Upper Kirby District Street Talk
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US 59 Feeder Construction
Westheimer Construction
Upper Kirby Streetscape Initiatives


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Construction to begin this fall.
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Upper Kirby Update

  October 10, 2014  
TxDOT Construction
Buffalo Intersection Underway    


US 59 Frontage Road Reconstruction

TxDOT's US 59 frontage road reconstruction between Shepherd and 610 continued this week with intersection work at Shepherd and Buffalo Speedway and remaining work in the inbound curbside lane between Greenbriar and the Kirby entrance ramp.

The Buffalo Speedway intersection reconstruction is now in full swing.  Reconstruction here has begun with all four right turn quadrants impacting curbside lanes in all directions. Motorists should expect significant delays during peak hours as they traverse this intersection as throughput has been narrowed to one lane in any given direction.
Motorists should consider Weslayan, Edloe, Westpark, and Richmond as alternate routes to negotiate around the Buffalo/59 intersection during peak hours.

This work should last approximately through mid October at which point, efforts will shift to main lanes on Buffalo Speedway. There is currently consideration to close main lanes during this time and detour traffic around the Buffalo intersection entirely. This would shave significant time off of the intersection work and could potentially improve traffic currently being pushed through four directions, one lane at a time. More on this option next week.

The Shepherd intersection and underpass pavement reconstruction was sequenced a bit differently. As Shepherd is one-way, work here began with the main lanes under the freeway. These through lanes were completed last week and quadrant work where right-turns take place has begun.

Right turn quadrants at Greenbriar/US 59 intersection corners will be completed in tandem with Shepherd corners. Motorists should expect one lane through these intersections while the quadrants are being reconstructed. The Greenbriar exit inbound remains closed and will be reopened once corner pavement work at Shepherd and Greenbriar is complete.

Look for weekly updates as this project progresses.   


For a regularly updated list of lane closures and on and off-ramp closures, visit Houston Transtar here.    

Upper Kirby Construction
Curbside-Lane Work on Kirby Southbound at Bissonnet Next Week     


Bissonnet Utility Relocation
Existing Pedestrian Realm on Bissonnet

Bissonnet Utility Relocation from Kirby to Buffalo continued this week with efforts toward the construction of parallel ducts along the north side of Bissonnet, one for telecommunications and one for Center Point electrical service. 

Crews made significant progress this week installing nearly 500-feet of Center Point electrical duct west of Kirby. This crew will continue moving west next week with Center Point and telecommunications duct installation while a second crew works at the Kirby/Bissonnet intersection to dig the large bore pits that will be used to push duct-work through the intersection. By mid to late week next week, this crew will be ready to begin the short, north/south run of duct that will transition the new underground services back overhead just north and south of the Kirby/Bissonnet intersection. This work should last approximately 10-days and will necessitate the closure of the curbside lane on Kirby southbound. The closure will impact the curbside lane for about 100-feet on either side of the intersection.

The ducts installed during this phase of work will eventually house the overhead lines currently running down Bissonnet. Once Center Point Energy and the telecommunications providers have switched service from overhead to underground and removed the wires and wooden poles, Upper Kirby will begin water, sanitary and storm improvements and roadway reconstruction. Like Kirby, Buffalo Speedway and Westheimer, this project will include a complete pedestrian-oriented streetscape and landscaping plan implemented and maintained in perpetuity by the Upper Kirby Management District. The roadway is not being widened and the existing esplanade is being maintained.

The utility phase of this project was bid in August and was awarded to Harper Brothers Construction. It is anticipated that, weather permitting, this work will take four to five months to complete. Like was the case on Westheimer, once underground facilities are in place they will be turned over to the utility companies to transfer overhead service to underground. The roadway reconstruction can begin once the utility companies have completed their work (typically around three months from completion of the duct installation). Once roadway work has begun, it will take 10 to 12 months to complete the project.

Look for further updates as the schedule progresses.




Paving, Drainage and  Streetscape



Utility Relocations: Kirby to Buffalo Speedway

Crews are down to final restoration and small side-street connection work on this section of roadway.  Motorists can expect to see some minor back-of-curb activity as crews repair damage caused by construction. There will also be minor work off of Westheimer to coordinate several final connections with Center Point Energy. No activity is expected until Center Point sets one final pole and impacts will be minimal to the motoring public.

Upper Kirby sincerely thanks the businesses along this construction site for their patience and understanding during this important project as well as those patrons who spent a little extra time in traffic to support these unique local businesses.
Once utilities are relocated by the service providers to their new homes underground, drainage and roadway reconstruction can occur. The final phase of work will entail installation of new storm, sanitary and water infrastructure; the complete concrete reconstruction of the roadway, curb and gutter; and a complete pedestrian oriented streetscape installation. This phase is just beginning to the east from Kirby to Shepherd. Construction between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway will not begin until work to the east is complete. If all goes as planned, this section should begin reconstruction this time next year. 
Look for updates as work progresses on Westheimer to the east. 


Drainage, Paving and Streetscape Improvements: 
Shepherd to Kirby

Reytec Construction has completed underground work at the Reba/Dickey intersection north of Westheimer in the first phase of drainage improvements that will take storm water from Westheimer into the Shepherd system. Reytec is prepared to restore pavement here as early as next week. Concurrently, work between the Reba/Dickey and the Locke Lane/Dickey intersection will commence. The 6'X4' box culvert could be completely in the ground as early as mid week next week. Once the Reba restoration is complete and that intersection is opened up, work will begin at the Locke intersection.

During this initial phase of improvement, crews will work from Reba south to Westheimer installing a 4-foot by 6-foot storm drain to replace the 42-inch drain currently running under private properties just west of Dickey. 
No two intersections will be impacted at one time, in fact, intersection work will be done alone and opened up prior the subsequent block being impacted. Neighborhood traffic will be detoured around work areas. This work will include new inlets at intersections and complete concrete restoration of the roadway. Driveways will be impacted as work moves down the street and will be restored with new concrete within the City right-of-way. 

The Upper Kirby District is coordinating this work with the City of Houston drainage and pavement reconstruction on Shepherd between Westheimer and Buffalo Bayou. The City began work between Avalon and Westheimer several weeks ago. While this will be the active construction zone for the next three to four months, motorists should expect lane closures along the full length of the project from the Bayou to Westheimer.

City contractors will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week on this section. They will install drainage improvements, water and sanitary as needed moving south from Avalon to Westheimer and East along Westheimer for about two blocks. During this time, traffic control will be established the length of the project on Shepherd and Westheimer. Motorists should expect to be down to one lane in either direction to pass through the construction area. The City has committed to clear the intersection as quickly as possible and restore traffic along Westheimer.

While the City is working in the intersection, Upper Kirby will remain clear of Westheimer and will focus on the primary outfall point for storm water along this section at Dickey Place. 

Once work on Dickey is complete, crews will demobilize for the time between Thanksgiving and January 2 in hopes that the City has also completed work through the Shepherd/Westheimer intersection and has opened Westheimer to unobstructed traffic flow for the holidays. City work will continue over the holidays north of the intersection but will observe Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Upper Kirby work will begin on Westheimer around January 2 working from Shepherd to Persa. Look for updates as the schedule evolves.


For more information on Upper Kirby construction and related activities or for construction related issues or concerns, please contact Travis Younkin at 713.524.8000 or travis@upperkirby.org.   

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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