Archive for October, 2010

Woodlands Ramp: Viewer Email
October 28, 2010

A: IH 45 south of SH 242 and north of Research Forest is under construction for ramp reversal. On the southbound side we just closed the entrance ramp that was near St Luke’s Way and moved it to the south. The new southbound entrance ramp to IH 45, just north of Research Forest, was recently opened for traffic. Due to the short weaving distance between the southbound exit ramp and entrance ramps, the location of the permanent entrance ramp being in close proximity to the exit ramp and to the side street, and safety concerns, we decided to close the new entrance ramp just north of Research Forest.  

We are working to add temporary entrance ramp just south of SH 242. The contractor is trying to complete this temporary ramp by Thursday morning which should remedy the delays.    
-TxDOT

NOTE: Ramp is open as of this Thursday morning as TxDOT indicated.

Metro Rail : Change to Schedule
October 22, 2010

METRO Changes Weekend Rail Schedule For Bridge Construction

METRO will change its rail service this weekend due to continued construction of an enclosed pedestrian bridge over Fannin at the Texas Children’s Hospital.

When: 5 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 until 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010
Where: Between Smith Lands and Hermann Park/Rice University Stations
Why: To allow construction of a bridge for Texas Children’s Hospital

Beginning at 5 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 23 until 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24, two-car trains will operate only on the northbound track between the Smith Lands and Hermann Park/Rice University stations.

As a result, all riders will be required to board and exit the trains on the northbound platforms at these locations.

Trains will be traveling in both directions using the same track, so riders will need to pay special attention to the destination signs on the front and sides of the rail car.

METRO personnel will be available to provide assistance.

Trains will run every 20 minutes during the service interruption.

Normal service will resume by 2 p.m., Sunday.

 

North Side Jam: Viewer Mail
October 20, 2010

A: This was an emergency closure to repair the roadway pavement (a series of potholes) over multiple lanes.  It was a safety issue and safety is our utmost priority, otherwise it would have waited until after peak travel times.  We could not risk having traffic driving on the pavement. – TxDOT

Kuykendahl Construction
October 20, 2010

Kuykendahl Rd is under construction between FM 2920 To Willow Creek. Here’s what’s going on…

Notes: Widen from a 2-lane asphalt roadway to a 4-lane asphalt pavement with continuous left turn lane, combination roadside ditches and storm sewer system, bridge over Willow Creek, drainage mitigation and traffic signal modifications. It’s scheduled for construction completion by December 16, 2011.

To find out about more Kuykendahl roadwork, click here:
http://www.hcp4.net/road_bridge/cip.asp?PName=Kuykendahl+Rd+%2D+A+

Memorial Drive: Bridge
October 18, 2010

First Three Sections of Rosemont Bridge Successfully Installed

Memorial Drive between Waugh and Bagby reopened Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. when the first three sections of Rosemont Bridge were successfully installed ahead of schedule. Three 30,000 to 40,000 pound beams arrived by truck early Saturday morning. The sections were installed on the north bank of Buffalo Bayou with one section spanning Memorial Drive. Additional sections will be installed over the next 2 weekends. Once the beams are all in place, contractors will begin the installation of the bridge’s floor, deck slab, electrical, lighting and hand rails.

The Rosemont Bridge’s anticipated completion date is January 2011. When completed the new bridge will give neighborhoods north of Memorial Drive easy access to the Bayou and provide access to the new Memorial Drive jogging trail which runs from Sabine Street to Spotts Park.

Additional scheduled lane closure dates are as follows:

* Saturday, October 23, 2010 – Northbound Lane Closure: Studemont Bridge. One section of the bridge (widest) will be delivered and offloaded from Studemont Bridge and placed onto the South Bank of Buffalo Bayou.

* Wednesday, October 27, 2010 – Lane Closure: Studemont Exit Ramp from Allen Parkway. Two sections of Rosemont Bridge will be delivered and erected on South Bank of Buffalo Bayou.

* Thursday, October 28, 2010 – Lane Closure: Studemont Exit Ramp from Allen Parkway. Three sections of the bridge will be delivered and erected on South Bank of Buffalo Bayou. Four sections of the bridge will be installed, one that was previously delivered on Saturday, October 23, and the three sections delivered on this date.

