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Tomorrow is the last day to submit comments to TxDOT on I-45

From the inbox:

Dear Neighbors –

TxDOT has plans for I-45, which will impact you!  If you ever drive on I-45; if you live or work near the I-45 Corridor; if you live or work in the Heights, Old Sixth Ward, First Ward, Near North Side, Montrose, Midtown or Downtown – you will be impacted! The Public Comment Deadline for this project is Friday, November 9th.

You must tell TxDOT what you want or don’t want, or TxDOT will do what THEY want! Please comment online and oppose the IH-45 expansion and consider agreeing with the Coalition’s alternatives for our neighborhoods! You can copy below and paste directly to TxDOT’s on-line link below.  Please add your own viewpoints about the expansion. Volume of response counts!!! Comment as often as you like and please forward to others! If you do not agree with the Coalition’s selection – that’s OK too – it is very important that you let TxDOT know your thoughts.

You can go to this link for complete maps of each segment and summary of alternatives at http://www.ih45northandmore.com/scoping_documents2.aspx . The I-45 Coalition opposes the expansion in general but we have selected alternatives that are preferred for the least impact to our neighborhoods and businesses.

To see our reasons for our decisions – please look at the end of this document.

To leave your comments, go to this link: http://www.ih45northandmore.com/email.aspx

Suggested comments:

I think that spending over $2 BILLION of taxpayer’s money (in 2004 dollars) to get an improvement of only 3 MPH in general traffic lanes is a HUGE waste of money. In addition, TxDOT is using traffic data that is over 12 years old (from 2000) that probably does not reflect the current traffic situation we are facing today. I am against spending ANY money until TxDOT updates their traffic studies and determines cost-effective solutions to today’s congestion. However, if TxDOT proceeds, the following alternatives are the best that have been proposed to minimize additional right-of-way (ROW) and protect neighborhoods and businesses.

Segment 1: I-45 from Beltway to Loop 610

I am in Favor of Alternatives 3 & 3c; 7 & 8.  With Alternatives 7 & 8, TxDOT must provide noise abatement on all elevated structures to reduce increased noise levels. I am opposed to Alternatives 4, 5 & 6 because they require an additional 150’ of ROW which would destroy or devastate existing businesses and/or homes.

Segment 2: I-45 from Loop 610 to I-10

I am in Favor of Alternatives 15, 14 & 10.  I am opposed to Alternatives 3, 11 & 12

Segment 3: I-45 thru Downtown / Pierce Elevated / 59

I am in Favor of Alternative 4 (but TxDOT needs to add exit to I-45), Alt. 5 (TxDOT must move away from the Historic Neighborhoods & Alt. 6 (TxDOT needs to add exit to 59).  I am opposed to Alternatives 3, 7 & 10.

That’s all you need to say – please send your comments to http://ih45northandmore.com/email.aspx before the deadline of Friday, November 9th.

Thank you for staying involved! This is a critical time for this project!

Jim Weston

I-45 Coalition

 

Here are reasons for our decisions and a brief description of the alternatives:

Segment 1 We are in favor of Alt. 3 & 3c = This alternative adds 2 additional lanes on Hardy and requires only 14’ additional feet right-of-way (ROW).  Alt. 3c adds 4 elevated managed lanes on 2 structures on Beltway 8, 2 in each direction and requires an additional 100’ ROW – 50’ from each direction.

Alt. 7 Adds 4 managed lanes on one elevated structure in middle of I-45 and increases feeder streets from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction. Requires an additional 60’ of ROW – 30’ from each side.  We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT provides noise abatement on ALL elevated structures to reduce noise levels.

Alt. 8 – Adds 4 managed lanes on 2 separate elevated structures on left and right sides of centerlines. Increases feeder streets from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction. Requires an additional 50’ of ROW – 25’ from each side.  We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT provides noise abatement on ALL elevated structures to reduce noise levels.

We oppose Alt. 4, 5 or 6 because all of these require 150’ additional ROW – either all from the West or from the East or 75’ split over both East & West.

Segment 2 We are in favor of Alt. 15 = On 610 to Elysian/Hardy , this adds 4 managed lanes on 2 separate elevated structures on left and right sides of centerline with no increase of ROW.  We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT provides sound walls for noise abatement from elevated lanes including landscaping.  On Hardy, it will require an additional 24’ ROW and provide 2 additional lanes; 1 inbound & 1 outbound.

Alt. 14 – No additional ROW required on I-45. Existing roadway stays the same and a bored tunnel is added to carry 4 managed lanes within the I-45 ROW.

Alt. 10 – No additional ROW required on I-45. The roadway that is below grade level is widened to include 4 managed lanes while staying within ROW. The roadway below grade level is covered with concrete beams for a solid surface at grade level. Includes two 15’ outside bike lanes. We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT converts this new surface area into usable green space and/or park land.

We oppose Alt. 11 & 12 because these both require elevated structures for the managed lanes which will increase noise and sight pollution.

Segment 3 We are in favor of Alt. 4 = No additional ROW required. This Alt. provides a bored tunnel which has 4 managed lanes from an extension of Elysian/Hardy at the North, goes under La Branch and Crawford and terminates at the US 59/SH 288 interchange. We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT adds an exit to I-45.

Alt. 5 – No additional ROW required. This Alt. provides a bored tunnel which has 4 managed lanes that tunnels under I-45 then continues under Bagby and terminates at Spur 527. We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT moves the tunnel further away from Historic Districts Avondale West, Audubon Place or First Montrose. We also want an exit to I-45.

Alt. 6 – No additional ROW required. This Alt. provides a bored tunnel which has 4 managed lanes that tunnels under I-45 then continues under Jefferson and terminates at I-45 south of the I-45/US 59 interchange. We like this Alternative ONLY if TxDOT adds an exit to US 59.

We oppose Alt. 3 – converting Pierce Elevated and part of US 59 and I-10 into the world’s largest round-a-bout would be a waste of time & fuel and would drive excess amounts of traffic to surface roads and neighborhoods. We oppose Alt. 7 – we do not want any tunnel going under or thru historic neighborhoods including Houston Avenue.

See here and here for the background. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

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