Memorial Drive from Kirkwood to Eldridge Parkway will be reconstructed as a four-lane – divided roadway beginning in early 2016 – complete with improved or new sidewalks, bike turn lanes, street lighting, traffic signals, wheelchair ramps and drainage systems.
The $39 million Memorial Drive reconstruction and drainage project was given the green light by Houston City Council in December when it awarded a $32.7 million construction contract to Oscar Renda Contracting, Inc.
Sewer and water line work will replace existing storm water ditches, while the Turkey Creek bridge will be rebuilt with a triple 10-foot by 10-foot box culvert structure to improve drainage.
State funds are paying for $12.6 million of the Rebuild Houston project, which both city and state officials say is necessary to bring the deteriorating and increasingly busy roadway up to Houston’s major thoroughfare standards. The reconstruction project, as explained by Houston Public Works & Engineering officials, will improve traffic circulation, mobility and drainage in the area.
More than 16,000 linear feet of roadway will be reconstructed using nearly 90,000 square yards of 10-inch reinforced concrete pavements with curbs and gutters. About 5,000 linear feet of storm water pipe, 8,700 linear feet of water line and 9,400 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines will be installed.
A wide median with several turn lanes will divide the four-lane Memorial Drive. Bike lanes are in the works, as are improved sidewalks and wheelchair ramps, plus new street lighting and seven traffic signal systems.
The Memorial Super Neighborhood – a group of numerous civic clubs and property owners associations in the area – is facilitating efforts to make the new Memorial Drive more aesthetically appealing and safer. The super neighborhood is encouraging businesses and neighbors to adopt an esplanade and help with streetscape features. For more information, visit here.
Meanwhile, The Energy Corridor District has developed plans for a vastly improved intersection at Eldridge Parkway and Memorial Drive, with safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, and new shade structures. The District weighed in with its own recommendations for the Memorial Drive reconstruction project in 2010.
Though several public meetings were held prior to the project contract being awarded, Former Houston Council Member Oliver Pennington has asked Public Works & Engineering to hold another public meeting before construction begins to review the project, answer questions and discuss the timeline.
District G City Council Member Greg Travis and his staff will be continuing the leadership Pennington provided for this project.
"Mark Kirschke with Council District G and Super Neighborhood Leaders Greg Sergesketter, Randy Jones and Ben Crocker have done a great job of keeping residents, businesses and The Energy Corridor District informed of the City’s progress,” says Clark Martinson, general manager for The District."
Construction is expected to take 860 calendar days.