Tag Archive for: Entergy power poles

Northpark Entergy Saga: New Power Poles Slowly Going Up

In the latest episode of the Northpark Entergy saga, last week, Entergy finally began erecting new power poles outside of the Northpark Drive expansion right of way. While this is a huge improvement after four years of no Entergy activity, don’t get too excited.

In its quest to help develop an all weather evacuation route for 78,000 people, Entergy managed to erect four poles in five days. And there’s no sign of progress near Entergy’s transformer by the Exxon station at US59 either.

In other Northpark news:

  • The extra northbound turn lanes at 59 seem to be complete almost all the way back to Chick-Fil-A.
  • At Russell Palmer and Northpark, the crossover closure will take longer than expected.
  • Construction of the four decorative planting areas in the two stormwater retention-basins at US59 is now complete and contractors have filled in dirt behind the retaining walls.

See photos and details below.

Last of four decorative landscaping areas (right) is now complete and backfilled.
Entergy … La La, La La La!

On 4/2, I reported that Entergy had delivered new power poles to Northpark in preparation for moving their lines out of the City right of way.

Five days later and four years after first being notified, Entergy appears to have erected a grand total of four poles while others remain scattered on the ground.

The four Entergy power poles erected along Northpark during the week of April 1, 2024

Here’s what two look like from the ground.

See new poles on the right. Entergy has not yet placed equipment on any poles, nor has it relocated wires.

Meanwhile, many of the poles they delivered to the job site last week remain scattered on the ground.

Looking E. Northpark Drive (on right). UP Railroad Tracks out of frame on the bottom.

Moving the poles back will make room to construct turn lanes from Northpark onto Loop 494.

As I photographed Entergy’s underwhelming progress, I was reminded of what American ingenuity can achieve when companies put their shoulders into projects.

For instance, the transcontinental railroad took six years to build. Even more impressive is what the companies could achieve in a day…without modern equipment.

The Union Pacific once laid eight miles of track in a single day. Stung by the competition, “the Central Pacific concocted a plan to lay 10 miles in a day. Eight tracklayers put down 3,520 rails, while other workers laid 25,800 ties and drove 28,160 spikes in a single day.”

Compare that to Entergy’s four poles in four years. I guess that’s what happens when you give companies a monopoly in an area.

On February 6, the City of Houston gave Entergy an ultimatum to have the project completed by March 8. Tomorrow will be April 8.

Entergy appears to have put its A Team on the project. Speaking of A Teams, it only took three years to invent the atomic bomb, test it, deliver it, and conclude World War II.

But of course, Entergy is dealing with electricity and there are safety issues involved.

Entergy transformer at US59 still unmoved.

The Entergy transformer will require some study. To inspire public confidence, Entergy reportedly is putting its top engineers on the project.

Northbound Turn Lanes onto US59

On a happier note, traffic is now using new northbound turn lanes at US59, temporarily eliminating a huge bottleneck…until new pavement will go down for the existing lanes.

Looking W from 59 toward 494. North is left.

A new schedule posted by the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority shows that most work in the next month will focus on underground utilities. Those include water lines, storm drains, and box culverts on both sides of the street.

According to the schedule, Harper Bothers Construction will also install the giant reinforced box culverts in the median of Northpark toward 59 for the rest of the month.

Before pavement goes farther east, more underground work is needed. Note culvert lined up in front of businesses.

Russell Palmer Crossover Work Delayed

The work near the Russell Palmer intersection must be taking longer than expected. Originally it was supposed to be finished by tomorrow morning at 5AM. But the new schedule shows it being completed by next Friday, 4/12/24.

A flashing sign along Northpark this morning warmed motorists to expect daily lane closures. However, there were none this morning. And contrary to earlier announcements, motorists were making it through the intersection.

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 4/7/24

2413 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.

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.