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Author Topic: General Houston-area projects thread  (Read 8168 times)

CoreySamson

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2021, 07:16:11 PM »

Was recently looking at TxDOT's excellent Project Tracker, and I noticed several corridors are being studied for widening:

- Katy Freeway between I-45 and I-610 (presumably as part of the Katy rebuild)
- SH 35 between Alvin and Angleton from 2 lanes to 4 lanes
- SH 288 between the future Grand Parkway and SH 332 from 4 lanes to 6 lanes
- SH 332 between 288 and Brazoria from 2 lanes to 4 lanes
- SH 249 from I-45 to Beltway 8
- Several other FM roads from 2 lanes to 4 lanes

I knew about the Katy Freeway rebuild, but I was pleasantly surprised to see 288 on the widening list. That section is pretty busy and (at the risk of sounding like FritzOwl) is sorely needed. The roadway will also be redone at about the same time.

The website also lists Grand Parkway segment C-2 as beginning construction in a few years.

TheBox

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2021, 12:58:52 PM »

Was recently looking at TxDOT's excellent Project Tracker, and I noticed several corridors are being studied for widening:

- Katy Freeway between I-45 and I-610 (presumably as part of the Katy rebuild)
- SH 35 between Alvin and Angleton from 2 lanes to 4 lanes
- SH 288 between the future Grand Parkway and SH 332 from 4 lanes to 6 lanes
- SH 332 between 288 and Brazoria from 2 lanes to 4 lanes
- SH 249 from I-45 to Beltway 8
- Several other FM roads from 2 lanes to 4 lanes

I knew about the Katy Freeway rebuild, but I was pleasantly surprised to see 288 on the widening list. That section is pretty busy and (at the risk of sounding like FritzOwl) is sorely needed. The roadway will also be redone at about the same time.

The website also lists Grand Parkway segment C-2 as beginning construction in a few years.

With SH 249, are they just gonna pull a S. Main/US-90 Alt (between I-610 to S Gessener Rd) or are they gonna pull a Westpark Tollway (where the build the frontage roads on the two sides before building the freeway or tollway itself)?

Also, will the extension be a freeway or a tollway?
And will there be direct connector @ I-45? (unlike with S. Main/US-90 Alt @ I-610)
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MaxConcrete

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2021, 10:07:03 PM »


With SH 249, are they just gonna pull a S. Main/US-90 Alt (between I-610 to S Gessener Rd) or are they gonna pull a Westpark Tollway (where the build the frontage roads on the two sides before building the freeway or tollway itself)?

Also, will the extension be a freeway or a tollway?
And will there be direct connector @ I-45? (unlike with S. Main/US-90 Alt @ I-610)

It is going to be a regular street with 8 lanes. I just looked at the schematic and it has 19 traffic signals between IH-45 and BW8.

I would have liked to see a design like South Main, but that won't happen.

Anthony_JK

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2021, 02:06:55 AM »

Probably no need for a freeway here, since the Sam Houston Tollway offers the needed access from 249 to I-45.
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thisdj78

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2021, 03:24:51 AM »

Probably no need for a freeway here, since the Sam Houston Tollway offers the needed access from 249 to I-45.

I travel on the road often when visiting family, itís a high traffic corridor and it could definitely use a limited access upgrade IMO. Especially the stretch between BW8 and Montgomery Rd.
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achilles765

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2021, 10:47:23 AM »

Probably no need for a freeway here, since the Sam Houston Tollway offers the needed access from 249 to I-45.

I travel on the road often when visiting family, itís a high traffic corridor and it could definitely use a limited access upgrade IMO. Especially the stretch between BW8 and Montgomery Rd.

