Houston Interstate Widening Continues To Threaten Communities

The proposed freeway expansion in downtown Houston has faced searing backlash from local residents who see the project as a relic of the era of rampant freeway construction and neighborhood disruption.

1 minute read

February 28, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

An article and accompanying video from CBS News profiles some of the residents and institutions threatened with displacement by an interstate widening project in Houston, already home to the widest freeway in the world. "About 1,000 homes and apartments along with 344 businesses, two schools, and five churches are expected to be knocked down to complete the project."

One of these churches is Mount Olive Baptist Church, which was rebuilt by its pastor after it sustained severe damage during Hurricane Ike. Now, the $9-billion plan to widen interstates through downtown Houston threatens his church once again. 

Community activists cite the loss of property to eminent domain and highway projects as a loss of generational wealth as homeowners lose the opportunity to pass on property to their children. Meanwhile, displaced residents, even if they receive buyouts, have a hard time finding new housing as neighborhoods become more expensive and they are priced out of the areas they previously lived in. 

According to the article and previous Planetizen coverage, "The federal government has put most of the Houston project on hold while it investigates possible civil rights and environmental violations."

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 in CBS News

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