As construction moves west, the ECD is ready with intersection enhancement plans for Eldridge and Memorial
Some relief is on the way for motorists weary of negotiating roadwork now at Dairy Ashford Road and Memorial Drive, as construction crews are anticipated to complete the southeast and northeast corners of the intersection by January's end and head to Kirkwood Drive.
While motorists can expect continuing lane restrictions west of the intersection, travel should return to normal north and southbound along Dairy Ashford through Memorial. Construction west of Dairy Ashford will be on hold until AT&T relocates its utility lines.
Originally slated for a mid-2018 completion, the City of Houston's massive $40 million Memorial Drive reconstruction project remains behind schedule but is now more than 50 percent complete.
Several things contributed to construction delays, not the least of which was a colossal hurricane and a work-crippling ice storm. Other delays revolved around efforts to improve the project's stormwater drainage component, contractor issues with concrete pours and some newer, significant drainage projects approved by the city that must tie into the Memorial Drive effort.
Oscar Renda Contracting, Inc. will soon be moving its crews to the Kirkwood Drive and Memorial intersection. Each corner of the intersection will require about two months of work, impacting motorists for eight months.
Meanwhile, the Energy Corridor District is ready to significantly enhance the Eldridge Parkway and Memorial Intersection when the reconstruction project arrives there.
District staff and its engineer met with the contractor and Houston Council Member Greg Travis's office on January 18 to coordinate plans to add more pedestrian-friendly infrastructure to the Eldridge/Memorial intersection. The target date for Eldridge-Memorial intersection construction is April 2019, though Oscar Renda Contracting says it intends to begin sooner.
The District plans to transform the intersection with enhancements to pavement, sidewalk and bicycling lanes, plus the bridge over adjacent Turkey Creek. To do that, the District had to obtain landscape easements from property owners on all four corners of the intersection.
"It can be frustrating to drive through the construction project, but when all is said and done this area will see improved floodwater drainage and conveyance, plus intersections better suited to safer travel for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists," explains Clark Martinson, executive director for the District.
One example of the payoff, according to Martinson, are the giant box culverts designed to handle larger stormwater flows that are being installed from Dairy Ashford to Eldridge. A change order by the city will install a huge 84-inch drainage pipe under the Kirkwood and Memorial Drive intersection, accompanied by a 9- by 7-foot stormwater detention box.
Other aspects of the Memorial Drive reconstruction project are being fine-tuned by the city's public works managers, such as seeking a change order to safely put bikes onto the Kirkwood sidewalks through the Memorial intersection instead of transitioning earlier to the street.
For more details about the Memorial Drive reconstruction, visit Council Member Greg Travis’s project webpage here.