Upper Kirby District Street Talk
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Upper Kirby Construction Update
Upper Kirby Public Arts Initiative
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Upper Kirby Update

January 27, 2012  

Richmond Storm Drainage Improvement Project 
Construction to Begin in February
January 9th Flooding on Richmond Avenue 
Richmond Avenue Construction

Heavy rains have always meant flooding on Richmond Avenue west of Kirby Drive, but relief is in sight.

The Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority has received bids for the Richmond Avenue Storm Drainage Improvement Project and anticipate issuing Notice to Proceed to the contractor as early as the first week of February.

This project is one of two remaining large lateral drainage lines that empties into the newly improved Kirby Drive storm system. Work on this project will entail the installation of a 72" storm line along the north side of Richmond Avenue from Kirby to Buffalo Speedway. New lateral lines will also be constructed on Eastside and Audley along with new inlets and inlet leads.

As schedules for Metro's proposed University Line light rail installation along this section of roadway are still uncertain and light rail construction would necessitate the reconstruction of the roadway, the pavement will not be reconstructed as part of this project. Contractors will excavate what is necessary to improve the drainage system on the north side of the street and will restore that area once complete. The esplanades and back of curb areas will not be impacted within the scope of this project.

Project duration is estimated to take 270 calendar days. Look for weekly updates as traffic impacts and project phasing develops.

Buffalo Speedway Construction
Crews Prep for Intersection Paving at Bissonnet
Buffalo Speedway construction is moving forward and on schedule for substantial completion in March.

Since the project began in February 2011, contractors have completed overhead utility burial, new water and storm sewer installation and have paved all main lanes on the eastern half of the roadway. They have also now completed reconstructing the eastern half of the Bissonnet intersection and are halfway through the reconstruction of the Westpark intersection. 

Crews completed the southeast quarter of the Westpark intersection over the last several days and were able to flip east/west traffic onto the new pavement early this morning. Traffic configuration will remain the same as the northern quarter is paved over the coming week. Through traffic east and westbound will be maintained. Left turn movements will be allowed as well during this phase, however, they will operate out of the same lane as through traffic. This work is expected to be completed next week.

Driveway work on the east side of the roadway is now also complete and crews have made significant progress on new sidewalk installation. Electrical conduit for the future pedestrian lights and irrigation lines are also being installed over the coming weeks.

At this point, crews are on schedule to flip traffic onto the new pavement on the east side of the roadway and move work to the west on February 10. Once on the west side of the street, work will begin rehabbing the existing 54" storm sewer and repaving the roadway.

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.

Surls on Kirby
A Project by the Upper Kirby Arts Initiative 

Thursday, July 19, Judge Adele Hedges, Chief Justice of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals and her husband,Dan Hedges, opened their Upper Kirby LEED Platinum home to officially kick-off the Surls on Kirby civic art project.  


James Surls, a former Houston resident and internationally known sculptor, is creating his Tree and Three Flowers bronze and stainless steel sculpture for the Upper Kirby community. The iconic piece will stand 26' high and will be prominently displayed in the middle of Kirby Drive between Westheimer and Kipling. As one of Houston's most heavily traversed thoroughfares, placement on Kirby will allow this piece to be enjoyed by thousands of people every day. At that scale, the sculpture will illuminate the Upper Kirby skyline and be visible from US 59.   


Nancy Littlejohn, Chairman of the Upper Kirby Arts Initiative, welcomed over 125 friends and supporters of James Surls and announced the Surls on Kirby plans to install the artwork by late 2012 or early 2013. The model for the sculpture was exhibited at the kick-off event. The Surls on Kirby Project is made possible through a public and private partnership between Upper Kirby District Foundation (501c3), Upper Kirb

Lt. to Rt.: James Surls, International Sculptor, Adele and Dan Hedges

y Management District, Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority and philanthropic individuals and businesses.


Among those attending the event were: Nancy and Eric Littlejohn, Clayton Erickson, Nancy Allen, Judy Nyquist, Buddy and Cindy Bailey, Rob Axelson, Minnette Boesel, Betty Moody, Bob McClain, Judge Jan Crocker, Betty and Stephen Newton, Jonathan and Barbara Day, Rob Rowland, Stephanie Smither and Peter Brown.


James Surls was born in East Texas and he taught at Southern Methodist University. James and his wife, Charmaine Locke lived in Splendora, Texas for over 20 years. They now reside in Carbondale, CO. Among his many accomplishments is the founding of the Lawndale Alternative Arts Center at the University of Houston.

For more information on the Upper Kirby Public Arts Initiative, or to make a contribution to the Surls on Kirby Project contact Jamie Brewster or Travis Younkin at 713.524.8000.

If you have a new business, development or community event that you would like included in the monthly Upper Kirby news, please contact us at 713.524.8000 or submit to streettalk@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.