Houston officials: Southwest Freeway feeder construction part of TxDOT project

The city of Houston says the area at the center of all the road work was already in good shape. So why's it happening anyway?
September 17, 2013 5:03:17 PM PDT
It's a multi-million dollar repavement project causing traffic headaches along the Southwest Freeway. But it will all be worth it in the end, right? Well, maybe. The city of Houston says the roadway at the center of all this construction was already in good shape.

In one section of the Southwest Freeway in southwest Houston, there's Lakewood Church, Greenway Plaza and Channel 13. There's also an $18 million Texas Department of Transportation project on the feeder road on both sides.

"The road wasn't in good shape. There's a lot of patches, cracks, things. It was way past its life expectancy," said TxDOT Spokesman Danny Perez.

Perez told us the agency is reconstructing the frontage road there along the Southwest Freeway, all the lanes both inbound and out from Shepherd to Newcastle. He says all those patches and the upkeep cost too much and take too much time, so they're redoing it all made the most sense.

"Over $18 million, but it's worth the cost," Perez said.

"They're fixing the road. I don't know why," taxi driver Tariq Maslamani said.

Maslamani doesn't think so. He thinks the road is just fine the way it was, and a city of Houston analysis shows that, too. The city tested every inch of street in Houston and this frontage road was one of the best. It's a pretty small map, but zoom in real close it's green on the map, which means it's good.

"I don't know why they do that. They should go to Richmond," Tariq said.

Richmond road just a few blocks north, and it's one of the worst. But it's not a state road -- it's city owned -- and TxDOT can't spend money there.

"So, why can't you do that?" we asked Perez.

"That's a city road, you'd have to talk to them about that," he said.

The city doesn't have the cash to fix all the road they say are in bad shape. TxDOT decided where to spend its money and TxDOT decided this road was more expensive to maintain than replace. So here it is.

What we can guarantee is that after the state spends $18 million of your dollars, chances are it'll go from good to even better.

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