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Transportation Projects to Transform Houston Roadways, Accommodate Growth

Published Jan 25, 2024 by Hailea Schultz

I-69/Loop 610

As the fourth most populous city in the nation, Houston faces the ongoing challenge of meeting the demands of its expanding population and ensuring efficient mobility for residents and businesses.  

Metro Houston added nearly 125,000 residents in 2022, according to the Partnership’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. A recent study from Site Selection Group also suggests that the Houston Metro is projected to see a 9.62 percent population growth rate or a total population of over eight million by 2028. 

To accommodate for current and future growth, many dynamic transportation projects are underway in the region that will not only address current congestion and infrastructure needs but also lay the groundwork for a more sustainable and interconnected future.  

I-69 Southwest/610 West Loop Interchange Construction 

In efforts to relieve congestion on two of Houston’s busiest highways, the project involves reconstructing the main lanes of Loop 610 along I-69 and transforming one-lane connectors into two-lane ones. After six years of work, the project is nearly finished. 

"We have one connector ramp left that has to be that has to be demolished and rebuilt as part of the project," said Danny Perez, Public Information Officer for TxDOT's Houston District in a recent segment of Houston Public Media’s Houston Matters. "We have to do some work on the 610 main lanes. Once we do all of that work then the project will be substantially completed by this summer, and then have it fully completed by fall of 2024." 

 

I-45 Downtown Houston 

Construction on a segment of the massive I-45 expansion project is expected to kick off this year in downtown Houston, with drainage work along St. Emmanuel Street. Nearly two decades in the making, the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP) includes the reconstruction of I-45 from the North Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8 to I-10 and reroute I-45 through downtown along I-10 and US 59/I-69.  

According to Community Impact, another subproject of the NHHIP that includes the construction of main lanes along I-69 to Hwy. 288 is projected to start in 2025, while segment two of the project, which includes work along I-45 from I-10 to Loop 610 and parts of Loop 610, is not slated to begin until 2028.  

 

Houston Ship Channel Bridge 

Spanning the Houston Ship Channel, the new cable-stayed bridge aims to widen the Sam Houston Tollway by providing eight lanes for vehicular traffic and shoulder lanes for motorcyclists. While construction saw a brief pause back in 2020, it has resumed with the southbound bridge slated for completion by late 2025 and the northbound bridge by 2028. 

 

METRONext 

To help alleviate traffic in the greater Houston region, Metro Houston’s METRONext Moving Forward Plan aims to expand community travel options that will take more cars off the road, including the following: 

  • METRORapid Inner Katy is a project designed to cater to commuters in the Interstate 10 West and U.S. Highway 290 Northwest corridors. The project will create a new METRORapid line running through I-10 in the inner Katy area, including stops at Shepard/Durham and Studemont. Additionally, the project will provide exclusive lanes for Regional Express buses on I-10 West and Hwy. 290 North West, bypassing congestion on I-10.  

  • METRORapid University Corridor Project aims to increase connectivity from the Westchase Park & Ride and to the Tidewell Transit Center, providing access to four educational institutions including Houston Community College, Texas Southern University, University of Houston and University of St. Thomas. 

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