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'Freeway-NO WAY': Families, businesses hope to temporarily block major I-45 expansion plan

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project plans to re-imagine the freeway system around downtown and portions of I-45 to the Beltway.

HOUSTON, Texas — A major re-working of multiple Houston freeways is moving forward.

But some hope for a temporary roadblock.

Several groups sent a singular message Tuesday during a joint news conference.

"We want to say that you cannot make decisions for us without us,” said Cesar Espinosa with FIEL Houston.

They want to curb the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, which will re-imagine the freeway system around downtown and portions of I-45 to the Beltway.

It's also expected to require the relocation of businesses and homes in mostly lower income areas.

"168 single family homes, 1067 multi-family units, 331 businesses, and 24,873 jobs,” said Oni Blair with Link Houston.

Critics said they're using TXDOT’s own data to try and persuade the Houston-Galveston Area Council to vote against local matching funds during a meeting later this week.

"'They have to understand that we are concerned with what’s happening in our community,” said longtime resident Kathy Blueford-Daniels.

She's lived in the shadow of multiple freeways her entire life.

"It’s just like a pimple," said Blueford-Daniels.  "You push a pimple and it pops."  "The community is popping.”

TXDOT animations have helped illustrate just how massive this project is. 

We've reported that it includes the decommissioning of the Pierce Elevated on and that portions of 59 will go underground.

The agency said it already spent years getting input and educating the public on what it will mean.

"There will be some impact with right of way acquisition," said TXDOT spokesman Danny Perez.  "But it’s to improve mobility in the area.” 

Air Alliance Houston was part of Tuesday's news conference as well.  

It's concerned about added emissions that might be the result or more traffic volume.

Click here to find out more about TXDOT's plan here. 


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