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Houston: Hardy Toll Road extension status

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MaxConcrete:
The following appears in the agenda for Friday's H-GAC meeting: https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/bc1a3b39-3e45-43d9-90f0-6b96a01033a3/December-16-2022-Transportation-Policy-Council-Item-9A

"Delay the Harris County Toll Road Authority Hardy Toll Road construction project (MPO ID 15208) from FY 2023 to FY 2024 due to readiness issues. (Total Cost: $250.0M)"

This is probably just a technical correction to the official plan since I don't think it was actually expected to proceed this fiscal year, which is already in its third month. I suppose the good news is that the delay is just one year. But given the history of the project,  I don't think we can be confident it will actually proceed in FY 2024.

rte66man:

--- Quote from: MaxConcrete on December 14, 2022, 11:32:32 PM ---The following appears in the agenda for Friday's H-GAC meeting: https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/bc1a3b39-3e45-43d9-90f0-6b96a01033a3/December-16-2022-Transportation-Policy-Council-Item-9A

"Delay the Harris County Toll Road Authority Hardy Toll Road construction project (MPO ID 15208) from FY 2023 to FY 2024 due to readiness issues. (Total Cost: $250.0M)" (emphasis added)

This is probably just a technical correction to the official plan since I don't think it was actually expected to proceed this fiscal year, which is already in its third month. I suppose the good news is that the delay is just one year. But given the history of the project,  I don't think we can be confident it will actually proceed in FY 2024.

--- End quote ---

I don't believe they can build the southern extension for a mere $250 million.

armadillo speedbump:
I see the prelim design mapped on the link above showed the new Elysian viaduct with 3 lanes each way.  Unfortunately it has been built with 2 lanes each way.  I guess you could add a 3rd if you eliminated the safety shoulders and narrowed to 11' lanes, but I'm guessing that won't happen.

MaxConcrete:
The Houston Chronicle reported on NHHIP today, and the quoted text below is from the article on the subject of the Hardy Toll Road extension.
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/i45-widening-deal-txdot-steps-17711664.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

I'm not sure how to interpret the statement. It sounds like they still plan to move forward, but the impact of community involvement is unclear, and the timing to start work is unclear.


--- Quote ---“The expectation of project delivery in Harris County has been elevated,” said Roberto Trevino, executive director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority.

The delayed Hardy Toll Road downtown connector is one example, Trevino said. The project, shelved by Harris County officials as they watched the I-45 debate intensify, first aimed at construction in 2020. Trevino and others have spent the past year talking to neighborhood groups along the route — mostly a straight line along Hardy and Elysian through the North Side that skirts Fifth Ward — so they feel the project improves their neighborhoods as opposed to just coming through it.

“We are incorporating some of that into the downtown connector design,” Trevino said of the discussions, which likely will lead to other meetings this spring. “When we put something on the board, we can say we had community input, that it is connecting the community and complimenting the community. Everyone gets the win.”
--- End quote ---

Bobby5280:
It sounds like they're still in "revision hell" with the design concepts -basically trying to make everyone happy.


--- Quote from: armadillo speedbump ---I see the prelim design mapped on the link above showed the new Elysian viaduct with 3 lanes each way.  Unfortunately it has been built with 2 lanes each way.  I guess you could add a 3rd if you eliminated the safety shoulders and narrowed to 11' lanes, but I'm guessing that won't happen.
--- End quote ---

11' wide lanes really suck. I get why traffic engineers are stuck in the no-win situation of having to use them in certain cases (budget limits and geometry limits hammering against the wants of lawmakers and other interests). Any widespread use of 11' wide lanes runs counter against the reality of American driving. We like big vehicles. Full size pickup trucks and SUVs remain very popular. Unless there is some gigantic cultural shift where we gravitate to driving little tiny econo-box cars those skinny lanes aren't going to be any good.

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