Harris County attorney Christian Menefee filed a lawsuit in federal court asking to halt the process and require TxDOT to redo some of its environmental process. Pretrial is scheduled for July 2, 2021. Follow the case on CourtListener.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration requesting that they "intervene to ensure that TxDOT's FEIS meets the spirit and letter of the law for NEPA" and that they specifically "consider withdrawing the assignment of the USDOT Secretary’s responsibilities for this project."
Air Alliance Houston and 16 co-signing organizations sent a civil rights complaint to TxDOT expressing "concern that issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) for the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP)... would violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964... and The Texas Department of Transportation’s own Title VI/Nondiscrimination Plan."
TxDOT Executive Director James Bass sent a statement to be read at the H-GAC Transportation Policy Council (TPC) stating that "TxDOT’s position on the Resolution remains unchanged from our position on the MOU." After hearing more comments against the Resolution from Commissioner Laura Ryan, the TPC chose to table the Resolution.
Here is a sampling of the comments that were sent in responses to TxDOT's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
On September 25, 2020, TxDOT released their Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
Several elected officials request extra time to comment on the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
2020-09-30 CM Karla Cisneros FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
2020-10-12 Commissioner Adrian Garcia FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
2020-10-12 Judge Lina Hidalgo FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
2020-10-16 Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
2020-10-19 Congresswoman Jackson Lee FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
2020-10-20 Commissioner Rodney Ellis FEIS Comment Extension (pdf)Download
Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan responded to Mayor Turner, making no commitment to change anything before TxDOT releases the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
The City of Houston's NHHIP Facilitation Group presented their analysis and recommended Vision C. This design alternative will keep I-45 within its existing right-of-way as much as possible.
Mayor Sylvester Turner sent a letter to TxDOT with a new vision for the NHHIP, including 10 pages of specific requests, covering all 3 segments.
Several elected representatives endorsed Vision C for Segments 1 & 2. The letter was signed by Rep. Jackson Lee, Rep. Eastman, Senator Alvarado, Rep. Morales, Comm. Garcia, CM Alcorn, CM Cisneros, CM Davis, CM Gallegos, CM Kamin, CM Plummer, and CM Robinson.
County Judge Lina Hidalgo echoed Turner's vision and asked TxDOT to delay their Final Environmental Impact Statement.
2020-04-13 CoH NHHIP Facilitation Group Vision C (pdf)Download
2020-05-12 Mayor Sylvester Turner Vision C for I-45 (pdf)Download
2020-04-26 CM Karla Cisneros Endorsement of Vision C (pdf)Download
2020-05-05 Senator Alvarado Endorsement of Vision C (pdf)Download
2020-05-12 Houston Elected Officials Endorsement of Vision C (pdf)Download
2020-05-19 Lina Hidalgo vision & delay FEIS (pdf)Download
Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis asked TxDOT to delay their Final Environmental Impact Statement.
"As part of a multi-agency collaboration, including the City of Houston, the County and METRO, my office is working to evaluate proposed alternatives to TxDOT’s recent plans. These plans will address our region’s transportation goals and the feedback of those directly affected by the NHHIP expansion. This effort will be in vain if TxDOT does not take into account the effects of COVID-19 on our ability to evaluate the project and proposed alternatives within the current expected timeline."