August 17, 2008
Bridgin' it

The best news in this story about some bridges that will be part of the construction plan for the east-west light rail lines downtown is this bit:

The Metropolitan Transit Authority's light rail plans now include an "elevated structure" over Buffalo Bayou west of downtown, where trains will switch from westbound to eastbound tracks.

The structure, essentially a bridge that stops on the opposite bank, will lie between baluster-lined bridges on Capitol and Rusk and beneath the downtown "spaghetti bowl," already crisscrossed by several freeways and ramps.

Although technically part of the planned Southeast line, the structure would be shared by light rail vehicles on the East End line. Plans call for the two to merge east of downtown, where Harrisburg becomes Texas Avenue at Dowling. Together, their light rail cars would cross downtown westbound on Capitol and eastbound on Rusk.

Metro's East End project manager, Roberto Trevino, said this week that such a structure became necessary after Metro shifted its plans from Bus Rapid Transit to light rail last October.


Trevino and [Bob Eury, executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District,] also said the structure could serve as a link to future light rail connections into downtown from the west and northwest.

That would be a connection to an eventual Inner Katy line, which was approved along with the rest of the 2012 Solutions plan in the 2003 referendum, but was dropped from the 2012 plan when Metro scaled things down due to concerns about federal funds. I realize we have a long way to go just to get everything that's in the works now built. But I do want to see some discussion about what comes next, and how we can get there from here. The current projects aren't an endpoint, they're just a beginning. I want to keep that idea out there, so things can keep moving forward.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 17, 2008 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
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