Raising the Roadway
October 17, 2010

WORK TO RAISE SH 87 ON BOLIVAR PENINSULA SCHEDULED TO BEGIN

Construction will soon begin to raise the roadway on SH 87 for a six mile section.  Located in Galveston County on Bolivar Peninsula, crews will raise the roadway to six feet above the sea level elevation, starting two miles west of SH 124 to Gilchrist.  High tides and heavy rain have often closed a portion of SH 87 and the project to raise the roadway will help alleviate some of the flooding.

The Texas Transportation Commission awarded the project in August 2010 to Durwood Greene Construction Co., for $6.8 million.

On Monday, October 18, 2010, construction crews will begin running 50 trucks on the Galveston/Bolivar Ferry system to carry recycled asphalt pavement to Gilchrist.  This will continue for approximately two weeks, excluding weekends.  During that time, TxDOT will run three Ferry vessels daily between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The vessels will carry the construction trucks along with the regular traffic and Ferry workers will move the vehicles as efficiently and safely as possible.  In the future, it will be necessary to again increase the number of Ferry vessels to accommodate the construction trucks carrying roadway materials to the project.

Texan Game Day Policy
October 14, 2010

HOUSTON TEXANS ANNOUNCE NEW GAME DAY PARKING LOT POLICY

HOUSTON – The Houston Texans announced a new policy related to game day access in the Reliant Park parking lots today.  Beginning with the team’s next home game against the New York Giants on October 10, the Texans and Reliant Park will require all fans who wish to enter the Reliant Park grounds to possess a game ticket or other valid team issued credential.

The rising number of non-ticketed individuals in the parking lots on game day has begun to impact the game day experience of Texans season ticket holders and fans who have purchased game day tickets and parking passes.  The new policy is designed to continue to provide Texans fans with the fun, festive and friendly environment to which they have become accustomed in the Reliant Stadium parking lots on game day.

“The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding our team is at an all-time high and as it continues to build, we want to ensure that our game attendees continue to have an exceptional experience before, during and after Houston Texans home games,” said Texans president Jamey Rootes.  “The tens of thousands of non-ticketed visitors that have occupied the stadium grounds on recent game days have created significant challenges for our traffic, parking and facility management operations.  We feel this new policy is a necessary step in our efforts to provide our game attendees with the fun, festive and friendly game day experience that they have come to expect from us.”

To accommodate fans who would like to tailgate but do not have a game ticket, the Houston Texans will make available a limited number of game day tailgate tickets available only to season ticket holders. The team will offer a maximum of 2,000 passes per game with a limit of four tickets per season ticket account per game.  The tailgate tickets, priced at $10 each, must be purchased prior to game day.  Texans season ticket holders will be contacted with instructions about how they can purchase tailgate tickets.

Texans vs. Cowboys (Reliant Stadium, 2010)

Providing a world-class game day experience is one of the primary objectives of the of the Houston Texans, and the team has been recognized by J.D. Power and Associates and others for customer service excellence.  The team also has a history of making improvements to its game day operations in response to fan feedback.  During the team’s first preseason game in 2002, some parking lots were cash only, but after noting the long lines on the streets outside the parking lots, the Texans moved to pre-paid parking passes only beginning with the next home game a week later.

In 2005, the Texans created the “50-80 Rule” roof policy in response to concerns raised by fans seated in the sun on hot excessively hot gamedays.  In 2008, the team re-issued and mailed out tickets and parking passes to season ticket holders affected by Hurricane Ike.

Learn about Houston’s Drinking Water
October 12, 2010

CITY OF HOUSTON WATERWORKS EDUCATION CENTER

We haven’t had anything like it…but coming October 13th the City of Houston WaterWorks Education Center will be open to the public. The Center is located at the Northeast Water Plant, 12121 North Sam Houston Parkway East.

This one-of-a-kind regional facility was created to promote water education, conservation and stewardship in the community to protect our most precious resource, water. The WaterWorks Center takes visitors through an interactive and innovative environmental journey to learn how lake and river water is transformed into drinking water.

Hands-on exhibits and engaging lectures focus on water related educational themes ranging from water purification and distribution, methods of source water protection and a historical perspective of Houston’s Public Water Supply.

