The City of Houston, in partnership with Huitt-Zollars and the University of Houston Community Design Resource Center, completed the first round of community workshops about the possible I-45 expansion (North Houston Highway Improvement Project or NHHIP). We are glad that so many of you actively participated in the meetings, sharing your insights about the adjacent communities and concerns about the project. Your input will help the City and its design partners come up with an alternative schematic to present to TxDOT to help mitigate some of the adverse impacts identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Comments may still be submitted. For more information please visit here.
Additionally, on August 13, the Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution that all regionally significant, government-funded transportation projects in Harris County, such as the I-45 North expansion, must meet certain county-devised benchmarks and be reviewed by county departments. County leaders heard public comments, including from LINK Houston, and discussed reducing single-occupancy vehicles on the road, enhancing options for walking and biking, mitigating flooding impacts, and limiting land acquisitions for roadway expansions. The county resolution came weeks after the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council voted to advance $100 million for the segment of the project stretching from I-10 to I-610 (aka Segment 2), while also committing $50 million for transportation projects in that area and $1.5 million for community planning. LINK Houston has already started engaging the Houston-Galveston Area Council to ensure that those additional commitments to transportation-related projects are allocated according to the community’s desires and needs.
To ensure that future leaders understand the importance of the project and share their vision for our region, the Make I-45 Better Coalition, of which LINK Houston is a member, will host a candidate forum on Saturday, September 7 at St. Arnold’s Brewery to give all major local candidates an opportunity to let the public know their position on the highway expansion project as well as their vision for the future of transportation in Houston. The Coalition will also provide updates on TxDOT’s process and the City’s community engagement so far.
For more information about the event, please see here.