Northpark Expansion Update, Still No Sign of Entergy

In the last three weeks, the Northpark expansion project has made slow, but steady progress, despite the fact that Entergy still has not moved any power poles or its transformer. For the moment, contractors seem to be working around the absentee utility issues, which have lingered for four years.

The bulk of activity has focused on the two stormwater detention basins near US59; drainage between 59 and 494; and new northbound turn lanes at 59. In addition, contractors spliced in a section of culvert by Parkwood Baptist Church near Russell-Palmer Road.

A gap was caused by a conflict with an existing water line to the church. The water line was too close to the surface. Therefore, contractors could not place the culvert deep enough. Rerouting the water line became its own small construction project, requiring engineering diagrams, approvals, estimates, change orders, permits and city inspections.

Another Week, Another Turn Lane

Most progress this week could be seen at the entries.

Looking NE from over 59 and Northpark Drive. Note fresh concrete for two additional right-hand, outbound turn lanes.
Looking east. Photos taken Wednesday afternoon 3/27/24. Outbound traffic was backed up to Russell-Palmer Road.
Note fresh concrete pour and men smoothing it. Also note culvert and connectors being stockpiled for new storm sewers.
Farther east, we can see more prep work for the drainage that must be installed before work on the surface.

Rain Slows Basin Excavation

More than three inches of rain in the week before I took these shots seems to have slowed down excavation of the detention basins at the 59 entry.

Ponding water gives hint of what is to come. Looking N over south pond.
Looking E across north pond. Both retaining walls in the north pond are finished and the concrete is curing. Backfill is already completed behind the walls.
Looking S across Northpark at south pond.
Workers are still removing the wooden forms around the last retaining wall. Fill has not yet been placed behind the wall.

Work at Russell Palmer Scheduled

Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ 10 has posted a lane closure notice for the Russell-Palmer crossover between the east- and westbound lanes of Northpark from 9pm on Friday, April 5th to 5am on Monday, April 8th. That’s next weekend.

Crews will remove old pole-mounted traffic signals and replace them with wire-mounted signals. This will enable contractors to continue laying culvert toward the west. Right now the pole-mounted lights are in the center the road. That area will eventually be paved over.

Pole-mounted traffic signals at Russell Palmer will be removed to make way for extension of culvert.

Here is the 3-week lookahead schedule posted on March 21.

Entergy Still MIA

Entergy was first notified of conflicts with the expansion project in 2020. They still haven’t moved their equipment, such as this transformer. At this point, they have ignored a City of Houston ultimatum for three weeks. Entergy has not returned phone calls to clarify when it plans to take action.

Transformer at Exxon Station. The box that’s putting the whole expansion project in a box.

For More Information

For more information about Northpark expansion, visit the project pages of the LHRA/Tirz 10 website. Or see these posts on ReduceFlooding:

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/29/24

2404 Days since Hurricane Harvey

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