Dear Partners and Friends,
The new report revises the 2017 assessment of how TxDOT anticipates the $7 billion, 25-mile long project will impact real people. That’s why we’ve taken a preliminary look at the report and are sharing our first impressions. While the number of potential families forced to move due to the project decreased, the overall planned acreage for the footprint of the highway increased. It is unclear if this decrease in displacements is due to design changes or if TxDOT is solely counting whole parcels of land in potential right-of-way. The expanded right-of-way for the highway project appears to reflect additional storm water detention basins, as well as changes in existing land use and occupancy (p. 52, Section 5.1).
Here are some of the big takeaways for the Preferred Alternative IH-45 design based on TxDOT’s newly released draft Community Impact Assessment:
Increased right-of-way for the I-45 expansion
- Segment 1 (Beltway 8 to IH-610 North Loop): increase from ∼212 acres to ∼246 acres
- Segment 2 (IH-610 North Loop to IH-10/Downtown): increase from ∼19 acres to ∼44 acres
- Segment 3 (Downtown Loop System): no change (∼160 acres)
Decrease in the estimated number of single- and multi-family homes, schools, places of worship, businesses, billboards, and other structures displaced by the I-45 expansion
- Multi-family residences (including public and low-income housing): decrease from 1,067 to 919
- Businesses: increase from 331 to 344
- Schools: decrease from 8 to 2
- Single-family residences: decrease from 168 to 160
Detailed lists of displacements are provided in Appendix G of the draft report.
We at LINK Houston envision a resilient Houston where it is possible for every person, regardless of income, to move around our city without owning a car. To realize this vision, we have been working with communities adjacent to the proposed NHHIP to advocate for the I-45 expansion to provide safe and affordable mobility access, while minimizing the displacement of families, jobs, and historical sites.
Let TxDOT know how you feel about the expanded footprint and demand that TxDOT take more steps to keep families in their homes and protect historical sties.
Contact TxDOT by January 10, 2020 via:
- Email at HOUfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail to: TxDOT Houston District Office, Director of Project Development, P.O. 1386, Houston, TX 77251-1386;
- Or in person at the TxDOT Houston District Office, 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77007.