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Upper Kirby Weekly Construction Update 
Upper Kirby Construction
Buffalo Speedway to Begin Overnight Thursday
constructionConstruction this week continues along Kirby Drive and Wakeforest despite several days of rain and freezing temperatures. Mobilization efforts are also scheduled to begin overnight Thursday night on the Buffalo Speedway Improvements Project between US 59 and Bissonnet.

Buffalo Speedway Construction Thursday night, construction crews will begin work removing the center median along Buffalo Speedway between the US 59 frontage road and Bissonnet and laying temporary pavement along the center of the roadway in preparation for a traffic shift to the west side of the street. In an effort to minimize the impact of these activities on the businesses on Buffalo Speedway, crews hope to complete the removal of the median and asphalting of the center of the roadway during off-peak hours Thursday and Friday night, finishing up on Saturday morning.

Crews will then begin re-striping the roadway to allow for a construction zone along the east side of the street and three lanes of traffic (one lane in either direction and a center turn lane) pushed to the west side of the street. It is expected that this configuration will be in place by early next week.

Much like the recent improvements on Kirby Drive, this project includes overhead utility relocation to underground service. This first phase of work will entail the construction of the underground duct banks that will eventually house all overhead utilities along this stretch of roadway. These ducts will sit under the street pavement along the east side of Buffalo Speedway.Crews will begin working at Bissonnet and will work their way north to the southern US 59 frontage road. It is anticipated that this work will take approximately 90 days to complete.

The goal for completion of the entire reconstruction of Buffalo Speedway is November 2011. During this period, overhead utilities will be moved underground, the four-lane roadway will be repaved as a six-lane roadway to address the serious congestion issues along this stretch, the storm sewer system will be upgraded and a complete streetscape will be implemented to include pedestrian lighting, enhanced sidewalks and crosswalks, pedestrian amenities and improved landscaping and irrigation.

Kirby Drive Construction 
Transfer of overhead services to the recently constructed underground duct banks has begun by both electricity and telecommunications providers and will continue throughout the month of February. Once the overhead utility poles are removed, roadway repaving can commence.

What to Expect:
Existing construction barriers will remain on the west side of the roadway over the next several months while utility work continues. Motorists should expect four lanes to remain unobstructed as utility crews proceed with the transfer of overhead services underground. Southbound motorists should expect the curbside lane approaching Richmond to remain right-turn-only throughout this phase.

Wakeforest Construction  The Wakeforest reconstruction project includes water line and storm sewer improvements as well as complete roadway repaving and new sidewalk installation. The new roadway will consist of two, 11-foot lanes and space for on-street parking.

Freezing conditions have slowed the progress on Wakeforest as both concrete and asphalt work can not take place when conditions are in the mid to low 30s or colder. Crews have completed the paving between Lexington and Richmond and have completed the installation of the new storm sewer across the Richmond intersection, but are awaiting acceptable temperatures to set the permanent asphalt at Richmond and Wakeforest so that the roadway can open back up to a full six lanes. Crews are ready to begin pouring and compacting the asphalt as early as Thursday this week, but the weather conditions overnight tonight and tomorrow during the day may delay that work. Once the temperature returns to the 40s or 50s, the work should only take half a day to complete.

It is still expected that the entire Wakeforest reconstruction will be completed next month, however, two-way traffic returning to Wakeforest is now probably several weeks away.

What to Expect:
Motorists heading eastbound on Richmond should still expect the right two lanes to be impacted over the coming week as asphalt work is pending. Richmond should return to full access by mid week next week. 

For more information on Upper Kirby construction projects and for issues and concerns as construction progresses, contact Travis Younkin at 713-524-8000 or email travis@upperkirby.org.
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Upper Kirby is a constantly evolving urban area marked by an outstanding location, great shopping, unique residential neighborhoods, smart development and a small town feel. It is an area of successful businesses, involved communities and a synergy between the public and private sectors. It is the heartbeat of Houston and everywhere you want to be.