When I lived in magnolia and commutes downtown with my grandmother everyday, traffic was always heavy enough to warrant a freeway or some kind of limited access. Frankly that stretch has more traffic than south main, hardy, Westpark, or the new tollway section through tomball.
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CoreySamson

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2021, 11:28:59 AM »

achilles765

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2021, 07:13:54 PM »

The new Elysian Viaduct bridge connecting downtown and the north side has opened:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Traffic-returns-to-Elysian-Viaduct-Houston-s-16320152.php

this is good news.  I live in the east end and this could be a good alternate route when the train is stopped on Hirsch
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TheBox

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2021, 10:11:54 PM »

Whenever they start working on this "Alvin Freeway (or Tollway)", which will be over Mywaka Rd for a good portion of it.
Are they just gonna pull a US-90 Alt/S. Main (between I-610 and S Gessner), or are they gonna pull a I-610/West Loop over the Post Oak Roads (between S. Post Oak and the Galleria area)?

i'm leaning more towards the former, cause it looks like there's not much space on Mykawa Rd, at least to me
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thisdj78

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2021, 12:49:28 AM »

Whenever they start working on this "Alvin Freeway (or Tollway)", which will be over Mywaka Rd for a good portion of it.
Are they just gonna pull a US-90 Alt/S. Main (between I-610 and S Gessner), or are they gonna pull a I-610/West Loop over the Post Oak Roads (between S. Post Oak and the Galleria area)?

i'm leaning more towards the former, cause it looks like there's not much space on Mykawa Rd, at least to me

Thereís enough space, they probably will run the train tracks down the median like MOPAC freeway in Austin, which isnít a very wide freeway but yet they still managed to add two new toll lanes 6+ years ago.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2021, 10:32:34 AM »

Whenever they start working on this "Alvin Freeway (or Tollway)", which will be over Mywaka Rd for a good portion of it.
Are they just gonna pull a US-90 Alt/S. Main (between I-610 and S Gessner), or are they gonna pull a I-610/West Loop over the Post Oak Roads (between S. Post Oak and the Galleria area)?

i'm leaning more towards the former, cause it looks like there's not much space on Mykawa Rd, at least to me

Thereís enough space, they probably will run the train tracks down the median like MOPAC freeway in Austin, which isnít a very wide freeway but yet they still managed to add two new toll lanes 6+ years ago.

Yes. There are 200 ft available on the corridor. With Mykawa as the feeders (44 ft) and the rail corridor subtracted (36 ft), that leaves 120 ft available for mainlanes. Three 12 ft lanes per side (72 ft) gives you 48 ft to work with for everything else.
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CoreySamson

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2022, 04:37:40 PM »

A little update on two projects in the Houston metro I've had the pleasure of visiting in the past month (sorry, no pictures):

TX 146 Kemah/Clear Lake Bridge & Freeway Project
Didn't get a great look at this, as I was in a bus and didn't go across the bridge, but the southern approach to the bridge is coming along nicely. The metal beams forming the bridge deck all are in place. No work appears to be done on the SB feeder (assuming there will be one). This will all be completed by early 2023.

TX 36 Widening, Western Brazoria County & Fort Bend County
I was almost completely unaware that this project was so far along. The project to expand TX 36 from 2 to 4 lanes extends from Pleak to West Columbia (for those unfamiliar, this is south-southwest of the Houston metro). I drove the section south of Damon this weekend. TxDOT is twinning the current two lane road, making a divided highway with quite a nice, large median. For the section I drove, concrete was almost completely poured and ready except for the bridge over Varner Creek, which looks way behind schedule at first glance (only piers atm, but lots of work vehicles were in the area, so perhaps TxDOT saved it for last). There will be no bypasses of any towns along the route, and it is supposed to be complete by October of this year, but I would be surprised if it opens any earlier than 2023.

That being said, this is a valuable project that will increase safety and evacuation capacity, as I have argued for a while.

kernals12

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2022, 07:44:30 AM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?
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Bobby5280

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2022, 11:03:06 AM »

There's actually quite a lot of highway improvement activity happening in the Houston metro outside of the downtown area. It's the downtown zone that is the problem. The I-45/I-69/I-10 project has been getting hit with all sorts of road blocks.
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CoreySamson

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2022, 01:41:01 PM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?
There's actually quite a lot of highway improvement activity happening in the Houston metro outside of the downtown area. It's the downtown zone that is the problem. The I-45/I-69/I-10 project has been getting hit with all sorts of road blocks.
The second post in this thread has a lot of great information about new projects in the Houston area that are coming up soon.

