Tree Lane Bridge project erosion

Tree Lane Project Supposed to be Done Today, But Hasn’t Started

6/28/24 – According to Houston Public Works’ website, the Tree Lane Bridge Rehabilitation Project next to Bear Branch Elementary was to have been completed today. But construction hasn’t even started yet.

Completion Scheduled for End of June

The latest update, posted just last Thursday, shows “end of June 2024” as the promised completion date.

Screen capture from 4PM June 28, 2024, last workday of the month.

But as of the end of the day today, equipment hadn’t moved in approximately two months, with the exception of moving an excavator farther back from the creek when erosion crept dangerously close to it in the May floods.

Erosion from May floods threatened the parking spot for this construction equipment.

Originally, Houston Public Works said construction would take 6 months. Now we have just 5 weeks before the start of the next school year.

Hurricane Approaching

Meanwhile, a tropical depression has formed in the Atlantic. And the National Hurricane Center predicts it will enter the Gulf as a hurricane approximately a week from now.

On the current trajectory, Houston would be in the cone.

There’s still a large degree of uncertainty associated with any storm this far out. But this underscores the fact that the Tree Lane Bridge project is far behind schedule and we are likely entering a very active hurricane season.

Development this far east in late June is unusual, according to the NHC. In fact, they say, “There have only been a few storms in history that have formed over the central or eastern tropical Atlantic this early in the year.” Some models are already predicting this could become a major hurricane (Cat 3 or 4).

The lack of Tree Lane Bridge Rehabilitation progress will expose the bridge to even more erosion if this storm strikes the Houston area. As you can see, the bridge can’t afford much more.

Erosion under bridge

Reasons for Delays

On June 13, Darryl Burrell, EIT, Graduate Engineer, Capital Projects for Houston Public Works, wrote, “There have been multiple instances of utility relocations.”

He added, “Some have already been completed. Our personnel are coordinating with multiple teams and entities. We are all working to get this issue alleviated in a timely manner.”

Photo 6/13/24. That 12″ black pipe is reportedly a city water line that has been exposed since at least April 2022.

I saw a cable company working at the location on 6/17/24, but nothing since then. That was almost two weeks ago. That swooping line in the foreground remains there today.

Editorial Comment: Enforce Deadlines

I’m not sure who is to blame, but would observe this.

As the City looks for ways to trim its budget, it should look at enforcing deadlines.

I wonder how many times contractors have had to reschedule crews around other contractors that didn’t do their jobs on time. That has to increase costs.

And one last issue. Construction delays exposed this area to even greater erosion. That may force revision of the engineering plan, construction drawings, bids, timetables and more.

Why do it once when you can do it twice? Sorry for the cynicism.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/28/24

2495 Days since Hurricane Harvey