Transportation updates: What to know about Brays Bayou, Spruce and Fifth, Bolivar and Maple

Correction: The start date of construction on Buffalo Speedway over Brays Bayou has been updated to winter 2019, and the cost of Brays Bayou widening has been changed to clarify the difference between the cost of bridge construction and the cost of the project as a whole.

Three transportation projects to follow in the Bellaire, Meyerland and West University area:

Brays Bayou widening
The Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in the process of widening approximately 21 miles of Brays Bayou for the purposes of improving water detention and mitigating flood damage to the surrounding areas. Lane closures or full bridge closures of the 32 roads crossing the bayou are included in the project, as the bridges must be replaced or modified to accommodate the bayou’s widening. The intersections on either side of the bridges must also be reworked to accommodate the lengthening and raising of the bridges. So far, the reconstruction or modification of 16 bridges remains to be completed. The construction on the Buffalo Speedway bridge is scheduled to start winter 2019 and end winter 2021. The construction work on the Stella Link Road bridge is scheduled to start fall 2019 and end fall 2020. Construction on the Greenbriar Drive bridge is scheduled to start this summer and end summer 2020. The construction work on South Rice Avenue is scheduled to start this winter and end winter 2020. Work on Chimney Rock Road is scheduled to begin in winter 2020 and end winter 2021. Timelines are subject to change.

Timeline: spring 2020-winter 2021
Cost: $40 million for bridges listed, $550 million for total project
Funding sources: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, HCFCD

Spruce and Fifth reconstruction
Bellaire City Council approved a construction contract Feb. 18 with AStatus Construction for the reconstruction of the 5100-5200 blocks of Spruce Street and the 700 block of Fifth Street as a part of its $20 million Bonds for Better Bellaire 2016 program. The project will add public parking, replace existing road surfaces, improve drainage, construct sidewalks and add beautification features around the H-E-B grocery store on Bissonnet Street.

Timeline: April 2019-February 2020
Cost: $2.5 million
Funding source: city of Bellaire bond funds

Bolivar and Maple reconstruction
The 500 block of Bolivar Street and the 4500 block of Maple Street in Bellaire will be reconstructed, repaved, have drainage replacements to accommodate floodwaters and have new sidewalks as part of the $20 million Bonds for Better Bellaire 2016 program.
Timeline: April-December
Cost: $2 million
Funding source: city of Bellaire bond funds


Final renderings of the O’Quinn Medical Tower. (Courtesy Baylor St. Luke’s)
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center ‘tops out’ concrete structure, marks milestone for upcoming medical tower

The O’Quinn Medical Tower will also be part of the expanding McNair Campus.

Residents of the Spring Village apartment complex in southwest Houston are being relocated to allow the city of Houston to demolish the complex for detention. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Resident relocations ongoing as Houston preps to demolish flood-prone apartment complex near Westbury

Relocating the residents will cost the city an estimated $1.5 million.

Houston approves residential water rate increase after delays, contentious vote

Houston’s residential water rates will increase Sept. 1, City Council approved in a 12-4 vote June 23.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its 2021 State of Housing for Harris County and Houston report on June 22. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute 2021 State of Housing report highlights rental squeeze for lower, middle-income households

As of 2019, one in every 11 renters in Harris County had an eviction notice posted to their door; one in every 25 renter households were also evicted.

Bellagreen will open its first carryout- and delivery-only restaurant Aug. 2. (Courtesy bellagreen)
Bellagreen sets opening date for new Galleria-area location

This limited-footprint model will allow guests to pick up Bellagreen’s cuisine through an on-the-go experience, accepting individual and catering orders.

The craft beer industry is growing in the Greater Houston area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Greater Houston area's craft brewery count grows 344% since 2013

According to NAI Partners, the Greater Houston area has 71 craft breweries.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

The Bellaire City Council is considering a specific use permit that will allow Bellaire Church of Christ to construct new parking on the northern portion of 8001 South Rice Avenue. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bellaire City Council considers new Church of Christ parking lot

The proposal, which faces opposition from several homeowners, could be further deliberated by the council on July 19 before a permit is approved or denied.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Hospital system reports 2.2% positivity rate, down 13% year to date

COVID-19 patient numbers at medical center hospitals are down to 309 from the over 2,000 patients those same hospitals were housing in January.

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.