Bayou City Initiative demands improved planning from TxDOT to avoid freeway flooding

Resilience to heavier storms requires freeways that can handle flooding without becoming impassable, leading a local group to demand more of state and federal transportation officials.

Bayou City Initiative, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness of the challenges as Houston faces more frequent and stronger storms, sent letters Wednesday to the Texas Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, urging them to quickly and aggressively address low-lying areas along interstates and highways at high risk of flooding.

“We are going to have to quit accepting that our freeway system gets shut down during floods,” said Rice University Professor Jim Blackburn, who formed the Bayou City Initiative. “It may take years to get out of this mess, but we need to start thinking about it right now.”

The group’s letter makes two demands of transportation officials: Establish a flood warning system that would shut down freeways prior to flooding so vehicles are not in harm’s way, and immediately begin work on long-term fixes to the areas most likely affected by flooding.

Source: Bayou City Initiative demands improved planning from TxDOT to avoid freeway flooding – HoustonChronicle.com

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