a traffic game changer?
As you have probably heard, TxDOT has big plans for downtown. It will merge I-45 with US-59 and send part of the freeway underground.
But that's not the only freeway mashup the plan envisions. I-45 will also run alongside I-10, creating a super-freeway on the north side of downtown.
Additional express lanes will allow I-10 travelers to bypass traffic exiting and entering the Central Business District.
TxDOT officials say the new configuration would decrease crashes and improve freeway speeds by 20 miles per hour during peak times.
"You notice a bottleneck, and we have to improve the efficiency and make the freeways run better as you are going through those areas," TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez says.
Perez adds that while new construction can be a hassle, TxDOT is simply "trying to address population growth."
Despite TxDOT's promises, the project has generated significant opposition. Critics are worried about its $7 billion price tag, and the numbers of homes and businesses that would have to be removed for the project to proceed.
The project’s “proposed recommended” routes would “displace four houses of worship, two schools, 168 single-family homes, 1,067 multifamily units and 331 businesses with 24,873 employees,” critics argue.
Construction is not expected to begin until 2022. But the government requires TxDOT to check several boxes before it can break ground, including getting public input on the social and environmental impact of the project. You have until February 7 to weigh in.
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