The Ghostbuster

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2022, 05:41:27 PM »

Are there any plans to fill in the Crosby Freeway "main lane" gaps over Greens Bayou, and near Purple Sage Rd.? Also, will the Hardy Toll Road be extended, and are they still planning to tear down the Pierce Elvated?
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bwana39

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2022, 06:40:56 PM »

Are there any plans to fill in the Crosby Freeway "main lane" gaps over Greens Bayou, and near Purple Sage Rd.? Also, will the Hardy Toll Road be extended, and are they still planning to tear down the Pierce Elvated?

The County (HCTRA is a sub-unit of Harris County)has recently made some property purchases that seem to indicate the HTR will be extended past I-610. That said, the commissioners court's actions tends to change after each election. 

The official plan is still to tear down the Pierce Elevated WHEN the revised downtown loop putting I-45 and I-69 together around the southeast side of downtown and I-45 and I-10 on the north side of Downtown.  This is PROBABLY 15 years off if they start the process back tomorrow.

Don't know anything about the Crosby freeway (US-90).  You have to remember, though, SH-288 was that way for DECADES. SH -114 in north Texas likewise.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2022, 07:49:54 PM »

Are there any plans to fill in the Crosby Freeway "main lane" gaps over Greens Bayou, and near Purple Sage Rd.? Also, will the Hardy Toll Road be extended, and are they still planning to tear down the Pierce Elvated?

The County (HCTRA is a sub-unit of Harris County)has recently made some property purchases that seem to indicate the HTR will be extended past I-610. That said, the commissioners court's actions tends to change after each election. 

The official plan is still to tear down the Pierce Elevated WHEN the revised downtown loop putting I-45 and I-69 together around the southeast side of downtown and I-45 and I-10 on the north side of Downtown.  This is PROBABLY 15 years off if they start the process back tomorrow.

Don't know anything about the Crosby freeway (US-90).  You have to remember, though, SH-288 was that way for DECADES. SH -114 in north Texas likewise.

There is no "official" plan for the Pierce Elevated. I'm not even aware of any informal plans. If NHHIP moves forward to construction, there are folks who want to remove the Pierce Elevated, folks who are advocating to turn it into a park (like the NYC High Line), and conceptual animation for a Houston managed lanes network (the REAL network) shows it as a transportation link in that system. If NHHIP proceeds to construction, work to relocate I-45 off the Pierce Elevated would start in 2028 at the earliest and more likely 2030 or after. So it would be the mid-2030s before I-45 is actually relocated.

As for the Hardy Toll Road, there is a separate thread about it. Currently it is on hold in an uncertain state, with the current majority of Harris County Commissioner's court against it. But there are longstanding agreements for the county to build it.

As for the Crosby Freeway, the missing links of main lanes are not scheduled in the 10-year plan.
https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/bca078be-2e62-4d11-9df8-3f384c439af2/fy-2021-draft-ten-year-plan.pdf

Stephane Dumas

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2022, 08:05:59 PM »

Speaking of uncertain state, Wikipedia still mention the Hempstead tollway who's might be now put on the ice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_290#Future
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jgb191

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2022, 12:03:18 AM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?


