Moving I-45 to other side of downtown being called 1 of nation's most wasteful

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's a complete transformation of the downtown freeway.

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project calls for I-45 to be lifted from its current route to follow U.S. 59. The freeway will flow along the east side of the Central Business District and pair up with I-10 before splitting off north to continue its current path.

TXDOT and Houston city officials say the plan gets people out of single cars, will improve quality of life, and even decrease freeway crashes by 30%.

SEE ALSO: Could North Freeway changes bring more pollution to Houston?

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Frontier Group disagree. In their annual highway "boondoggle" report, they state the project would "harm communities, displace residents and destroy businesses."

According to officials, the cost of the project is $7 billion.

There is a public meeting Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Harris County Department of Education. TxDOT and Houston city officials plan to update the public on the I-45 project. There will also be a second meeting next week on June 26 at the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center.

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