Busy Southwest Houston Corridor Is Getting A Major Upgrade
by: Gail Delaughter, September 20, 2012 4:09:00 pm
The project spans a two-mile stretch of Bellaire Boulevard, from Beltway 8 East to Osage Street. It's a busy street with popular ethnic markets and restaurants. There's also banks, medical clinics, and other businesses that bring in a lot of traffic.
Houston District J Councilman Mike Laster says officials have been studying what can be done now to plan for even more traffic in the future.
"They looked at the increase in density of population, not only in the residential community, but also within the business community in the last ten years."
The $25 million dollar Bellaire Boulevard Reconstruction project is funded through the Sharpstown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. It's a fund that sets aside tax revenues for future projects.
As for the timeline, Laster says it's going to take a couple of years to do all the work and that could create some inconvenience for residents and businesses. But under the terms of the contract, the project's contractor has to be in direct contact with the diverse neighborhood.
"That adds additional language capacities in the area, particularly within the Chinese language, the Vietnamese language, and the Spanish language. The contractor has been responsible for reaching out to all of those entities."
So what exactly does the project include?
Laster says for one, the roadway will be totally rebuilt. That includes dedicated turning lanes, along with a new westbound lane to accommodate increasing traffic. Crews will also do water line and drainage work that's designed to double capacity.
"The goal was to upgrade all of the underground utility infrastructure, so that when we beautify the surface, we don't have to go back and disturb all those beautifications later on."