Could North Freeway changes bring more pollution to Houston?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The neighborhoods on Houston's north side are bracing for big changes in the coming years as TxDOT prepares to reconstruct and add lanes to I-45 between the North Beltway 8 and downtown Houston.

The non-profit Air Alliance Houston is especially concerned about the health and quality of life for people living nearby.

The group wants TxDOT to carefully consider the historic significance of these neighborhoods, and take specific action to make sure any additional pollution this brings to the north side is mitigated, including the use of air monitors.

"Install air monitors so that staff at campuses can make decisions, on a particular day depending on what the air quality is," said Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston.

TxDOT released a statement from the Director of Environmental Affairs, Carlos Swonke, saying in part, "TxDOT has met with HISD regarding the schools along the corridor and we are responding to concerns about construction noise, dust, access and safety. We are looking for opportunities for vegetative screens, noise reduction and air filtration as ways to minimize negative effects."

The City of Houston and TxDOT have joined to host two more public meetings on the North Freeway Improvement Project at the following dates and locations:

Thurs., June 20, 2019
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Harris County Department of Education
6300 Irvington Blvd., Houston, TX 77022

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Acres Homes Multi-Service Center
6719 W Montgomery Rd., Houston, TX 77091
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