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Try to wrap your mind around what I-45 will look like post-construction

Swamplot is here to help.

HAVING TROUBLE SIFTING through some of the massive freeway jumbles in the latest plans for that major I-45 reroute between Downtown and the Beltway? This new video (making the rounds this month as TxDOT hosts a set of public meetings to chat about the project) may or may not help you out. The 10-minute animation shows off what the project plans look like in multicolored, car-spangled 3D action, dragging viewers slowly along the entire project route from Spur 521up to Beltway 8.

The project plans pull 45 over to the east side of Downtown, to line up alongside US 59 and dive underground behind the George R. Brown convention center. Various flavors of new express lanes, managed lanes, managed express lanes, and connectors weave into and out of a massive new 45-59-10 junction as shown above, all labeled by color.

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There’s lot more to parse in the designs — including TxDOT’s estimate that the whole thing will “displace approximately 168 single-family residences, 1,067 multi-family residences, 331 businesses, 4 places of worship, and 2 schools.

There’s a ton of documents and downloadable videos, some of which are embedded at the linked post, at the I-45 project website. About the only thing I’m grateful about my upcoming office move out west is that I won’t have to deal with this horror on a daily basis. Personally, I have a hard time believing that any gains in improved traffic flow will outweigh the costs of executing this massive boondoggle, but maybe that’s just me. Additional views of this colossus from Swamplot are here, and the Chron has more.

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2 Comments

  1. voter_worker says:

    I may or may not be able to bring myself to view this animation. Thank you for using the word “boondoggle”. What else can be said about a project so vast, yet not designed for the approaching age of autonomous vehicles. The guardians of the public purse, so assiduous in their opposition to relatively puny projects such as Metrorail and Astrodome re-purposing, are conspicuous in their silence. Houston is about to enter the worst decade of its history so far.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    @Voter:

    I wouldn’t put much stock in the “we’ll all be using driverless cars” is a couple of decades. More likely would be the “Red Barchetta” dystopian future where there is extreme enforcement of traffic laws on the roadway. After all, I’m old enough to remember The Jetsons and I’m still waiting on flying cars for the masses.

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