Transportation

TxDOT Gathering Public Input On Big Freeway Widening Project

Officials say it could be years before construction starts on I-45 North. Right now they’re doing an environmental study and they want to hear what Houstonians think.

I-45 North is ranked as one of the most congested freeways in Texas. TxDOT hopes a massive widening project will help address a growing population.

The work would include managed lanes in the middle of I-45 between downtown Houston and Beltway 8. The feeder roads would also get wider. But all that work requires more property.

We caught up with TxDOT’s Danny Perez at a public meeting on the project. He says the residential neighborhoods north of downtown will stay intact, but they’ll have to acquire right-of-way between the 610 Loop and Beltway 8.

“So we’re trying to get folks here now,” says Perez. “We can have the conversation now so at some point when we move forward we won’t catch people by surprise.”

TxDOT is now taking public comment as part of its environmental study and officials say any construction is still years in the future.

But Perez says once that work starts they won’t be doing it all at once.

“It depends on the funding aspects,” adds Perez. He expects the project will be similar to what they’re doing on the Gulf Freeway with the work divided into segments.

It’s expected the I-45 North widening will cost about $7 billion.

People viewed plans for I-45 North at a recent public meeting.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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