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


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Upper Kirby Update

  October 17, 2014  
TxDOT Construction - US 59
Buffalo, Shepherd, Greenbriar Intersection Work Continues    


US 59 Frontage Road Reconstruction

TxDOT's US 59 frontage road reconstruction between Shepherd and 610 continued this week with intersection work at Greenbriar, Shepherd and Buffalo Speedway.

The Buffalo Speedway intersection construction is underway on 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.

TxDOT anticipates another solid week of work on the right-turn frontage road quadrants before starting on main lane work under the freeway. There is currently consideration to close main lanes under the freeway at that 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. While this option has not been confirmed it would translate to less time impacted and is under consideration. Look for more on this next week.

The Shepherd intersection and underpass pavement reconstruction is a bit further along. Main lanes under the freeway on Shepherd are complete and quadrant work is underway. This work is expected to be completed by the end of October with the Greenbriar/Shepherd exit inbound being ready to reopen to traffic around October 27.

Right turn quadrants at Greenbriar/US 59 intersection corners will be completed in tandem with Shepherd corners though completion here will lag slightly behind. Motorists should expect one lane through these intersections while the quadrants are being reconstructed.

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 have nearly completed Center Point electrical duct west of Kirby to Wakeforest. Work is expected to continue next week with final electrical duct installation as well as parallel telecommunications duct work along the same area.

A second crew has been working at the Kirby/Bissonnet intersection to dig the large bore pits that will be used to push duct-work through the intersection. This crew will be ready soon 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 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. They began pavement replacement here this week and expect to open it up shortly. Concurrently, work between the Reba/Dickey and the Locke Lane/Dickey intersection has begun as well. Despite several rain delays, crews have made significant progress along this run. Once the Reba restoration is complete and that intersection is opened up, work will begin at the Locke intersection.

During the Dickey work, crews will continue progressing 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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