The Texas Department of Transportation says a proposed project for I-45 North could reduce rush hour delays by 50 percent.

The project would cost an estimated $7 billion to redo about 25 miles of the North Freeway.

Below is a look at the key elements of the current plan: 

It would be done in three sections. 

  • Section 1 in green is from the Beltway 8 North down to the 610 loop North.
  • Section 2 in purple goes down to  I-10. 
  • Section 3 in yellow goes around downtown and would get rid of I-45. 

There will also be other be other changes.

  • Where you now have one HOV which changes direction during morning and afternoon rush hour, they will added two new HOV lanes in each direction. (as seen in purple)
  • They will also add a new frontage lane in each direction. (as seen in green)

There is opportunity for a green space. 

  • Where I-45 currently goes below ground level at Main St., the expansion would allow for a potential green space by adding metal beams, dirt and plants.

The biggest change will be downtown. 

  • I-45 on the west side would go away, so would the Pierce elevated. 
  • Instead, it would be rerouted to east of downtown and parallel to Highway 59. 
  • For more than half a mile, the freeway would be below street level.

TxDOT is conducting two public hearings for the proposed North Houston Highway Improvement Project. For information, visit here.