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Posts Tagged ‘TxDOT’

Who loves budget gimmicks?

The Senate Budget Committee, that’s who. Texas Senate budget writers on Wednesday unanimously approved their two-year budget, which avoided some steep cuts by using an accounting trick to free up $2.5 billion state dollars that were originally slated to go to the state highway fund. By delaying a diversion of sales tax money from August […]

Bill to restore some budget flexibility filed

Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences Act of 2017. The Texas House’s chief budget writer filed legislation Friday that would allow lawmakers to claw back billions of dollars that voters approved for state highways, freeing them up for other budget needs. Texans overwhelmingly voted in 2015 to boost funding for the state’s public roadways […]

Get ready for more I-45 chaos

Lord have mercy on our souls. Relieving one of Houston’s worst bottlenecks will come with some lengthy complications for northbound drivers on Interstate 45 headed into Houston’s central business district, starting Friday night. After years of delay, work is starting on a modification to Spur 5, the ramp that connects northbound I-45 traffic to downtown […]

TxDOT accelerates I-45 construction timeline

Gird your loins. For many long-suffering Houston drivers, a solution to the infuriating bottleneck on Interstate 45 through downtown is likely something they thought they wouldn’t live to see. More than a decade ago, a plan pitched to solve the problem – moving the interstate to the east side of downtown and demolishing the Pierce […]

Here come the anti-Texas Central bills

From the inbox: [Tuesday], a group of key state lawmakers filed a slate of legislation to push back against Texas Central Railway’s controversial proposal to construct a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston. Senators Birdwell (R-Granbury), Creighton (R-Conroe), Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Perry (R-Lubbock), and Schwertner (R-Georgetown) joined with Representatives Ashby (R-Lufkin), Bell (R-Magnolia), Cook (R-Corsicana), […]

Yale Street Bridge reopens

Woo hoo! Heights area residents woke up Tuesday to a bright sunny day in more ways than one, finding that crews had opened the new Yale Bridge spanning White Oak Bayou. The opening late Monday is roughly 10 months ahead of the original schedule laid out by Texas Department of Transportation officials when the old […]

Yale Street bridge reopening sooner than expected

Hooray! Christmas 2017 is coming very early for Heights area commuters, now that transportation officials have confirmed that the new Yale Street bridge will open in early February – roughly 10 months ahead of the previous schedule. “They’re working fast,” TxDOT spokesman Danny Perez said Friday, acknowledging the accelerated opening day. Replacing the Yale Street […]

Trump’s toll roads

Who wants more toll roads? Part of president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to create new jobs for Americans relies on a “deficit-neutral plan” to spend $1 trillion on public works projects, including hundreds of billions for roads and rail. But the strategy could result in something many Texans aren’t going to like: more toll roads. “Unfortunately […]

Texas Central releases ridership study

From their website: A comprehensive ridership study conducted by L.E.K Consulting has confirmed that Texas is ready for a privately developed Bullet Train line serving North Texas, the greater Brazos Valley and The Greater Houston Metro areas. According to this landmark study, 90% of the 16 million people living in the Texas Bullet Train service […]

Abbott says something about high speed rail

Something vague, and a bit confusing. Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expressed caution about high-speed rail in Texas, warning that any investment in transportation must not be a “money-losing proposition.” It was one of several notable topics that came up during a wide-ranging Q-and-A with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, where Abbott also vouched […]

You are now free to visually blight Texas highways

WTF? Opponents of billboards and other signs along Texas roadways reacted on Monday with dismay to an appeals court decision striking down significant portions of the Texas Highway Beautification Act, saying the ruling could lead to a litany of signs along federally funded highways. The Third District Court of Appeals in Austin issued the decision […]

SH 130 operator to give up its ownership stake

Another step on the road to bankruptcy. SH 130 Concession Co. filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan Friday that proposes transferring company ownership to its largest lenders, which include the Federal Highway Administration and a group of European banks. The company owes more than $1.6 billion. It is owned by Spanish road developer Cintra, the majority […]

RIP, Lone Star Rail

This really does appear to be the end of the line. On a 17-1 vote late Monday, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board decided to kick off a two-month process to remove from its official 25-year transportation plan the proposed 117-mile rail line from San Antonio to Georgetown. A final vote will have to […]

The southern segment of the proposed Oklahoma City-South Texas passenger rail line

There’s more to it than connecting San Antonio with Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth. Two potential South Texas routes were selected for further study, according to [Rep. Henry] Cuellar. The first would originate in San Antonio and travel south outside of existing transportation corridors to a station near the Laredo-Columbia Solidarity Bridge. That route would then […]

Feds leave oversight of Texas Central to the state

No change in status. A proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas will remain a mostly Texas matter following a federal decision which opponents cheered as a blow to the project, while backers said provided a definitive scope of the planning process. The Surface Transportation Board on Monday determined it has no oversight of […]

Alignments proposed for Oklahoma City-South Texas passenger rail

Check ’em out. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have released 10 service and route options for new and improved conventional and high-speed passenger rail service connecting Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and South Texas.  The options are evaluated in a Draft […]

I-45 onramp closures coming

From the inbox: The Texas Department of Transportation will close the Houston Avenue southbound and Allen Parkway eastbound entrance ramps to I-45 southbound on Friday, July 8 to begin construction on new ramps that will improve traffic flow and enhance safety. Currently, motorists trying to reach I-45 southbound main lanes from Allen Parkway eastbound have […]

