District Partners for West Belt Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant

  • Posted by East End District

A feasibility study report developed in 2012 recommended five underpasses to replace railroad crossings on the east side of downtown Houston. Two of the recommended underpasses have been identified as the most viable to move forward at this time:

Commerce Street/Navigation Boulevard

  • Reconstruct existing Navigation underpass
  • Construct new Commerce underpass to intersect with Navigation underpass
  • Construct new bicycle lanes and sidewalks
  • Close railroad crossing at Hutchins

York Street

  • Construct new underpass on York below three sets of railroad tracks
  • Convert York and Sampson to two-way streets within project area
  • Construct new bicycle lanes and sidewalks
  • Close railroad crossing at Sampson between Rusk and McKinney
  • Close railroad crossing at McKinney between York and Milby
  • Close railroad crossing at Milby between Woodleigh and Polk

The purpose of these projects is to enhance safety, mobility, air quality, and emergency response time by eliminating at-grade railroad crossings. Completion of the projects will allow for a railroad quiet zone from Runnels Street to Leeland Street. Railroad crossings will not be closed until underpasses are open to traffic. Both projects will require limited additional right-of-way.


Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program: West Belt Improvement Project (Phase 1)

BUDGET $36.9 Million
TYPE Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant
DETAILS This program provides funding for highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods. The West Belt Improvement Project (Phase 1) is the first phase of implementing a future 14,600-foot sealed rail corridor along the Houston Belt & Terminal Railroad’s (HB&T) West Belt Subdivision. Phase 1 includes the construction of 4 underpasses and closure of 4 at-grade crossings to eliminate 7 existing at-grade crossings and reconstruct one underpass to current standards. When completed, Phase 1 will have an opportunity to create a 9,000-foot sealed corridor and quiet zone.

General Project Information

What is the purpose of this project?
People walking, biking, driving, and riding transit will benefit from the West Belt Improvement Project due to reduced delays and increased travel time reliability. Eliminating conflicts between rail and other modes of transportation also increases the safety of all road users.

What are the components included within the West Belt Improvement Project Phase 1?
1. Commerce Street/Navigation Boulevard Underpass and Corridor Updates.
2. York Underpasses & Sampson/York Corridor Updates