The future of Houston traffic: Downtown freeway project promises to speed up your commute

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Eyewitness News traffic reporter Katherine Whaley is looking into the future of Houston traffic.

The way we commute through downtown Houston is about to change forever, thanks to a new Texas Department of Transportation plan that aims to make driving safer.

TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen said that drivers will have "better merging, better lane assignments and better alignment getting you in the correct part of the freeway before you make your decision."

The plan will move I-45 freeway lanes from the Pierce Elevated to the east side of downtown, running alongside US-59/I-69. Engineers said the increased lanes, and the straighter, less curvy flow of the new configuration will also increase speeds.

"We're talking about average speeds of 35 or 36 plus 24, so we'll get them back up to speed limit - 55 or 60 miles per hour," Allen explained.

But the Pierce Elevated isn't going anywhere just yet.

"We are going to need the Pierce for a while, because that's going to help us provide capacity and alternate routes during this work," Allen said.

Road work is expected to begin by 2020.

Preview the biggest freeway project of a lifetime set to begin soon
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Katherine Whaley is looking into the future of Houston traffic with the biggest freeway project in a generation.

Explore a possible new solution to urban congestion
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Katherine Whaley is looking into the future of Houston traffic with big freeway projects and ideas that could improve congestion.

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traffictxdottransportationhighwaysfreewaycommutingdriverHouston
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