There is still a shopping list of upgrades all over the Greater metro area; so far in this 2020's decade alone:

1.  The I-45/SH-35 (the Alvin exit) interchange is being built.
2.  The length of I-45 from NASA to Texas City is being expanded.
3.  The I-69/I-610 (near the Galleria) interchange is being revised.
4.  The length of I-69 from Sugar Land to Rosenburg is being expanded.
5.  The length of I-10 West freeway expansion might be soon beginning from Katy to Brookshire.
6.  The length of US-290 is being expanded from I-610 to FM-1960.
7.  The SH-288/Beltway 8 interchange....might even be opened by now.
8.  SH-288/I-610 South interchange is being built.
9.  The SH-288 South Freeway is being expanded from Downtown to Pearland (and then to be upgraded to interstate standards all the way to Freeport in the future so I was informed on here)

Those are just off the top of my mind.  Anything else have I not mentioned yet?
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2022, 07:30:22 AM »

7.  The SH-288/Beltway 8 interchange....might even be opened by now.

It's now open and fully functionnal from what I saw on Google Streetview. https://goo.gl/maps/jnJ1RBP5jKUc5Zps7
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kernals12

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2022, 08:23:23 AM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?


There is still a shopping list of upgrades all over the Greater metro area; so far in this 2020's decade alone:

1.  The I-45/SH-35 (the Alvin exit) interchange is being built.
2.  The length of I-45 from NASA to Texas City is being expanded.
3.  The I-69/I-610 (near the Galleria) interchange is being revised.
4.  The length of I-69 from Sugar Land to Rosenburg is being expanded.
5.  The length of I-10 West freeway expansion might be soon beginning from Katy to Brookshire.
6.  The length of US-290 is being expanded from I-610 to FM-1960.
7.  The SH-288/Beltway 8 interchange....might even be opened by now.
8.  SH-288/I-610 South interchange is being built.
9.  The SH-288 South Freeway is being expanded from Downtown to Pearland (and then to be upgraded to interstate standards all the way to Freeport in the future so I was informed on here)

Those are just off the top of my mind.  Anything else have I not mentioned yet?



Here's what's in Dallas-Fort Worth's 2045 plan, at least before the update which added several new projects, most notably a freeway along US 380.

I'm seeing lots of interchange projects. And if we look at
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bwana39

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2022, 08:29:27 AM »

Are there any plans to fill in the Crosby Freeway "main lane" gaps over Greens Bayou, and near Purple Sage Rd.? Also, will the Hardy Toll Road be extended, and are they still planning to tear down the Pierce Elevated?

 

The official plan is still to tear down the Pierce Elevated WHEN the revised downtown loop putting I-45 and I-69 together around the southeast side of downtown and I-45 and I-10 on the north side of Downtown.  This is PROBABLY 15 years off if they start the process back tomorrow.


There is no "official" plan for the Pierce Elevated. I'm not even aware of any informal plans. If NHHIP moves forward to construction, there are folks who want to remove the Pierce Elevated, folks who are advocating to turn it into a park (like the NYC High Line), and conceptual animation for a Houston managed lanes network (the REAL network) shows it as a transportation link in that system. If NHHIP proceeds to construction, work to relocate I-45 off the Pierce Elevated would start in 2028 at the earliest and more likely 2030 or after. So it would be the mid-2030s before I-45 is actually relocated.


Max you are technically correct.What are the only thing seemingly set in stone for the Pierce Elevated is the fact that once (if?) I-45 is relocated that that the Pierce Elevated would be "Surplus R.O.W. "   https://www.txdot.gov/nhhip.html

Each of the options you have mentioned has been proposed. One option imagines it as a HOV or other express lane configuration. A different option sees it reimagined as a deck park. The other seeming option is removal and repurposing the R.O.W. The first two seemingly negate the purpose of relocating the freeway. Even a park (25' above the ground) doesn't "reconnect" the neighborhood(s).

For the urbanists to be happy, it has to be removed. For it to add commercial property value, it has to come out. For it to remove the "barrier" between Downtown and mid-town, it has to come out. While expansion of capacity in its current footprint is nearly impossible, expanded capacity was never a part of this discussion except for TxDOT. The sole reason for moving I-45 was the urbanists (and covertly; the developers) desire to remove the Pierce Elevated.

