Transportation

Metro’s East End Overpass Project Faces More Delays

Metro is looking at revising the construction schedule for its Hughes Street overpass. It was supposed to be finished this spring but work could go on for at least another couple of months.

 

Construction site for the East End overpass.
Crews have started working on pilings for the Hughes Street light rail overpass in the East End.

Crews are just getting to work on concrete pilings for the Hughes Street overpass, which will take both vehicles and the light rail train over a busy freight rail crossing on Harrisburg.

Metro officials say they’re anxious to complete the work. They’ve offered financial compensation to businesses near the construction site but they still hear complaints at almost every board meeting.

Metro CEO Tom Lambert admits things haven’t gone smoothly on the $30 million project.

“There were some delays because of weather. There were some delays because we didn’t get utilities out of the way,” says Lambert. “There were some delays because of underground utilities that were not known on the as-built drawings.”

To try to accelerate the project, Metro has hired an outside consultant. The transit agency’s board will also call a special meeting to hear from representatives of McCarthy Building Companies, the firm that’s doing the work.

Metro board member Diann Lewter says those delays are making a big impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

“This is taxpayer money,” says Lewter. “This is a project that’s gone on way too long. And we’re getting to the point of the end of the project, we hope, and we want to make sure we’re doing it the right way.”

The original schedule called for the overpass to start carrying trains this fall. Lambert says they won’t have a revised schedule until they meet with the contractors.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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