inside of the I-610 loop is not nearly straight enough for high speed rail. If anyone is going to build any kind of high speed rail connections into or thru Houston they'll have to build elevated structures on new terrain. Given Houston's flood prone nature under ground high speed rail tunnels isn't a good idea (not to mention tunnels would cost even more money).
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2021, 04:03:13 PM »

HSR between Dallas and Houston is a must. Obviously HSR needs to be entirely grade separated. Tunnels or along viaducts in the cities are the only way.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 05:54:00 PM »

Heck, we need a national high speed rail system. But yeah, linking the Texas Triangle of cities with true high speed rail would be good. The problem is Americans just can't manage to build anything like that without the costs exploding through the roof. The boondoggle in California is a perfect example of that crap. It's so bad we can't build much of any big infrastructure projects anymore without the effort costing a ridiculous fortune and being smothered in bureaucratic red tape and lawsuits.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2021, 12:16:54 AM »

Yeah Californiaís project is just a disaster in every sense. Iím not an expert here so my opinion means not much but if it were Iíd scrap the entire project and start from the ground up. From what I understand now it wonít even be true HSR or electrified and still will cost north of 50 billion conservatively. What a joke.
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Chris

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2021, 01:52:32 PM »

I don't see any high-speed rail in the slides. There is an elevated transit (bus) way shown.

Going further below grade like the LBJ Express in Dallas is probably a non-starter in Houston with all the flooding they get. I-10 crosses the White Oak Bayou twice in that area.

Double-decking might be the most feasible if no ROW acquisition is politically possible.

I also wonder if the North Houston project of I-45 emboldens the city and county to take a tougher anti-highway stance for future projects, because they think the activists represent general sentiment. I always thought that Houston was pro-growth and pro-development but reading some of the recent stories about regional road projects, that may have come to an end in the city and maybe even Harris County.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2021, 03:15:05 PM »

They could build it to hold water to prevent flooding elsewhere during major rain events. I thought that was the idea of some of Houstonís freeways anyways. Tunnels seem like a non starter but I canít see why a below grade option that shuts down during bad storms.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2021, 03:35:09 PM »

I am not a fan of high-speed rail; personally I prefer buses. I like the idea of Bus Rapid Transit, and any BRT along the Katy Freeway should be able to use the managed lanes free of charge. That should improve travel time and reliability for bus riders. As for elevated traffic/bus lanes, it should typically be done when acquiring additional right-of-way is not an option, whether due to physical constraints or neighborhood resistance.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2021, 04:02:56 PM »

I am not a fan of high-speed rail; personally I prefer buses. I like the idea of Bus Rapid Transit, and any BRT along the Katy Freeway should be able to use the managed lanes free of charge. That should improve travel time and reliability for bus riders. As for elevated traffic/bus lanes, it should typically be done when acquiring additional right-of-way is not an option, whether due to physical constraints or neighborhood resistance.
For inter city busses are ideal and HSR doesnít make sense but I was referring to developing a Texas triangle HSR connecting SA, Houston, Austin, and DFW. The most important line is DFW to Houston.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2021, 04:19:41 PM »

Quote from: Chris
I also wonder if the North Houston project of I-45 emboldens the city and county to take a tougher anti-highway stance for future projects, because they think the activists represent general sentiment. I always thought that Houston was pro-growth and pro-development but reading some of the recent stories about regional road projects, that may have come to an end in the city and maybe even Harris County.

One theory I have, which may not even be correct, is the growing anti-roads sentiment is happening due to more and more people moving into the Houston metro from the Northeast US and from California. Politically, Texas is shifting more and more "purple" because of the growing urban populations and so many people relocating to Texas and bringing their own political leanings along.

I think it's also easier today, thanks to technology, for various community groups to mobilize. The ones that are out to prevent new highway projects from getting built can appear to be far more vocal now than they could 20-30 years ago.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2021, 08:45:12 PM »

A video for the project is now posted. There's minimal information about the managed lanes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq5oB-NcOEc

rte66man

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2021, 09:14:49 PM »

HSR between Dallas and Houston is a must. Obviously HSR needs to be entirely grade separated. Tunnels or along viaducts in the cities are the only way.

IIRC, the current HSR plan has the Houston terminal near the 610/290 junction with the transit center just to teh south.
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Chris

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2021, 06:08:40 AM »

I pulled up some AADT data of I-10.



You can see that the western part of I-10 / Inner Katy got a lot more traffic after the Katy Freeway project was completed, though traffic growth has reached a plateau and has not grown much over the past 7-8 years. On the other hand, this huge traffic growth of the Katy Freeway isn't very visible farther east, near I-45, where traffic volumes have actually declined quite a bit and are currently similar to 15 years ago.

kernals12

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2021, 08:11:45 PM »

I pulled up some AADT data of I-10.



You can see that the western part of I-10 / Inner Katy got a lot more traffic after the Katy Freeway project was completed, though traffic growth has reached a plateau and has not grown much over the past 7-8 years. On the other hand, this huge traffic growth of the Katy Freeway isn't very visible farther east, near I-45, where traffic volumes have actually declined quite a bit and are currently similar to 15 years ago.

How does the increase in traffic compare to the increase in capacity?
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kernals12

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2021, 08:22:32 PM »

It says that the managed lanes will be non-tolled. So will they only be open to carpools or will they just be express lanes with fewer exits than the general purpose lanes?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2021, 08:35:43 PM »

It says that the managed lanes will be non-tolled. So will they only be open to carpools or will they just be express lanes with fewer exits than the general purpose lanes?

I don't think a final decision has been made. TxDOT is saying they will likely be restricted to HOV/carpools at peak periods. Of course, the political climate could change by the time the lanes open (assuming the project actually is built), and they could be tolled.

kernals12

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2021, 08:38:34 PM »

It says that the managed lanes will be non-tolled. So will they only be open to carpools or will they just be express lanes with fewer exits than the general purpose lanes?

I don't think a final decision has been made. TxDOT is saying they will likely be restricted to HOV/carpools at peak periods. Of course, the political climate could change by the time the lanes open (assuming the project actually is built), and they could be tolled.

And would they be open to everyone else for free during non-peak periods?
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2022, 01:38:44 AM »

Any updates on this?
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Henry

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Re: Houston: Inner Katy Freeway preliminary concepts
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2022, 12:55:32 PM »

I thought this was already done, what with the inner lanes being tolled. When will enough be enough?
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