If I-610 had been the inner freeway loop as opposed to I-10, US-59, and I-45 back in the 1960's we wouldn't be having this discussion. Would downtown be a better place if The  Southwest freeway had just ended in the current Spur-527, the Gulf Freeway had ended in Pease and Jefferson Streets, the North Freeway had ended in Lamar and Dallas Streets, and the Eastex Freeway had ended in Jackson and Chenevert Streets? Maybe. The problem is we have close to 6 decades of traffic patterns that now would dictate needing freeway access across downtown.  Removing the Pierce elevated changes that minimally.

For me, removing it is a boondoggle. Expanding the capacity around the east and north sides of downtown might be a need. For me, it would make more sense to renumber the western side (Pierce elevated and the southern reaches of the North Freeway) as SH-288 once the new expansion is complete. This  would be an option especially with the main direction of I-45 rerouted by prevailing intersections.

This all said. Nothing short of removing it down to the dirt will make the urbanists happy!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 12:10:50 PM by bwana39 »
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CoreySamson

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2022, 09:31:27 AM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?


There is still a shopping list of upgrades all over the Greater metro area; so far in this 2020's decade alone:

1.  The I-45/SH-35 (the Alvin exit) interchange is being built.
2.  The length of I-45 from NASA to Texas City is being expanded.
3.  The I-69/I-610 (near the Galleria) interchange is being revised.
4.  The length of I-69 from Sugar Land to Rosenburg is being expanded.
5.  The length of I-10 West freeway expansion might be soon beginning from Katy to Brookshire.
6.  The length of US-290 is being expanded from I-610 to FM-1960.
7.  The SH-288/Beltway 8 interchange....might even be opened by now. Now Open
8.  SH-288/I-610 South interchange is being built. Now Open
9.  The SH-288 South Freeway is being expanded from Downtown to Pearland (and then to be upgraded to interstate standards all the way to Freeport in the future so I was informed on here) The recent work on the toll lanes is all finished to Manvel. I'm aware of long-term plans to 3x3 288 to Lake Jackson and potentially 4x2x2x4ing it in the Houston metro, but I don't know when that gets done. The end goal is for it to be a freeway all the way to Freeport. Speaking of Freeport, the TX 288/TX 332/TX 288 B interchange in that area was just recently refurbished with new pavement and more lanes.

Those are just off the top of my mind.  Anything else have I not mentioned yet?
10. The Fort Bend Tollway is getting extended.
11. The Beltway 8 Ship Channel bridge is being built right now.
12. SH 146 is getting some freeway upgrades in and around the Kemah area.
13. The I-610 Ship Channel bridge will be rebuilt sometime in the next 10-20 years.
14. Lots of the Grand Parkway still needs to be built.
15. A new freeway paralleling TX-35 will be built all the way to Alvin (as you hinted at)
16. The I-69/TX 288 interchange is going to be rebuilt at some point, regardless of whether NHHIP goes through, I believe.
17. Speaking of that, that's not even including the NHHIP if it does fall through. That would rebuild I-45 on the north side and radically shift downtown freeways.
18. The Westpark Tollway will be extended.
19. Kind of a stretch, but I believe the Aggieland Expressway will be extended to near Navasota.

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Re: General Houston-area projects thread
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2022, 12:24:46 PM »

Is it just me or does Houston have a less ambitious highway improvement plan than Texas' other metros? Is it just because NHHIP is diverting all the money and attention?

Yes, I think the plan(s) in Houston is more modest. The North Texas plans have always been more ambitious. The outcomes in reality have tended to be similar. North Texas plans and never builds or significantly delays many things on the plans. The stuff in Houston tends to be more likely to be built and in a smaller timeline.

The planning in North Texas today tends to be more coordinated and the planning in the Houston area tends to be more driven by the individual counties and to a lesser degree the individual cities.

Add to this, Houston (proper) and Harris County is more progressive. North Texas seems to be significantly more conservative. Dallas county and the city of Dallas are not firmly under the control of those who support the urbanist ideals.  Harris County and to a lesser extent the city of Houston are firmly controlled by people who seem to support the urbanist dogma.
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