At its Aug. 13 teleconference meeting, the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Zone # 10 (TIRZ) board of directors received an update on the status of the final repair project on the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge. Dustin Hodges, Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin’s north sector manager, provided the update in Martin’s absence. The $4.3 million project follows the completion of work done by Houston Public Works this spring and temporary repairs made last October, all of which resulted from damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
“The final repairs to the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge are underway. They started Aug. 3 and they are repairing bents 25-28. They are projected to complete these repairs by Jan. 9 of this coming year. They have been maintaining two-way traffic all throughout the project. I think there are two weeks in October in which they have to shut down the pedestrian lanes on the north side of the bridge,” Hodges said.
Bents 25-28 are part of the supporting structure underneath the roadway. Bents are the piles and caps that support the entire bridge. It is the final project required to ensure the longevity of the bridge’s infrastructure.
When Hodges finished his report another voice unexpectedly came on the speaker phone as Chairman Stan Sarman began continuing into the formal meeting agenda.
“Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry to interrupt but this is Sally Alcorn, council member at-large 5. I’m just on here to listen and am very interested in the infrastructure improvements going on in your area so I will mute my phone but I wanted to just let you know I am here,” she said.
The board proceeded to approve routine expenditures, administration expenses and hear updates on the projects for which the TIRZ has responsibilities. They included: approval of an advance funding agreement regarding the T-1013 Northpark Overpass Project with TxDOT needed to meet TxDOT requirements; approval of $90,000 for an additional survey in the T-1013 Northpark Overpass Project to develop an additional “Metes and Bounds” description for development of a drainage alternative for a proposed storm sewer as part of the overall project; and an update from HNTB, the lead engineering firm for the Northpark Overpass Project. The HNTB spokesperson reported the project is on target to meet its 60% goal for all supplemental plans and reports in September. He noted the next critical steps include meetings with Union Pacific Railroad, TxDOT and City of Houston representatives, all together, face to face, at the same time regarding the project’s roadway grade requirements. The initial meeting should be in September; an update on the “force main” renewal and replacement projects along Kingwood Drive from Martin’s office. A force main is a pressurized sewer pipe that pushes wastewater in situations where it cannot flow smoothly due to elevation changes. Repairs involve extensive excavation to the sewer lines and potential traffic delays on the adjacent roadways.
“The replacements over by West Lake Houston and Kingwood Drive should be wrapped up this week, if not early next week. And the Kingwood Drive at Woodland Hills main should be wrapping up the first week of September,” Hodges said. He also explained the Houston Public Works Department has just started a new force main project near Kingwood Country Club as well and it will be finished in March.
The next Lake Houston TIRZ Directors meeting will be Sept. 24 at the Kingwood Community Center. The public is invited. If COVID-19 restrictions are still required it will again be conducted as a teleconference call.