Pause On Houston Highway Project Partially Lifted Amid Talks

Traffic flows south on Interstate 45 and the frontage road in the afternoon Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Houston. A $9 billion highway widening project being proposed in the Houston area could become an important test of the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing what it says is a history of racial inequity with infrastructure projects. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)

(AP) — The Texas Transportation Commission says it reached an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration that would allow the state to resume design work on certain parts of a disputed project that would remake 24 miles along Interstate 45 and several other roadways in the Houston area.

The project, which has been in the works for nearly two decades, was put on hold in March after the Federal Highway Administration began its investigation into civil rights and environmental justice concerns that were raised about the proposal.

Harris County, which includes Houston, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that state officials ignored the project’s impact. Texas Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday they’ve had productive meetings with the Federal Highway Administration.


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