For more information about the WaterWorks Education Center and a map to the Center visit the website:
http://www.houstonwaterworks.org

Sharing Our Environment
October 11, 2010

I moved to Walden in Montgomery County one month ago and this little herd of deer was at the stop sign a couple of blocks from my house.  Yes, we do need to watch for them on the road – especially when it is dark outside.  I see them on the road while driving to work, coming home from work, in my front yard and on my porch during the weekend!  They have really been enjoying my newly planted crepe myrtles!  In one month’s time, this little herd of fawns have lost their spots. –Kathie K. (Local 2 Viewer)

Along with cooler weather, fall months bring about an increase in deer activity so Texas motorists should keep a close watch for animals that occasionally wander onto the highway, especially at night.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 7,000 animal-related crashes occurred on Texas highways in 2009, many involving deer. Twenty-five of those crashes involved a fatality.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists predict an increase in deer population this year because of plenty of rain that has created an ideal environment for wildlife to flourish.

Deer-car accidents tally to more than 1.5 million crashes in the United States, costing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, according to recent reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Institute suggests the following defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer:

  • Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland are particularly dangerous.
  • If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby.
  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will reflect off deer’s eyes and warn you of their presence.
  • If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors to deter deer.
  • Wear seat belts.
  • If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call the police.

Remember, it is unlawful to possess a deer or part of a deer that has been hit by a motor vehicle.

Conroe Construction
October 7, 2010

IH 45 in the Conroe area:

IH 45 from S LP 336 to N Lp 336
We recently opened 3 lanes in each direction. All mainlane work is complete. The ultimate configuration will be 4 lanes in each direction. As the utility relocations are completed, work on the frontage road can progress in which we have started.

Estimated Completion: Fall 2011

IH 45 from the N LP 336 to FM 830 
Cost: $52.6 million project. It will be the continuation of the reconstruction and widening of IH 45 to 8 lanes.

Estimated Completion: Fall 2013

IH 45 from FM 830 to Calvary 
Cost: $57.6 million project. We will reconstruct and widen the mainlanes to 6 lanes, 3 in each direction.

Estimated Completion: Early 2014

Damage Done: Viewer Mail
October 6, 2010

A: Yes, the trucking company does pay for damages caused to our highway system (roadway, guardrail, labor associated with repairs, etc). – TxDOT

Looking For Your Lost Items?
October 6, 2010

METRO’S LOST & FOUND MOVES BACK TO 1900 MAIN

As of today, METRO’s Lost & Found is now located at the 1900 Main RideStore.

The one-stop shop allows customers to conduct all their business from the first-floor lobby location – whether its recharging their METRO Fare Card, inquiring about route/schedule information or stopping by to see if their lost item has been recovered.

The Lost & Found had been housed at METRO’s Central Distribution Center at 1220 McCarty Rd. Metro says the move to 1900 Main makes it more accessible to customers. Due to limited space, items are held for 30 days.  After 30 days, items are destroyed or sold. To find out more: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/lost_found/faq.cfm

Customers who need help locating a lost item can call the Lost & Found line at 713-658-0854. Hours will be Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Medical Center: Construction
October 4, 2010



Aeriel view of Houston Medical Center

The intersection of Bates & Fannin streets and Texas Children’s Hospital entrance 10 will be closed beginning Saturday through next March to make way for construction of a new oval sky bridge. This “miracle bridge” will connect Texas Children’s Hospital patient facilities with the new maternity building under construction to provide a safe and convenient passageway across busy Fannin Street. [FANNIN WILL NOT BE CLOSED, JUST A TURN LANE TO BATES]

Please see the advisory below and attached. Patient families and visitors of Texas Children’s are advised to check the web site at www.maps.texaschildrens.org for updates. All parking garages remain open.

Texas Children's Sky Bridge

N. Main (Baytown) Closure
October 3, 2010

Portion of N. Main to Close for Construction

Construction crews will be working on a section of N. Main, just north of Rollingbrook Drive, beginning Monday, October 4. Crews will have various lanes in both directions closed as they remove concrete, install sewer pipe and repair the road. Weather permitting; construction should be completed by Monday, October 11.

Work will proceed across all five lanes of traffic, as crews open and close lanes as needed. Motorists traveling on N. Main should expect delays. Drivers are asked to pay attention to directions given in the work zone; and be attentive to heavy trucks and equipment moving in and out of closed lanes. Caution should be observed at all times as the safety of our citizens is our top priority.

Questions can be directed to the Public Works Department at 281-420-5399. Fastlane Services can be reached at 713-299-5154.