New Entergy power poles for Northpark Drive Expansion have arrived after years of waiting.

New Entergy Power Poles Finally Arrive On Northpark

I got a tip last night that new Entergy power poles finally arrived. Today, I photographed the long-awaited equipment. The poles are not up yet. Nothing is connected to them. Most are just lying in the dirt.

In the quest to build an all-weather evacuation route for 78,000 Kingwood residents, readers may remember that the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ-10 has sparred with Entergy for four years. Entergy’s power lines need to be moved out of a City-owned easement to accommodate the expansion of Northpark Drive.

I have confirmed that the poles belong to Entergy. Entergy also claims that they will begin erecting the poles in the next few days, weather permitting.

My source did not provide an estimated date for completion. Nor did the source discuss plans for moving Entergy’s transformer near the Exxon station at US59.

But still, this is progress.

Making Way for Surface Turn Lanes

The existing Entergy power poles need to move back to make way for two surface turn lanes that will parallel the bridge over the UP railroad tracks at Loop 494.

One of the two new westbound turn lanes will let traffic turn left onto 494 and the other will let it turn right. This is a TXDoT requirement.

As you can see from the overhead clutter, this is not going to be a simple job.
Entergy has dropped new poles every few feet for several blocks down Northpark.
Entergy power poles back beyond the orange stakes on the left.

The City of Houston issued Entergy an ultimatum to have its equipment out of the way by March 8. March 8 came and went without a sign of Entergy along Northpark. Now, almost a month later, we finally have some movement that could avert a costly legal battle that had the potential to shut the expansion project down.

This is good news. The presence of the power lines in the right of way has delayed construction considerably and forced contractors to take tasks out of sequence.

Union Pacific access issues have already been worked out. So, hopefully, construction should move faster now.

Elsewhere Along Northpark

Northbound turn lanes at 59 have reached their full width and are growing longer.

Outbound traffic was confined to one lane today, causing considerable delays.
Note freshly poured concrete being finished.

As soon as the new turn lanes are complete, traffic in the old lanes will be rerouted to them. Then contractors will repave the old lanes. That process should take three months according to LHRA. Westbound traffic should expect delays.

LHRA encourages commuters to take alternative routes.  For the next phase of work, the contractor will install new storm sewer pipes and inlets along with the new concrete roadway.

Russell Palmer Intersection Closed This Weekend

Farther east, contractors have already removed a pole mounted traffic signal at the Northpark/Russell Palmer Intersection. This weekend, they will rip up the intersection to extend the box culverts in the median. The crossover will close from 9pm Friday night, April 5, to 5am Monday morning, April 8, to make way for construction.

Looking W toward US59 across Russell Palmer along Northpark. The crossover will be ripped up this weekend to extend the culverts.

Traffic was backed up for more than a mile in each direction this afternoon because of multiple lane closures as you can see above.

Construction is never easy. Pack your patience. Plan on delays. And search for alternative routes for the duration.

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 4/2/24

2408 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.