TRANSPORTATION UPDATES Proposed elevation project on I10 spurs concerns
COMPILED BY SOFIA GONZALEZ
Some Heights-area residents are concerned about a proposed $347 million project by the Texas Depart- ment of Transportation that involves elevating I-10 in an eort to mitigate future roadway ood risks from White Oak Bayou. The state- and federally funded project would stretch about 1.8 miles from Heights Boulevard to I-45, TxDOT Public Information Ocer Deidrea George told Community Impact Newspaper . If the project moves forward, the number of lanes on I-10 in the targeted area would not change, George said. The existing lane conguration—which includes ve 12-foot-wide lanes in each direction, a 10-foot-wide inside lane, 10-foot- wide outside shoulders and one 14-foot-wide high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction—would be reconstructed at an elevated level, she said. According to TxDOT documents, a 21.7-acre detention pond will be located under the elevated area on the north side of I-10 between Taylor Street and Houston Avenue along with a 10-foot-wide shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists that will connect to the existing trail system on the north side of I-10 along White Oak Bayou between Studemont Street and I-45. According to TxDOT’s presenta- tion, the proposed elevated area has repeatedly been aected by major rain events, such as Tropical Storms Allison and Imelda and Hurricane Harvey. Once ooded from White Oak Bayou, the main lanes become
Proposed I10 elevation A portion of I-10 would be elevated to alleviate ooding from White Oak Bayou.
ONGOING PROJECTS Funding source: Houston Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Capital Fund Cottage Grove East improvements During an Aug. 3 meeting, Houston City Council approved an additional $290,448 for ongoing design work on a capital improvement plan project in District C’s Cottage Grove East neigh- borhood, where construction could begin in early 2023. The scope of the project is to improve storm drainage, concrete paving, underground utili- ties, sidewalks, curbs and driveways. Timeline: winter 2023-TBD Cost: $25.7 million
WHITE OAK BAYOU
Timeline: construction to begin in 2024 Cost: $347 million Project length: 1.8 miles
SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
impassable. Kevin Strickland with CURBS Houston—a community group of Heights residents seeking to create a safer neighborhood—said he has concerns about TxDOT’s eorts to keep I-10 from ooding at that point. He said I-10 becoming a “lake” during Hurricane Harvey saved area neigh- borhoods from ooding. “[The project] doesn’t make sense,” Strickland said. “It’s completely unnecessary.” Strickland also said TxDOT’s proposal is slowing down the METR- ORapid University Corridor project—a rapid bus transit line that is projected to run from Westchase Park & Ride to Tidwell Transit Center. However, George said TxDOT is doing its due diligence through collaborative partnerships with other entities. Resident Matt Tetlow said he does not support the project. Along the Washington Avenue corridor, where Tetlow lives, he said there are already issues with noise from roads. He said
he thinks the problem will worsen with this project. “There’s a lot of noise impacts that really hurt people who live where I live,” Tetlow said. “I’d like to see us do something smarter. ... This is an organization that is a hammer, and everything looks like a nail—build it wider, bigger, taller, right? I’d like to see them take more local input to nd win-win projects.” George said TxDOT is open to public feedback, and those who would like to give input can do so until Sept. 9. Once the public comment period ends, the project will go through a series of phases. From this fall through fall 2023, environmental documents and a detailed schematic design will be developed. In winter 2023, an environmental decision will be made, and in summer 2024, construction is anticipated to begin. “This is why we’re here,” George said. “We certainly are taking all of [the concerns] into account.”
S T H E I M E R R
W. ALABAMA ST.
Montrose water line work Construction began this summer on a 72-inch water line project intended to carry water to Houston’s South- west Pump Station. The project also includes improvements to wastewater and water utilities, trac signals and street signs; the replacement of street lights; the removal and planting of trees; and new concrete sidewalks. Timeline: summer 2022-summer 2024 Cost: $48.8 million Funding source: city of Houston
ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF AUG. 31. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT HRMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.
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