Love that rush of vertigo from driving up the entrance ramp at Hidalgo St. onto the southbound West Loop? Freeway thrill-seekers may have some new options in a few years. The above rendering of new elevated express lanes along the West Loop between I-10 and 59 made an appearance at last night’s TxDOT Open House, where plans for the proposed project were presented for public comment. The drawing faces southwest across the intersection of San Felipe and 610 toward the Williams Tower (far left), and shows the lanes flying high over the existing freeway.
TxDOT also showed schematics and cross sections of the proposed additions — which include previously-considered dedicated bus lanes elevated along the path of the feeder road, from just south of I-10 to the junction with Post Oak Blvd.
Drive through the cross sections below, from north to south:
Entrance and exit ramps to the elevated express lanes (highlighted in pink) would funnel drivers on and off the raised road directly to and from 610, just north of the junction with I-10. Meanwhile, the raised bus lanes (dark gray on the far left) would pick up across I-10 from the Northwest Transit Center; this cross section of 610 just south of the I-10 interchange shows all the lanes meeting up:
The bus lanes would continue south along the frontage road, as the express lanes (shown below in yellow, where the two ramps have merged) lift up from the middle of the existing 610 path:
Just as they reach Buffalo Bayou, the express lanes would step to the side and run along the northbound feeder — at which point the bus lanes drift to the center and merge back into the existing freeway, just north of the intersection 610 with Post Oak Blvd.:
The express lanes would shift back to center stage by the time they reach San Felipe:
The above cross section should look something like the rendering below, which shows the Skyhouse River Oaks tower peeking through double-decker freeway lanes from the west:
Continuing south toward the interchange with 59, the elevated lanes would toughen up as they prepare to split apart:
Finally, the lanes split up to distribute express drivers back onto non-elevated 610, just south of the 59 interchange.
- TxDOT planning for elevated Loop 610 lanes [Chron.com]
- Open House – I-610 Elevated Express Lanes [TxDOT]
Renderings and schematics: TxDOT