October 2, 2023 – Contractors finished clearing the north side of Kingwood’s Northpark entry last week. Now they have shifted their focus to the south side to make room for two stormwater retention basins that will double as decorative lakes.
TxDoT requires the basins to catch extra runoff caused by widening of the road.
Photos Show Progress of Northpark Entry Construction
The focus of the project’s landscape architects now is saving as many trees as possible. I took the photos below with one exception on 9/30/23.
In the photo below, note the rings around the remaining trees on the south side.
Landscape architects will relocate most of the remaining trees on the right/south side of Northpark to create a backdrop for the new pond. Some trees will remain in front of the pond. See the latest plan below.
Handling Overflow from Ponds during Heavy Rains
To avoid flooding the Northpark entry area, contractors will channel overflow from the ponds west to Bens Branch and the Kingwood Diversion Ditch.
Status from Diversion Ditch to 494
Re-engineering of the water line has begun in concert with the City of Houston.
Until Centerpoint moves that gas line, contractors will focus on other parts of the project, such as the entry.
Saving Money While Saving Trees
At their monthly meeting last Thursday, Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ board members discussed the escalating cost of relocating trees. Costs increased as trees grew between the original estimate and today.
After the meeting, Ralph De Leon, the project manager, met with contractors, the landscape architect and project designer. They developed a new plan to help hold down costs.
Previously, some trees were to be moved twice, first to a temporary holding location on the north side of Northpark and then back to their final spot on the south side. Why? Contractors needed to build up land behind the pond on the south side of Northpark before transplanting the trees.
The new plan calls for building up the land before moving ANY trees. That will eliminate the cost of the double move. It will also reduce traffic disruption. Tree moving equipment will no longer have to cross Northpark.
Main Goals of Northpark Project
Overall, the main goals of the Northpark project include:
- Widening the road to reduce delays caused by increased traffic
- Building a bridge over the UP railroad tracks to eliminate traffic blockages
- Creating a reliable, all-weather evacuation route for Kingwood
For More Information
For previous posts about Northpark construction, see the following:
- 23/09/30 Clearing north side entry for first pond
- 23/09/23 How plan balances flood mitigation, costs, saving trees
- 23/09/02 New entry design, change in construction plans forced by utility conflicts
- 23/08/17 More drainage for Northpark
- 23/08/02 Ditch clearing stretches halfway to 59 in less than week
- 23/07/25 Northpark construction starts in earnest
- 23/04/13 Groundbreaking
- 22/02/19 Update on expansion project
- 21/07/28 Plan details
Also visit the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ 10 Project pages at https://lakehoustonra.com.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/2/23
2225 Days since Hurricane Harvey