The plan, which is updated annually by H-GAC, lays out a wide variety of transportation priorities through 2045, including road projects, public transit improvements, and hike and bike projects. A project sponsor is identified for each project in the plan; sponsors range from the Texas Department of Transportation to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County to local cities and counties across the eight counties covered by H-GAC.
“Even in the face of the pandemic, the Houston-Galveston region continues to be one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country," H-GAC Transportation Manager Adam Beckom said in a statement. "The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan establishes the visions, goals and investment priorities that will ensure our transportation network can sustain that growth, strengthen economic competitiveness and serve our residents now and in the future.”
Proposed additions to the plan for this year include a restructuring and widening of the San Jacinto River bridge over I-10 and an adjustment of the scope of a Hempstead Highway project in northwest Houston. The latter project—certain elements of which are not scheduled to take place until 2040—has shifted from the construction of four managed lanes to a new plan that involves reconstructing Hempstead Road, adding one transit lane in each direction and building four elevated managed lanes from Loop 610 to Jones Road.
Other updates include a project to build a six-lane freeway on Hwy. 35 between Dixie Drive and the Brazoria/Harris county line in Alvin. In a narrow vote that took place in March, members of H-GAC's transportation subcommittee passed a nonbinding resolution indicating willingness to continue to work with TxDOT on controversial plans to widen a portion of I-45 in Houston. The project, known as the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, remains a part of H-GAC's regional plan.
Residents can submit feedback on the plans on H-GAC's website, by phone at 855-363-2516 or by email to email@example.com. Two virtual public meetings have been set for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 8. Residents can join via Zoom, call in by phone or watch a livestream of the meetings. The public comment period is open now and will remain open through April 28.
“Community input is vital to ensuring the RTP is prioritizing the projects that make our transportation system safe, accessible and reliable for all while also making a positive impact on quality of life,” Beckom said.