HOUSTON I-45 Parkway + Tunnel


Paper in PDF published by ASCE and presented at the ASCE Fall 2007 meeting in Fort Worth

Long Term Vision for Development of I-45: Before and After
(click on the image)
Graphics by: T. Dornbusch
Houston Press
Houston Business Journal
I-45 TxDOT Update
As of December 2008 there is no update on the evolution of the I-45 corridor
See the following clips about the incredible tunnel (SMART) constructed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
National Geography Program
SMART (tunnel) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
I-45 Parkway & Tunnels
The vision for future development of I-45
Graphics by: T. Dornbusch
The I-45 Parkway & Tunnel Concept is a long-term solution to traffic congestion on the I-45 corridor. It consists of four basic phases:
1. Build two tunnels beneath the existing I-45, from Beltway 8 in the north to US-59 south of downtown. This distance is about 15 miles.
2. Relocate traffic from the existing HOV lane on I-45 to these roadway tunnels and re-stripe existing I-45 to improve lane configuration. This will allow the existing HOV lanes to be converted to future high capacity transit (light rail) and will reduce the number of surface lanes. The tunnels will lessen the demand for surface lane capacity on the existing I-45.
3. Implement a research program to develop innovative and domestically (US) produced high capacity transit technologies to be incorporated into the I-45 corridor.
4. Development of the I-45 Parkway with high capacity transit (light rail) and implementation of strategies for stimulating transit oriented development.
Extension of Tunnels
The I-45 Parkway & Tunnel Concept extends from Beltway 8 (Greenspoint) in the north to US-59 south of Downtown.
1. Blue segment, from Beltway 8 to 610 Loop: Park and ride lot located at Greenspoint Mall would provide drivers the ability to park and and access downtown via high capacity transit (light rail).
2. Light blue segment, from 610 Loop to I-10: TxDOT's current proposed expansion of I-45 will widen the highway and result in greater separation of adjacent neighborhoods and decrease their quality of life.
3. Orange segment, from I-10 to Pierce Elevated: There is no TxDOT plan for expanding I-45 south of I-10, but the adding lanes north of I-10 will require an increase in the number of lanes on I-45 south of I-10, with significant impact to the quality of business in downtown.
4. Green segment, Pierce Elevated: This unattractive and uninviting separation between Downtown and Midtown could, if the Pierce Elevated lanes were relocated into roadway tunnels, be transformed into a transit oriented boulevard.