According to the offices of Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, the work began May 27.
The $6.6 million project will widen El Dorado from a two-lane to a four-lane road between Clear Lake City Boulevard and Horsepen Bayou. Harris County is paying for $3.1 million of the project, and the city of Houston is paying the remaining $3.5 million.
Phase 1, which includes road work, will keep traffic patterns the same and take until about spring to complete. Phase 2 will include some lane closures as contractors work on compliance issues, such as underground stormwater detention, but a timeline for this phase has not been established, though past estimates projected fall 2021.
When complete, El Dorado Boulevard will have four 12-foot lanes—two in each direction—with a 17-foot median. One side of the road will have landscaped areas along with a 10-foot-wide hike and bike trail, according to documents.
Officials believe the project serves two main purposes: alleviating traffic congestion and promoting health.
“Congestion on El Dorado has increasingly become a concern for area residents. Widening the road will increase capacity and improve the flow of traffic on this busy roadway,” Garcia said. “Once the project is complete, the additional lanes will help people get to and from work.”
Harris County Precinct 2 is creating a parks and trails master plan, and part of the study, which is expected to be completed in March 2021, includes assessing future connecting trails to the hike and bike trail that will be built along El Dorado.
“Healthy living is at the top of my agenda for residents [in] Precinct 2,” Garcia said. “Additional trails to encourage walking and biking will give people the opportunity to get outside and get moving. It’s also important to my office to connect the various neighborhoods all around the precinct via hike and bike trails so people have a way to see their neighbors without having to get in their cars.”
Additionally, the project includes building a new two-lane, 150-foot-long bridge across Horsepen Bayou. There will also be modifications to existing traffic signals on Brook Forrest Drive and Clear Lake Boulevard.
“I am excited to partner with the city of Houston and City Council Member Dave Martin to see this project come to fruition,” Garcia said in a press release. “This project will improve the mobility and safety in the region and provides us with an opportunity for future hike and bike trails.”
Martin also expressed excitement.
“This is a vital road infrastructure project that will address mobility issues in this fast-growing region,” Martin said in another release. “With the help of Harris County Precinct 2, we are glad to officially break ground on this long-awaited project.”
Originally, the project was going to begin in February, but crews ran into snags that delayed the project.
Last summer, crews removed about 100 trees along the length of the project to allow CenterPoint Energy to relocate power lines. However, CenterPoint determined not enough trees were removed, delaying the work.