TxDOT “Responds” to Public Comment of I-10 elevation

Last year residents and community organizations were allowed to submit public comments regarding the planned I-10 elevation. The overwhelming majority of comments were in opposition to the project. TxDOT has now released these comments along with their form responses to them.

Some notable comments:

Proposed I-10 construction is an attempt to ignore environmental regulations and skirt the public input period. It would damage wetlands, wildlife, remove greenspace, increase noise for surrounding neighborhoods and pollute our air.

Alaina Hebert – President, Woodland Heights Civic Association

elevating a 1.8-mile segment of freeway at a cost of more than a third of a billion dollars strikes us as an excessive and wasteful response to a nuisance-level problem.

Elevating the lanes will worsen the propagation of traffic noise not just along the bayou and in the adjacent parks, but also into nearby neighborhoods.

White Oak Bayou Association

this project seems unnecessarily disruptive and expensive to keep the freeway open a relatively tiny handful of days every few years, especially given that 610 provides a natural alternative when I10 is blocked by flooding. Additionally, when the city is flooding badly enough to put I10 underwater, most households and businesses are hunkered down anyway, reducing demand. There are better places to deploy TXDoT’s limited resources.

Tory Gattis – Founding Senior Fellow at the Urban Reform Institute

Further encroachment upon White Oak Bayou, one of the most used and cherished natural resources near our community, would further deteriorate the public amenity due to I-10’s new footprint.

West End Civic Club

TxDOT should halt this project until Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) completes its evaluation of a plan to build 8 massive tunnels that would divert and store water underground. A study should be done to determine whether the I-10 elevation would be needed if the tunnel system goes forward. Several of us noted that the
“hydrology” person with TXDOT didn’t seem to have any information about the tunnel flood control system currently being studied and didn’t seem to have included the idea in the “planning” stage of the elevate I-10 concept.

Kathleen Boyd

the destruction of the adjacent forest along White Oak Bayou is antithetical to sustainability in our urban
heat island. Why is the freeway being raised 30-40 feet? What kind of flood are you expecting? This is a solution looking for a problem!

Mark Steuer – President, White Oak Bayou Association

I’ve lived in Woodland Heights for 35 years. Years ago, when you put the elevated HOV lane in, the constant noise level increased tremendously. Now I truly fear what the sound level of ten more elevated lanes would be.

Matt Hartzell

We are concerned about increased noise dispersal due to elevation…

We are concerned about increased pollution dispersal due to elevation…

We are concerned about possible construction impact to surrounding communities. Past freeway construction projects have pushed extra traffic deep into our neighborhood.

It is not clear either that the project is needed in the first place or that it is sufficient to the stated purpose.

This project should have been presented with more information about how it relates to other proposed TxDOT projects such as NHHIP and the Inner Katy Managed Lanes project introduced last year. By breaking the projects apart, civic organizations can be misled as to how the projects can impact distant communities.

Land Use Committee, Houston Heights Association

This whole project seems to be misaligned to the continued work being done to improve the parkway with hike and bike trails, connections to other parkways, creation of additional parks (Bayou Greenways Park). This work brings people from the city to the park to enjoy the open space. To cycle and jog and enjoy a communal open space.
Having a raised freeway has a direct, negative impact, to that. Increased noise and air pollution would negate all this good work.

People come, on a daily basis, to enjoy the park. Many come for photo opportunities, with the city in the background. People walk the pathway to enjoy nature but also the views of downtown. The raised freeway would have a huge negative impact on Stude Park and the people who use it dail

Chris Bohill

I can’t help wondering if the public isn’t being fully informed as to the true nature of the proposed project. Since the proposed “improvement” doesn’t actually allow for traffic to flow unimpeded because of simultaneous roadway flooding less than two miles west of the location. There must be some other unmentioned purpose or benefit to TXDOT for the proposed project. Could it actually be related to the long delayed and strongly objected to I-45 project? It isn’t helpful to your cause to not be fully forthcoming about goals and motivations.

Josh Shaner

I am strongly opposed to the 1-10 elevation proposal. In recent weeks my neighborhood has challenged TxDOT on their plan to elevate I-10 near our neighborhood between Heights Blvd. and I-45. Due to the lack of transparency,
engagement, and overall dubiousness around the project, I would not support this project. The project, in its current form, seems to be a waste of taxpayer money and jeopardizes the tranquility of our community. I join the Houston Parks Board, community leaders and my fellow neighbors and ask you to NOT do this project.

Gretchen Himsl

Speaking for my family and everyone I’ve talked to thus far about this potential project, this is a royal waste of money if the purpose is to simply keep I-10 drivable during flooding events that rarely occur — and when most people aren’t and shouldn’t be out driving anyway. How about you instead spend hundreds of millions of $ to re-do and fix the terrible Houston roads and sidewalks all over the city that are used every day and not to keep a stretch of highway open the one day out of the year it may flood. This is a terrible idea.

Brian Friday

This stretch of I-10 has been impassable from floodwaters on only a very few days, during the most major storm events when travel was not advisable or encouraged. The Houston region has a number of ring highways that provide alternate routes in extreme weather. To spend $347 million or more to elevate lanes in this segment is not a wise or
necessary use of taxpayer/public funds.

Sierra Club, Houston Regional Group
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