Other blog postings on I-45 reconstruction:
- Houston, Texas: Proposed I-45 Redo Includes Option for Replacing the Pierce Elevated With Parkway
- Houston: No light at end of tunnel for I-45
- The Rebuilding of I-45: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Improve Houston
- Subway Cost vs. Highway Expansion: Austin Subway vs. Houston Katy Freeway Expansion
Early conceptual development for the I-45 corridor proposed in 2005 was to tunnel its expansion as shown by www.i45parkway.com. Following graphics is from the article
The Rebuilding of I-45: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Improve Houston
published by Cite Magazine, it does a good job in providing the latest alternatives:
The northern segment of I-45, north of Beltway 8, has been widen so it is the southern end under discussion, segments 1, 2, and 3. Back in 2004 the expansion of I-45 stopped at I-10, the addition of the segment between I-10 and US-59 is a later addition.
Segment 1 has a wide right of way and most properties adjacent the highway are commercial with larger parking spaces.
Segment 2 includes several residential areas and some commercial, perhaps one of the most unique and historic segments and the most constrained in terms of right of way.
Segment 3 is likely the politically charged with powerful advocates thus their word generally mandates as long as the “community” goes along with their thinking. The Pierce Elevated bisects Houston’s CBD between downtown and midtown.
- Shifting traffic from this area to another will generate congestion and pollution somewhere else.
- Replacing Pierce Elevated and Pierce Street with one 10-lane at grade boulevard does not make sense in terms of traffic capacity and pedestrian/cyclists safety.
Diverting traffic from I-45 to US 59 and adding capacity is a mechanical idea that ignores human creativity and devalues the history of Houston and creates a greater barrier with the east side.
Creating one of the widest highways in the world (see picture below) creates a funnel effect thus the need to expand the madness downstream. Simply adding more lanes means that more traffic will continue going downstream. The question is where downstream ends? Is it possible to remove Pierce Elevated, add four lanes to US-59, add six lanes to I-10, and expect for a solution?
The following pictures is published at this site http://imgur.com/gallery/TYfGrIY. Does Houston want this I-10 continue through the 610 loop and south on US-59? Houstonians don’t think very highly of their intellect and capacities.
A Bing map of Houston roadway network with 610 Loop as the outside loop.