TxDOT holds 4 PEL (Planning) Studies for I-10 Improvements

Part 1 of a series…

By Allan Jamail

January 30, 2024 – Houston, TX. – As a concerned citizen and writer for the North Channel Star, I went to one of the four public in-person PEL (Planning and Environmental Linkage) study informational meetings. My wife Linda attended as well, as the Community Liaison for State Representative Ana Hernandez. We both gained lots of good information, some of which I’ll share in this article and in another subsequent article.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been conducting traffic studies identified as the, IH-10 East PEL Study Route from Houston IH-69 east to State Hwy. 99 @ Mont Belvieu, Texas, (Harris & Chambers Counties). The study began in 2017 and will help determine the safety and environmental impact on the I-10 East corridor by projecting traffic volumes along the study route into year 2045.

A PEL study is a high-level, early-planning study process that represents an approach to future transportation decision-making that considers environmental issues, community and economic goals early in the planning stage, and carries them through project development, design and construction. The goal is to gather feedback during planning to inform the environmental review process, including the National Environmental Policy Act.

The purpose of a PEL study is to identify transportation issues and to develop the needs and purpose for proposed improvements. It initiates coordination with oversight agencies, stakeholders and members of the public in order to streamline the overall project’s goal and development processes to minimize duplication. It will describe the socio-economic conditions and promote efficient and cost-effective solutions and environmental stewardship.

It will help to reduce delays in delivering future I-10 improvement projects.

Conducting a PEL study helps inform engineer planning decisions and streamlines the project delivery process, and can serve as a way for the public to discuss and prioritize transportation issues and project delivery. The public was invited to four PEL meetings in Houston, Mont Belvieu, Channelview and Baytown.

In the Public Input stage of our meeting, Linda and I were able to suggest and make potential recommendations to try to prioritize and influence the future IH-10 projects. We gave our input on what we felt would be in the best interest of traffic safety, improve traffic flow times and to consider the environment constraints and issues along the study route.