Remember that North Canal that showed up in Plan Downtown’s maps and drawing last year and included a island in Buffalo Bayou? Well, TxDOT’s latest schematics for its planned I-45 reroute include a bypass and island as well — but in an entirely different location. The highway agency’s map above — with west facing up — indicates a new waterway draining into Buffalo Bayou right underneath the section of I-45 it plans to build in place of a portion of the Houston Housing Authority’s Clayton Homes neighborhood. How the canal gets there is obscured, but a straight course northwest appears to shoot the gap between 2 planned detention ponds and cross under the existing section of 59 (shaded gray), before linking up with the bayou again east of Elysian St. Marooned on TxDOT’s version of the make-believe, bayou-banked island the canal would create: a few of the houses in Clayton Homes.
As TxDOT’s caption makes clear, it’d be up to someone else to actually build the waterway. Doing so wouldn’t preclude the previously proposed North Canal from being dug further upstream. Plan Downtown’s less technical map at top shows that waterway beginning at White Oak Bayou and emptying into a bend of Buffalo Bayou just west of Elysian. In doing so, its course creates an exclusive new landmass home to the Harris County jail.
- Conceptual Roadway Layouts and Typical Sections [TxDOT]
- Previously on Swamplot: Funding for Downtown Houston’s New Island; The North Canal, a New Downtown Island, and Other Secret Plans for Downtown Houston’s Future; Latest Mindboggling TxDOT Video Shows Off Rainbow Tangles of Spaghetti-tastic Downtown Freeway Redo Plans in Simulated Drone View; Big I-45 Downtown Rerouting, Grand Parkway Expansion Get Go-Aheads; TxDOT To Pierce Elevated: Your Years Are Numbered, Probably; TxDOT’s Plans for Freeway Expansion Around and Below the Newly Protected Cheek-Neal Coffee Building; Wacky TxDOT I-45 Redo Renderings Now Available in Mind-Boggling Video Format; The 5 Wackiest Images from TxDOT’s Plans To Reroute I-45 and Abandon the Pierce Elevated