HOUSTON I-45 Parkway + Tunnel

1900's Highland Park - Today's Woodland Heights

Constructed by the electric trolley company, this 30-acre park included a lake and other amenities that were enjoyed by thousands of Houstonians every weekend. The construction of I-45 took a large portion of this park.

In the 1950's TxDOT started the construction of I-45. It required the purchase of residential properties and eventually I-45 divided neighborhoods by building a modern-day highway barrier between them.

Historic pictures can be found at texasfreeway.com or access it through the above picture links.
In the 1980s I-45 was reconstructed and expanded into the current configuration to meet the demand for more freeway lanes.
Currently TxDOT is considering to reconstruct I-45 a third time. TxDOT's recommended alternative would expand the main lanes on I-45 from 9 to 12 lanes. Including four service road, the approximate width of TxDOT's alternative is 280 feet wide - almost the length of a football field. Above is the TxDOT recommended alternative for I-45 between 610 Loop and I-10.
This picture of I-10 from stockyard.com shows I-10 under reconstruction into what will become one of the widest highways in Texas. Is the widening of highways the best and only long-term solution to adding highway capacity? Historically, highways must be expanded every 20 years. The increasing cost of right-of-way acquisition will soon make horizontal expansion of highways more difficult. Then what will be the solution to highway expansion? A multi-level highway? Is a landscape of higher, wider and more congested highways the image that Houston really wants to present to the world? As we become more aware of the long-term negativity of noise and air pollution along freeway corridors, we must question Houston’s willingness to sacrifice its quality of life and its neighborhoods to further construction of mega-highways?