Did you know ?

Here are a few facts regarding the I-45 expansion and a tunnel alternative to the current TxDOT plan.

  • If TxDOT spends our $2.1 billion (as TxDOT estimated in 2005 that their I-45 improvements would cost), traffic in the 8 lanes (4 lanes North and 4 lanes South) inside Loop 610 will travel at a whopping 35 mph on average. If they don’t spend our money, the same lanes will average 32 mph! A 3 mile per hour difference!
  • In the section from Loop 610 to Beltway 8, traffic with improvements will average 30 mph. With “no improvements” – 27 mph! A 3 mile per hour difference!
  • If TxDOT spends our $2.1 billion, there will be NO new lanes built for regular traffic. The increase in lanes comes from increasing the number of HOV lanes from 1 (current layout) to a total of 4 HOV/Managed lanes – a net increase of 3 lanes.
  • TxDOT estimates construction time will be 10 years for improvements to be built on I-45 (Katy Freeway is also a 10 year construction period).
  • Twin tunnels can be built in 5 years – with minimal disruption to surface traffic during construction
  • Twin tunnels can add a total of up to 12 new lanes for traffic – including HOV lanes.
  • The air from the tunnels can have 90% of particulate matter removed before being released.
  • Noise pollution is eliminated with a tunnel and has minimal environmental and community impacts
  • The tunnels can be built to serve first as an evacuation route and then as an emergency shelter to house thousands of Houstonians in the event of a disaster
  • The tunnels will be built to not flood – even the Washburn Tunnel which goes under the Ship Channel, built here in Houston over 50 years ago, does not flood!
  • Yes – the tunnel will cost more in total dollars – $3.1 billion (tunnel) vs. $2.1 billion (road) in 2005 dollars. But look what you get for the extra money – 12 new lanes for traffic (instead of 3 lanes) – No need to destroy existing historic neighborhoods – An improvement of air quality – Construction in 1⁄2 the time - No disruption of an important evacuation route - and if you consider the cost when the projects would be completed (10 years for TxDOT’s road vs. 5 years for a tunnel) and all financing costs, the difference is about 25% ($3.7 billion road vs.. $4.6 billion tunnel) .

    Check out more details about the tunnel at http://www.i45parkway.com/i45.htm
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