Tag Archive for: Eagle Sorters Mine

February ’24 Northpark Expansion Update Including Lane Closures

In the past two weeks, construction activity for the Northpark expansion project has focused primarily on the ponds at US59 that will double as detention basins.

However, progress has also been made farther east. CenterPoint has been busy relocating gas lines. Contractors now have signed right-of-entry permits to UnionPacific (UP) property. And they have been busy installing a storm-sewer junction box in front of the Shell Station at Loop 494.

But the thing most people will notice this week is that two of the four outbound lanes on Northpark at 59 are now closed and will remain that way for several months.

Entry Ponds

I took all the pictures below during the last week of February 2024. For the first time, you can clearly see the outlines of both ponds. Contractors started on the north pond first. So, it is further along. But the outline of the south pond, ringed by transplanted trees, is now also clearly visible.

Looking N at S Pond
Closer shot shows three more decorative areas for plantings, one on each side of the triangle.
Men working on foundation for retaining wall around one of the landscaping areas along Northpark Drive.
Reverse angle. Looking S at N pond.
Retaining wall around area to be landscaped was just completed and contractors were removing forms for concrete.
Pipe for storm drains is being stockpiled in North Pond.

As you can see from these photos, the sides of the ponds will slope toward the middle. Maximum depth for each pond will be about 20 feet.

According to Northpark Expansion Project Manager Ralph De Leon, excavation currently is down to about 7 feet max, the approximate location of the water table. So, the ponds will eventually get almost three times deeper than they are now. That’s a lot of dirt to move!

Contractors will use the dirt to fill in over the box culverts which will go down the center of Northpark. But because of several utility conflicts, placement of the box culverts had to be put on hold.

So, contractors are storing the dirt at the Eagle Sorters Sand Mine on the West Fork. It will be transported back to Northpark when needed.

Stored dirt (center) from entry ponds at the Eagle Mine on Sorters-McClellan Road.

After Harvey, the Army Corps used the Eagle Mine as a placement area for sand and silt dredged from the San Jacinto West Fork.

Once contractors place the dirt over the culverts, they can then begin paving two additional lanes of traffic over where the center ditch used to be.


Now that all the legal agreements are in place and engineering plans have been approved, work can begin around the UP tracks. It won’t happen immediately though. According to UP, rail traffic is now in its peak season. In the coming months, expect to see three types of activity.

  • Boring under the tracks to take excess stormwater from the entry ponds to the Kingwood Diversion Ditch and Bens Branch via Ditch One.
  • Placement of a one-piece concrete bed/continuous section of track over the project area with signal upgrades
  • Creation of ground-level feeder roads/turn lanes on each side of main lanes which will bridge over the tracks.
ditch one
Looking E at Ditch One, Part of Northpark Expansion Drainage. Northpark is in upper right.

Northpark Expansion Project Lane Closures

Starting yesterday, 2/26/24, two westbound lanes on Northpark at 59 closed temporarily for reconstruction during the next few months.

During the first month, the existing left turn lane and one through lane will remain open. Then traffic will switch onto the newly constructed lanes, while the other lanes are completed. The contractor will install new storm sewer pipes and inlets along with new concrete roadway.

Looking N. Demolition has already begun on two westbound lanes.
At 4 PM on Tuesday afternoon, OUTBOUND traffic on northpark was backed up past Russell-Palmer Road because of the lane closures.

Westbound traffic should expect delays and alternative routes are encouraged.

Judging by the outbound delay I saw today, I plan to avoid this bottleneck for the duration of the Northpark Expansion project.

Other Activity

The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority (LHRA) and City Councilmember Fred Flickinger are scheduled to meet with the City Attorney on Thursday, 2/29/24, to discuss the Entergy issue. After years of discussion, the utility has not yet begun moving its power lines and transformer out of the way.

LHRA will hold a board meeting on March 14th, in part, to discuss Entergy options.

On Friday, March 15, the City, LHRA and Entergy will meet. Hopefully, they will come to an agreement that doesn’t involve legal action, which could increase costs and cause delays.

Reminder: Phase II Meeting on March 7

Also don’t forget the public input session on March 7 from 5-7 PM. LHRA and TxDOT will discuss plans for the next phase of the project. It will reach past Woodland Hills Drive.

Thursday, March 7, 2024
from 5-7 p.m.
Kingwood Park Community Center
4102 Rustic Woods Dr.
Kingwood, TX 77345

Part of Northpark Phase II

The Northpark Expansion project will not only move traffic faster, it will create an all-weather evacuation route for 78,000 people in the Kingwood and Porter areas. During Harvey, other evacuation routes were cut off.

For More Information

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

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/27/24

2373 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.