Commissioner Ellis Comments on City, County and TxDOT I-45 Expansion Resolution

19 Dec, 22

Today, the City of Houston, Harris County and The Texas Department of Transportation are announcing a resolution of disputes over the I-45 expansion project, including Harris County’s lawsuit and Mayor Turner’s objection to the project. 

Commissioner Rodney Ellis had the following to say about the agreement:

“For decades, building highways has torn apart Black and Hispanic communities – increasing wealth gaps and harming public health.  We cannot afford to keep making the same mistakes.  

Harris County deserves 21st-century investments in infrastructure that put safety, equity and opportunity first.  

The I-45 expansion, as originally designed by TXDOT, did not meet those needs. Thank you to County Attorney Christian Menefee and everyone who came together to demand better. Your efforts have carried us to this moment and charted a course for advocacy across Texas and across the country. 

We expect TxDOT to uphold its end of the agreement, and not only to evaluate the impacts over the next year but to agree to and fund real solutions that address concerns about displacement, pollution, flooding, and impacts on the public transportation network.   We also look forward to the results of ongoing federal civil rights investigations on the project’s impacts. 

Today, we set an important precedent. Local government cannot, should not, and will not sit idly while the state decides for us what our future holds. We will fight for the Harris County our community deserves.”