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Upper Kirby Update 

January 11, 2013  

Richmond Drainage Improvements:  
Median Opening Pavement Begins, Asphalt as Early as Next Week



Work was aggressive this week on Richmond considering the several days of rain that put a halt to most activity.

Despite the rain delay, crews were able to demo the median openings at Eastside, Virginia and Audley and begin prepping for pavement. These intersections will use a fast-dry mix that will take just three days to cure. Weather permitting, these openings are likely to be poured early next week and opened back up to complete access by the end of the week.

Upon completion of the median opening restoration, work will begin paving  the eastbound lanes at Lake, Eastside and Audley intersections and a small section of pavement crossing Virginia. This will essentially patch the areas where crews installed storm sewer lateral lines that connect new inlets on the south side of the Richmond with the new storm sewer on the north side. This work will cross the southbound lanes and will impact just one lane of eastbound traffic during peak hours and up to two lanes between 9 am and 4 pm.

Asphalt overlay is the final piece to restoring the westbound lanes on Richmond and could begin as early as next week. This final restoration will likely overlap pavement work on the eastbound lanes at the above-mentioned intersections and, similarly, will impact one lane during peak hours and up to two during non-peak hours.

Also beginning next week will be new manhole installation at Audley on the south side of Richmond. Access to Audley during this work will be maintained.

Finally, waterline connections still remain to be made at Eastside, Audley and Virginia. This is minimally invasive work but will involve brief water shut off as service is switched over to the new facility. This activity will be scheduled for early morning hours and impacted properties will be notified prior to the shut-off.

These activities along with some ramp and sidewalk restoration work throughout the project area are all that remain prior to substantial completion. Crews are working hard toward a goal of achieving substantial completion by the end of the month, a full two months early.  


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.

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