Via email from the CTC:
More than 120 residents attended an informational meeting January 6th convened by State Representative Jessica Farrar concerning proposed IH-10 frontage roads inside the IH-610 loop. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and District H Council Member Ed Gonzalez were among the speakers and other Houston City Council offices were represented.
James Koch, director of design for TxDOT’s Houston district, led the presentation along with a hydrologist and two project engineers. Koch explained that TxDOT’s goal is to eliminate flooding in the depressed section of IH-10, while residents identified reducing flooding in their homes and neighborhoods as a higher priority.
Many attendees suggested design changes to improve the project, and were surprised and dismayed when Koch revealed midway through the meeting that TxDOT had let contracts for frontage road construction earlier that same day.
Congresswoman Lee and Rep. Farrar pressed TxDOT to acknowledge that design changes can still be accomplished with change orders, and assured the audience that they will continue to work with residents to improve the projects. Phased construction is expected to begin in March 2010 and will require approximately three years to complete.
Meanwhile, proposed flood detention ponds, which are necessary to mitigate the impacts of the roadway project, are not fully designed and contracts have not been let. TxDOT will conduct a formal public hearing regarding the ponds on February 18:
What: Public hearing regarding TxDOT IH-10 detention ponds at White Oak Bayou
When: Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 – 6:00 pm open house, 7:00 pm public hearing
Where: Reagan High School auditorium, 413 E 13th St, Houston, 77007 (map)
TxDOT will also accept written public comments through March 4, 2010. Comments can be emailed to HOU-PIOWEBMAIL@dot.stat.tx.us.