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Lawsuit filed over highway noise

If you’re in Houston, you’ve surely seen the massive, high-in-the-sky expansion to the I-10/Loop 610 interchanges. A lawsuit has now been filed by activists who say that the design of these interchanges does not follow federal laws to abate road noise from them.

Federal law says Memorial Park is entitled to strict protection from noise coming from federal highways. But some Houstonians say the Texas Department of Transportation found a way around the regulations and they are going to court to prove it.

Bill Ware and his wife, Carol, have filed a lawsuit against TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

“This is a massive deception. What it ultimately is, it’s a massive deception

The lawsuit said the 610 project should have never received a federal environmental exclusion which allows construction without a noise analysis study.

The exclusion came 15 years ago, when the project only involved repaving Loop 610. But with the widening of Interstate 10, the plan changed drastically and called for a huge overpass.


Because of the lawsuit, in 2004 TxDOT performed a noise analysis study along North Post Oak Road and Memorial Drive, but not one near the park.

I presume they mean “Because of the threat of a lawsuit” here, unless there was another one filed previously that isn’t mentioned in this story. Or perhaps time travel was involved somehow.

The lawsuit is calling for an immediate halt to 610 construction near Memorial Park so that an independent noise analysis can be performed.

The Citizens Transportation Coalition, along with those who filed suit, are collecting signatures to show the judge there is public support.

For more information on how to sign the petition, visit or call (713) 680-2500.

Without knowing TxDOT’s side of the story – they did not comment – it sounds pretty straightforward to me. I’m not at all surprised to hear that TxDOT would have taken the path of least resistance. I can’t wait to hear their counterarguments.

The CTC has more information about noise and strategies to reduce it, which is worth your time to read. If you want to help them in this effort, you can also download and sign a statement of support for a proper noise analysis, which is available here. Thanks to Houstonist and blogHOUSTON for the links.

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