About the I-45N PEL Study
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The planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study for I-45N in the Houston area will enable the community to participate in the transportation decision-making process. The PEL process represents an approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community and economic goals early in the planning stage and carries them through project development, design and construction. A PEL study can lead to a seamless decision-making process that accomplishes the following:

  • Minimizes duplication of effort.
  • Promotes efficient cost-effective solutions and environmental stewardship.
  • Reduces delays in project implementation.

Download the study fact sheet

Study Purpose and Need

What are the needs? Inadequate mobility: Congestion on mainlanes, frontage roads, intersections. Delays and unreliable travel times. Safety issues: High crash rates on mainlanes, frontage roads, intersections. Gaps in the multimodal network, posing danger for pedestrians and bicyclists. Poor system connectivity: Limited accessibility and connections to other roadways and between travel modes. Inadequate interchanges. What are we trying to do? Improve mobility and reduce congestion. Improve safety. Improve connections across the roadway system and modes.

Study Goals and Objectives

The I-45N PEL study goals and objectives were developed with public input. They are:

Improve mobility and travel time reliability. Improve system connectivity and accessibility: Enhance east-west connections. Improve interchanges and access to/from the I-45N mainlanes. Improve connections to parallel facilities. Improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Enhance economic development and strong regional economic competitiveness. Maximize use of existing right-of-way. Reduce roadway flooding. Maintain and preserve existing I-45N infrastructure. Incorporate cost-effective solutions. Reduce frequency and severity of crashes. Improve transit accessibility and connections to I-45N. Improve accommodation of freight traffic. Minimize impacts to natural and built environments. Accommodate future technology to promote sustainability. Improve functionality and resiliency of I-45N as a hurricane and emergency evacuation route. Identify and prioritize short-term solutions for quicker implementation of improvements. Achieve active stakeholder and public participation throughout study.

Study Process and Timeline

The I-45N PEL study process begins with identifying issues and goals for the corridor and then moves through identifying potential alternatives that would improve the corridor. After that, TxDOT will select, with public input, a project or projects to be evaluated, designed and built.

PEL Process: Phase 1 - Spring 2017 - Fall 2018. Collect data. Analyze existing conditions. Determine corridor issues and concerns. Develop the Purpose and Need Statement with community input. Phase 2 - Spring 2019 - Spring 2021. Develop universe of alternatives and conduct Fatal Flaw Analysis. Screen reasonable alternatives against criteria. Identify viable alternatives that meet the corridor needs and goals. Present PEL findings. Ongoing public and stakeholder involvement.


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