HOUSTON, TX – (July 25, 2019)  – Concerned Houstonians will address the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council (TPC) on July 26 at 9:30 a.m. to urge decisionmakers to delay voting on $100 million for Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Segment 2 of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP) until January 2020, allowing time for residents to engage in the City of Houston public engagement process scheduled to take place this fall.

The TPC plans to vote on the $100 million requested by TxDOT at the policy entity’s monthly meeting on Friday, July 26. The funding is considered a down payment toward the $1.225 billion necessary for Segment 2 of the controversial and exorbitant highway project, despite significant community concerns that widening the highway poses a serious threat to the surrounding neighborhoods.

The NHHIP, or I-45 expansion, “would cause disproportionate high and adverse impacts to minority or low-income populations,” according to TxDOT’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Current plans for widening I-45 would displace thousands of residents from their homes and impact over 20,000 jobs. Additionally, the project would increase pollution and flooding, and destroy greenspace, history and heritage.

LINK Houston, Air Alliance Houston, and other members of the Make I-45 Better Coalition, as well as Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, Stop TxDOT I-45, and concerned residents are urging the TPC not to rush this decision and delay the vote until TxDOT addresses these serious community concerns. Delaying the vote would allow time for TxDOT to complete a round of community engagement activities and planning in conjunction with the City of Houston; the latest series of community engagement is scheduled to begin in late August.

Committing the $100 million at this time would significantly diminish residents’ faith in a meaningful process led by the City of Houston to address the adverse impacts of the proposed NHHIP. The environmental, societal, and financial costs of this project are too high and must be addressed before regional policymakers consider funding this project.

WHAT: Public comments to urge the H-GAC TPC to delay voting on funding for the I-45 expansion
WHEN:  Friday, July 26 at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Houston Galveston Area Council, Conference Room B, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston TX 77027
WHO: LINK Houston, Air Alliance Houston, Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, Make I-45 Better Coalition, Stop TxDOT I-45, and community members

For more information, please contact Ines Sigel at inessigel@linkhouston.org or (713) 353-4604.

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LINK Houston
July 25, 2019