TxDOT embarks on Phase 2 of I-45 study from Beltway 8 to South Loop 336, seeks public input

[gallery ids="396651"]

Having wrapped up Phase 1 of its Planning and Environmental Linkage Study on I-45 North last summer, the Texas Department of Transportation has begun Phase 2, during which TxDOT officials will continue to seek public input through summer 2020.


TxDOT launched a PEL study on the I-45 corridor between Beltway 8 North in Spring and South Loop 336 in Conroe in spring 2017 to identify future corridor needs based on existing road conditions, population growth projections and public input.


“Working with the community, we will develop ideas and alternatives to support the vision that we have and that the community has for the corridor [by] identifying issues and concerns early, which will save us time and mean few delays later in the process,” TxDOT Commissioner Laura Ryan said during a North Houston Association luncheon March 19.


Ryan said population growth is one of the biggest concerns driving the study, with Harris and Montgomery counties’ populations slated to increase by 46 and 141 percent, respectively, by 2045—adding 2.5 million additional people to the area.


“One of the major corridors in this area is I-45, and I-45 North needs some improvements,” she said. “With more than 200,000 vehicles on that portion of the interstate daily, it’s a legitimate, valid observation.”


Ryan said safety is another key factor being considered throughout the PEL process. Between 2012 and 2016, 11,992 total crashes occurred on the I-45 main lanes, 228 of which resulted in a fatality or incapacitating injury.


During Phase 1, TxDOT collected data, analyzed existing conditions and identified corridor issues and concerns to develop a vision for the corridor with community input. It was completed in summer 2018.


TxDOT Houston District Engineer Quincy Allen said during Phase 1, TxDOT had 105 individuals attend three community meetings to give input on the study. Some of the corridor concerns raised by residents included flooding, environmental impacts, improved intersection configuration, enhanced multimodal options such as bi-directional HOV lanes, and improved system connectivity with more direct connector ramps.


Phase 2 will develop and screen conceptual ideas and alternatives that support the corridor vision and consider viable alternatives. It will conclude with a presentation of PEL findings.


TxDOT Director of Project Development Pat Henry confirmed that Phase 2 will include additional public meetings, however exact dates had not been announced as of March 20.


“We need help getting the word out on how important public involvement in these meeting was and [will be] in [Phase 2],” Allen said. “We want to hear from the public—not just stakeholders, but ordinary citizens. There’s no idea that we don’t want to hear.”

By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

Magnolia's First Baptist Church will host its annual pumpkin patch, featuring food and other activities, such as hay rides, "punkin' chunkin'" and photo opportunities. (Courtesy Magnolia's First Baptist Church)
Fall fun: 8 pumpkin patches to visit in North Houston

From photo opportunities to hayrides, here are a few places to put on your list this fall.

(Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
Shogun Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Over 146,00 county residents had cast ballots as of Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See where turnout stands at Montgomery County's polling places after 9 days of early voting

From Willis to The Woodlands, thousands of county residents have turned out to vote each day since early voting began Oct. 13.

Up to 40,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas members could be impacted if a contract agreement cannot be reached. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CHI St. Luke's Hospital faces potential contract termination with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at multiple Houston, Southeast Texas locations

If an agreement cannot be reached, up to 40,000 Houstonians could find their local hospital is out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

Sara Dillard and Adriana Marshall are new owners of the Rush Cycle location in Woodforest. (Courtesy Rush Cycle-Woodforest)
Sandwiches, spin class and more: The latest business news for Conroe, Montgomery

The Conroe and Montgomery area has seen new businesses open and changes in ownership in recent months.

Conroe ISD has been open for in-person and remote instruction since mid-August. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Total positive COVID-19 reports among Conroe ISD students, staff passes 400

As of Oct. 22, the district had recorded 181 positive COVID-19 reports among students and 225 among staff this year.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Conroe ISD's board of trustees met for a regular meeting Oct. 20. (Screenshot via Conroe ISD YouTube)
Conroe ISD to pursue renewal of District of Innovation designation

The Conroe ISD board of trustees met for its regular monthly meeting Oct. 20 to discuss the "District of Innovation" status and several other items.

With polls open for early voting through Oct. 30 leading up to Election Day on Nov. 3, check out where to vote and when in Conroe, Montgomery and Willis. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
GUIDE: Where can I vote in Conroe, Montgomery and Willis?

With polls open for early voting through Oct. 30 leading up to Election Day on Nov. 3, check out where to vote and when in Conroe, Montgomery and Willis.

Target has built out its new store at 2075 Westheimer Road, Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Target to open fourth Inner Loop location and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The funding comes from the general fund balance, and the budget will remain balanced, officials said Oct. 20. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery ISD approves 2% pay raise for staff, effective Nov. 1

With educators teaching both remotely and in-person and administrators pivoting to shut down schools and then reopen them, officials said a pay raise was needed more than ever.

Baylor College of Medicine is seeking volunteers for a COVID-19 study looking to determine the prevalence of the viral disease in the Houston area. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine recruiting participants for COVID-19 prevalence study

The study will collect samples from 70,000 individuals nationwide.