February 15, 2018 1:15 PM, EST

TxDOT Gathers Public Opinion on I-10 East Improvements

Interstate 10 sign near HoustonGetty Images

The Texas Department of Transportation is holding a series of public meetings to hear ideas for improving a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 10 East.

The southernmost cross-country interstate in the United States, I-10 runs from Santa Monica, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla. The route bisects Houston, and TxDOT’s Planning and Environmental Linkage study pertains to a portion of I-10 east of the city that runs from I-69 to State Highway 99.

The department is hosting the second of four public meetings Feb. 15 to gather input about the study, which examines environmental and economic factors to any future projects along I-10. The remaining meetings will be Feb. 20 and Feb. 22.

“The goal of a PEL study is to gather feedback during planning to inform the environmental review process, including the National Environmental Policy Act,” TxDOT states on its website.

According to the agency’s PEL study fact sheet, I-10 is a heavily-congested freight corridor. TxDOT’s 2017 Freight Mobility Plan identified I-10 as one of the most critical — and clogged — routes in the state, and projections indicate that I-10 East could face extensive congestion or even compete gridlock by 2045.

“PEL allows TxDOT to explore improvements for a variety of transportation modes, such as high-occupancy vehicle lanes, truck lanes, bus rapid transit, rail, bicycle and pedestrian,” TxDOT’s fact sheet states. “The PEL process will identify projects for future implementation based on needs within the study area.”

The traveling public has a while to wait for future projects. TxDOT’s study extends through summer 2020, and construction on any projects would start a few years after that.