Business friendly Texans across our area are begging state officials not to drop a plan that would update and improve I-45.
Galveston County officials are among the latest pleading for the Texas Department of Transportation to move forward with the $7.5 billion project. The plan to update the I-45 corridor has been in the works for 15 years. Now, it’s seemingly in limbo. Critics accuse powerful business interests of trying to profit off of displacing poor communities. Harris County Commissioner (Precinct 3) Tom Ramsey says that's not the case.
“It’s going to improve freight movement through Houston, evacuation of millions of people to the south of us,” Ramsey said. “Incredible improvement to drainage, 2.5 billion dollars.”
Critics of a plan to expand and improve I-45 may have their way if Texans don't voice their support. TxDOT has been listening to locals for and against the project in virtual meetings. Ramsey says a federal lawsuit is holding up progress, which is why there's a risk the project could lose funding.
“If you look at the investment in downtown Houston, people coming and going from work. All of that is going to be forced out of downtown,” Ramsey explained. “Downtown will be a decaying core if we allow this to happen.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is one of the project's biggest critics. Ramsey believes the project will eventually come to fruition, but he predicts that won’t happen for years.