Still waiting for a design for I-45

Pull up a chair and relax, this could take awhile. After 15 years of discussion, study and ideas for improvements ranging from enormous tunnels to a massive circulating freeway loop, planners are still at least six months from unveiling their $7 billion plan for historic changes to I-45 and most of the downtown freeway network. […]

Turner reiterates the need to rethink transportation

New audience, same theme. Houston’s transportation future – and perhaps its economic vitality – relies on more options than new freeway lanes to make room for more cars, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday. “The solution is to increasingly take advantage of other modes of travel,” Turner told business and elected leaders at a lunch event […]

I-45 update: North St Bridge and more

The latest update from the I-45 Coalition: Dear I-45 Coalition member, October 2015 was the last update … it’s now May 2016 … several things have changed in the past 8 months. As a quick summary, TxDOT will be rebuilding I-45.  This will be a massive project that includes rerouting I-45 downtown by abandoning most […]

Still seeking a downtown connection for the high speed rail line

I’m hoping one gets found. Texas Central Partners, the private firm proposing the Houston-to-Dallas line, briefed a city council committee Monday, telling officials they remain on track to break ground in late 2017. “That might slide into early 2018,” said Shaun McCabe, vice-president of Texas Central Railway. Any connection to downtown, which would likely require […]

Help a brick out

From Swamplot: AN INDIEGOGO PAGE has just been launched to crowdfund the removal and reuse of an unexpectedly large group of well-preserved 1930s bricks from thenow-under-deconstruction Yale St. bridge over White Oak Bayou. The group calling itself Friends of Houston’s Yale Bridge Bricks says the funds will be used to preserve the bricks for reuse both around the bridge and elsewhere around the city. The […]

Yale Street Bridge to be closed for construction

Three words: Find alternate routes. There’s about to be a lot of yelling about Yale Street, as the historic span makes way for a modern replacement. Crews will close the bridge carrying the road over White Oak bayou on April 18 to prepare for demolition. For the next 20 months, drivers in the area will […]

30 years of “Don’t Mess With Texas”

Happy birthday to one of the greatest public service campaigns of all time. It seems it’s every Texan’s duty to at least once invoke the slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas.” You’ll see it on bumper stickers, in the movies, on T-shirts and coffee mugs. You’ll hear it hollered from campaign stumps and in songs. It’s […]

The Purple City plan for I-45

Check it out. Should a major freeway plan consider the needs of cyclists? Of transit riders? And if we’re going to tear down and reconstruct the entire downtown freeway network of the fourth-largest city in America, shouldn’t the final result have better geometry than the mid-century structures it replaces? The PDFs below contain an analysis […]

Year 2 for “One Sticker”

Surely this year will go more smoothly. Texas dropped its familiar green safety inspection sticker a year ago, creating confusion for millions of vehicle and trailer owners in the state. Though inspections didn’t change – but might soon, as some lawmakers want to scrap them – the stickers went away as the Texas Department of […]

High speed rail opponents sue TxDOT and AG’s office

They seek information that they say they have been denied so far. A group opposed to a private firm’s plans to build a bullet train stretching from Dallas to Houston has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in an effort to obtain communications between the firm […]

SH 130 operator files for bankruptcy

Boom. A private company that operates part of the Texas toll road with the highest speed limit in the country filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, fewer than three years after the section of the road it oversees first opened. The SH 130 Concession Company, a partnership between Spain-based Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure, opened […]

Turner wants to rethink transportation

I like the way he’s thinking. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in less than a month on the job, has hit the streets at full speed. First he tackled potholes. Last week he tackled a state transportation department that’s spent the past half-century developing a highway network that is increasingly getting farther from Houston’s core and, […]

Can you ever truly “fix” the 59/610 interchange?

I kind of think the answer is “No”, but they’re going to try anyway. With Houston choking on traffic congestion from Clear Lake to Jersey Village, an infusion of $447 million in state funds promises relief sooner than expected at three notorious freeway bottlenecks. That sum amounts to more than one-third of $1.3 billion allocated […]

Know any good, solvent highway construction firms?

TxDOT is looking for a few. Drivers on Interstate 45 will wait longer for better connections to Loop 610 and U.S. 59 because a Woodlands-based contractor will have to be replaced. The jobs, totaling about $102 million, were won by Tradeco Infraestructura, based in The Woodlands. The contractor is the American wing of the Mexican […]

The Katy Freeway cautionary tale on addressing congestion

Turns out that throwing more lanes at the Katy Freeway hasn’t helped all that much. Several years ago, the Katy Freeway in Houston was a major traffic bottleneck. It was so bad that in 2004 the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA) called one of its interchanges the second worst bottleneck in the nation wasting 25 […]

More on the Gulf Coast Rail District and the high speed rail line

The Chron reports on the story. Officials with the Gulf Coast Rail District, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Texas Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transit Authority are involved in a comprehensive planning study of rail, generally in the Washington Avenue and Interstate 10 area. The study, building off numerous previous reports and research by the agencies, is […]

Would the elevated 610 lanes really reduce congestion?

Color me skeptical. The elevated lane design, officials said, would allow traffic headed around the loop, and not into the Uptown area, to flow more freely. The lanes would have no access to exits for San Felipe, Westheimer, Richmond or U.S. 59. Moving that through-traffic to the express lanes would open up space for local […]