Critics claim that the $9 billion Houston highway project is racially inequitable and would have a negative impact on a variety of neighborhoods.
According to the Associated Press, critics of a $9 billion highway project in Houston say it is racially inequitable and will damage a variety of neighborhoods in the vicinity.
If the project is completed without addressing traffic issues, increased pollution, displacement, and floods might affect Black and Latino people, according to critics made up of neighborhood groups and residents.
The project, which has been in the works for nearly two decades, would be implemented over a ten-year period, repaving 24 miles of Interstate 45 and other roads. The construction, according to supporters, will reduce traffic, improve driving safety, and address flood mitigation and catastrophe evacuation concerns.
Regardless of the benefits, the construction of I-45 would result in the displacement of approximately 1,000 homes and apartments, 344 businesses, two schools, and five places of worship in largely Black and Latino neighborhoods.
“This project will not be everything that everyone desires or believes in. Nonetheless, it has the potential to revolutionize the region and the state,” said Laura Ryan, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, at a meeting in August.
The Federal Highway Administration is presently evaluating civil rights and environmental justice issues about the project, which has kept it on hold since March. Harris County, where Houston is located, has also filed a complaint alleging that state officials failed to consider the project’s impact on neighborhoods.
In response to a question from Rodney Ellis, a Harris County commissioner, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg claimed that the results of “misguided transportation policy” have “disproportionately occurred in Black and brown communities and neighborhoods.”
Buttigieg has stated that racial justice would be a top priority for his administration.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
“It’s highly racially unjust,” Molly Cook of Stop TxDOT I-45, one of the community groups opposed to the project, said as she stood in a cul-de-sac in north Houston where ten homes were slated to be demolished due to the enlargement. “We’re going to spend all of this money to exacerbate traffic congestion and harm a large number of people.” Fabian Ramirez, 40, whose family has lived in a neighborhood near downtown Houston since the 1960s, said he may be forced to sell property he owns if the project is approved.
“It’s taken generations for my family to get me to this point.” This is a condensed version of the information.