Thursday AM July 15th, 2010

Uptown construction completedThe construction project has been underway for years — new pavement, a lane addition, rebuilt water and sewer lines, a new traffic light and below-ground power lines. The Uptown Houston District worked with area businesses during construction to ensure accessibility to their stores, as the District's John Breeding explains.

"You begin talking and visiting with business owners as you do the design and the construction plans. You ask them what their issues are, how they need to maintain access. We literally closed down the entire intersection of San Felipe at Post Oak Boulevard because our contractors said if you will let us have the entire intersection, we can rebuild it in four days. We were able to rebuild that intersection and give it back to the traffic. And I think the Highway Department has shown us some innovative ways to how to manage construction and manage traffic. Honestly, I think we were very successful."

The project involved repaving San Felipe from Yorktown to the West Loop. A westbound lane has been added for three lanes of traffic in both directions, increasing capacity by 50 percent.

"Private utilities like phone companies, power companies, as well as storm drains, major water lines — we constructed so many things. There were breaks causing water leaks. We discovered breaks in sanitary sewers that were just literally dumping into the ground. We fixed a lot of things that had lived out their useful life, and we were able to replace them and we then put a very good concrete street on top of that, and hopefully that's going to carry us for the next 40 years."

The project included adding wider sidewalks and new pedestrian lights and countdown crosswalk signals. Mayor Annise Parker marks the transformation with a ceremony this afternoon at San Felipe and Post Oak Lane. Ed Mayberry, KUHF News.
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