Construction will continue at Kirkwood Drive for several months before moving to Eldridge Parkway junction
Once slated for a mid-2018 completion, the City of Houston’s $39 million Memorial Drive reconstruction, paving and stormwater improvement project is now nearly 60 percent complete.
For the next three to four months, crews from project contractor Oscar Renda Contractors will continue rebuilding the Kirkwood Drive and Memorial intersection. When the Kirkwood phase is complete, crews will move west to reconstruct the Eldridge intersection. Work there is anticipated to begin in December, according Oscar Renda Contractors, taking at least nine months to complete.
Earlier this year, the contractor completed the northeast and southeast quadrants of the Dairy Ashford junction.
Meanwhile, the Energy Corridor District’s plan to transform one of the area’s busiest intersections has been approved by Houston Public Works.
Once construction moves to Eldridge Parkway and Memorial Drive, the District’s design to create a protected intersection will become reality. That design, explains Fabiana Demarie, the District’s urban planner, will transform the intersection with significant enhancements to pavement, sidewalk and bicycling lanes.
“The reconstruction project for Memorial Drive gave us an ideal opportunity to design an intersection that would be more appealing, more accessible and far safer,” says Demarie. “The city agreed to incorporate our proposal into its Memorial Drive reconstruction project and has now given our design the green light to move forward.”
The design will guide Oscar Renda Contractors as it rebuilds the intersection with dedicated pedestrian and bicycling lanes and other amenities. The District will handle landscape and urban design for all four corners. To accomplish those enhancements, the District sought and garnered landscape and electrical easements from the four property owners fronting the intersection. The CVS Pharmacy store property owner donated right-of-way and easements, saving the District $109,000.
The District’s dream to create a protected intersection at Eldridge and Memorial has been years in the making. A concept was one focal point for the District-wide master plan, created in 2015. Since the beginning of the reconstruction project, the District has been coordinating efforts with the city and Houston Council Member Greg Travis.
While rebuilding a heavily trafficked road long in need of repair, the Memorial Drive project also aims to improve stormwater drainage.
Huge box culverts, designed to handle larger rain flows, are being installed up and down Memorial from Dairy Ashford to Eldridge. Also, the bridge over Turkey Creek will be replaced with a big triple-barrel box culvert to facilitate stormwater drainage and conveyance. At the Kirkwood-Memorial intersection, crews have been installing waterlines, nine- by seven-foot stormwater detention boxes and massive 84-inch stormwater drainage pipes.
Meanwhile, paving continues on the south side of Memorial Drive. Motorists can continue to expect lane switches to accommodate construction and paving.
To find out more about the Memorial Drive project, visit Council Member Greg Travis’s project webpage here.