The I-45 Coalition was formed to address issues related to new potential construction in the area Interstate 45 near downtown Houston, Texas. We strongly believe that any construction or improvements on I-45 must comply with these 3 tenets:
  • No expansion beyond the existing right-of-way

  • Alternative means of transportation must be explored

  • No negative impact on the neighborhoods quality of life.

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Calendar - Past & Upcoming

We have summarized some of the larger meetings and events that have occurred recently and meetings that are currently scheduled, if any.  Once a public meeting has been announced, the I-45 Coalition will automatically notify everyone on our e-mail list. 

Upcoming Meetings:

No meetings planned at this time.

 

Previous Public Meetings:

10/26/04  TxDOT holds Public meeting presenting highway findings at Jeff Davis High School showing TxDOT’s Draft Recommended Alternatives.  They are:

From Downtown to Beltway 8         12 lanes         8 general purpose lanes + 4 managed lanes

From Beltway 8 to FM 1960            12 lanes       10 general purpose lanes + 2 HOV lanes

From FM 1960 to SH 242                10 lanes         8 general purpose lanes + 2 HOV lanes

TxDOT shows that 112 people attended

10/28/04  TxDOT holds same meeting as above at Greenspoint Mall

TxDOT shows that 21 people attended

2/9/05      I-45 Coalition and Woodland Heights Civic Association held a meeting at Zion Lutheran Church with hundreds of residents in attendance and several elected officials or their representatives.  Some of those in attendance:

               City Councilman Adrian Garcia
               Representative from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
               Representative from Congressman Gene Green
               Representative from State Representative Jessica Farrar
               Representative from County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia
               Representative from City Councilmember Michael Berry
               Representative from City Councilmember Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
               TxDOT Project Engineer Pat Henry, TxDOT Michael Tello
               Carter & Burgess project manager, Janet Kennison

Attendance – approximately 400 people

4/2/05      State Representative Jessica Farrar holds Town Hall Meeting regarding proposed expansion of Interstate 45 – 1st public introduction of tunnel alternative by Engineer Gonzalo Camacho. 

  Attendance – approximately 150 people

5/31/05    I-45 Coalition is granted “Consulting Party” status by TxDOT, allowing the I-45 Coalition the opportunity to comment on preservation issues involving the Interstate 45 expansion project

6/24/05    I-45 Coalition endorses the funding of a feasibility study to determine if an I-45 tunnel is viable

7/11/05    I-45Coalition receives draft copy of Carter & Burgess (the consultants hired by H-GAC, METRO and TxDOT) - “North-Hardy Planning Studies - Alternatives Analysis Report - (Highway Component) “- some of its major findings

Recommend the building of Build Alternative 2

Build Alternative 2 cost estimate is $404 million to build almost 30 miles of freeway – that is an average of $13.5 million per mile (The Katy Freeway project is in excess of $100 million per mile)

There are no estimations of minimum or maximum effect on Right-of-Way possibilities

Public Consensus – TxDOT contends there is community support

The I-45 Coalition objected strongly to several of the items above as being inaccurate.

8/13/05    I-45 Coalition holds public meeting at Jeff Davis High School with approximately 800 residents in attendance and many elected officials.  Some of those in attendance:

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Congressman Gene Green
State Representative Jessica Farrar
State Representative Garnet Coleman
Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia
City Councilman Adrian Garcia
City Councilman Gordon Quan
Director of Transportation, H-GAC, Alan Clark
City of Houston Director of Public Works & Engineering Mike Marcotte
Representative from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Representative from Congressman John Culberson
Representative from County Commissioner El Franco Lee
Representative from City Councilmember Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
TxDOT Engineer Hassan Nikooei and Carter & Burgess project manager,
              Janet Kennison
TxDOT wants to add an additional 4 lanes to I-45.  General consensus of the meeting is that there is not public support for expanding I-45 if that requires the loss of individuals’ homes or neighborhoods. 

Attendance – approximately 800 people

8/31/05       TxDOT decides to consider the possibility of putting the 4 additional lanes on the Hardy Toll Road or on Interstate 45 or on both.  Prior to this date, all proposals included all 4 lanes only on I-45.  Gary Trietsch, TxDOT District Engineer was quoted by the Houston Chronicle that it will take at least a year to “see where we are”.

9/9/05         TxDOT revised the 7/11/05 draft “North-Hardy Planning Studies - Alternatives Analysis Report - (Highway Component)”.  Some of the revisions include:

Estimate for Alternative #2 of $404 million is revised to $2.113 billion ($70.4 million per mile)

Added the possibility of putting some, all or none of the additional 4 lanes on Hardy Toll Road 

9/30/05       Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) changes their agenda and adds the newly revised I-45 project to their agenda to be considered at their 10/6/05 meeting

10/21/05     The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of H-GAC approves the I-45 Expansion

10/28/05     State Representative Jessica Farrar & City Councilman Adrian Garcia asked, on behalf of the community, that TxDOT withdraw the agenda item from the Transportation Policy Council (TPC) of H-GAC.  They asked for a delay of three weeks to allow questions to be answered that the I-45 Coalition and the community had asked.  At the conclusion of those 3 weeks, the I-45 Coalition will not object to the item coming up for a vote.  TxDOT agreed and the item was withdrawn.

11/18/05     I-45 expansion gets approved by TPC with no objection by the I-45 Coalition.  This gives TxDOT the approval to move into the next stage – Schematic Design and Environmental Studies.  This next stage is where TxDOT determines where exactly the lanes will be placed and will take 2 to 3 years and will include public meetings.

In August 2005, Congress passed the SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS, known as SAFETEA-LU. This act went into effect in 2006.   Due to this act, the Federal Highway Administration apparently issued new requirements that require TxDOT to comply with additional new requirements.  TxDOT must comply with these new rules and regulations before they can continue on any planned project.  This has temporarily stopped the I-45 rebuilding until they get the green light from FHWA.  The delay started around 11/06 and is still continuing today

 

5/6/06         I-45 Coalition holds a Design Workshop to help inform TxDOT what residents want and don’t want to happen along I-45

10/16/07        I-45 Coalition presented the Houston City Council with their support of the I-45 Tunnel & Parkway