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Upper Kirby Update 

January 4, 2013  

Richmond Drainage Improvements:  
The Home Stretch Begins



Crews were back to work this week and already pouring concrete on Richmond Avenue with the goal of reaching substantial completion in the next several weeks.

Pavement was completed this week on the north side of Richmond (westbound lanes) at both the Virginia/Richmond and Lake/Richmond intersections. The north side of the Eastside/Richmond intersection is being paved later today. All intersection pavement from this point forward will use a fast-dry
mix that will cure in just three to four days. Westbound lanes have now all been paved and are ready for the asphalt overlay process to begin as early as late next week.

On the south side of Richmond (eastbound) pavement preparation and placement will begin at both the Eastside/Richmond and Lake/Richmond intersections. Crews will also be placing a manhole at the Audley/Richmond intersection on the south side of Richmond next week as well. Over the next several weeks these areas will be prepped and paved and ready for overlay to begin concurrent with asphalt work on the north side of the street.

Overlay work at all locations will not impact more than one lane of traffic during peak hours but may impact as many as two lanes between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.       


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 .    


Westheimer Drainage Improvements and Streetscape Installation 


Design is now nearly complete on the Westheimer Paving, Drainage and Streetscape Improvements Project between Shepherd and Buffalo Speedway. This is the final piece of storm drainage work needed to complete the Kirby system.

Work on Westheimer will follow the scope of the Kirby Drive reconstruction project fairly closely. It will entail the burial of all overhead utility lines; new storm drainage, water and sanitary facilities; complete roadway repaving and the installation of a full pedestrian-oriented streetscape that will include pedestrian lighting and furniture, street tree installation and irrigation, brick paved crosswalks, widened sidewalks and upgraded traffic signal and streetlight standards.

The project will be implemented in two sections, the eastern phase will extend from Shepherd to Kirby Drive and the western phase will continue from Kirby to Buffalo Speedway. Each of these phases will be split into a utility relocation phase followed by a roadway, infrastructure and streetscape phase.

The project will likely begin at Shepherd where the contractor will be responsible for constructing the underground duct-banks that will house the existing overhead wires in the future. The contractor will then asphalt over the work area, re-stripe the roadway and remove all traffic control and equipment.

We will close out the contract at this point to avoid disruption to the traveling public and to the local businesses and property owners while we wait for Center Point and all telecommunication companies to transfer services to the new underground facilities and remove the wooden utility poles. Because the length of this process is uncertain, we have planned the project to pause and restore the roadway completely while the utility companies are completing their work. Once the terminal poles have been removed by Center Point, we will bid the roadway phase of the project and begin the reconstruction.

The first utility phase, originally planned to bid in December will wait to bid until after the first of the year. Construction will most likely begin in February. Please look for further detail on the timing and implementation of this project as plans are finalized.   

Harris County Flood Control Project 
Channel Enclosure Project to Impact Westheimer, San Felipe Bridges
Harris County
Flood Control


The Harris County Flood Control (HCFC) Channel Enclosure Project will likely be impacting both the San Felipe and Westheimer bridges over a drainage ditch this month just west of the Upper Kirby District.   


The following is from HCFC:


Bridges at Westheimer Road and San Felipe Street that cross a drainage ditch formally identified as W129-00-00 will be completely or partially closed while they are reconstructed as part of the Harris County Flood Control District's W129-00-00 Channel Enclosure Project.Changes in the construction schedule have delayed the expected bridge closures from previously published dates.


During the Christmas holiday, electronic signs were briefly turned on that incorrectly stated the Westheimer closure would begin on January 13. The Westheimer bridge work is not expected to begin until February 2013. The Flood Control District is working with our partner agencies to confirm the bridge and lane closure dates. The signs have been turned off, but will be turned on again after the closure dates are confirmed. You can expect more updates in the coming weeks as more information becomes available..


The bridge reconstruction projects will require traffic flow on the Westheimer bridge to be limited to one lane in each direction for up to a month and all lanes on the San Felipe bridge to be closed for up to two weeks. The bridges will not be under construction at the same time.


The Flood Control District will establish detour routes that will aid in the flow of traffic during the bridge projects and will provide an advisory to area residents, the media and other interested parties closer to the time of bridge construction.


In August 2011, the Flood Control District began this $13.2 million capital improvement project to improve the storm-water-carrying capacity and public safety features associated with the poorly-functioning drainage ditch that runs adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks just inside West Loop 610. This phase of the project spans the section of the drainage ditch between San Felipe and Richmond Avenue and includes the demolition and replacement of the two 50-year-old bridges at San Felipe and Westheimer.


For more information about the project, visit the W129-00-00 Channel Enclosure Project webpage at www.hcfcd.org/W129. If you have questions or comments, please call the Flood Control District's Project and Study Information Line, which is monitored daily, at 713-684-4040.

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.