Medians across League City to be improved

Despite residents shooting down a city-proposed idea to install medians along Main Street, League City will take advantage of a program to improve existing medians across the city.

After League City City Council’s unanimous approval May 11, League City will partner with the Texas Department of Transportation to provide landscape improvements along major TxDOT corridors in the city. The total estimated cost for this project is $6.62 million, but League City will pay only up to $450,000—at least at first.

The work includes improvements to existing medians along the east side of FM 518, FM 646, Hwy. 96 and Marina Bay Drive, totaling $3.26 million; I-45 landscape improvements totaling $1.71 million; I-45 detention ponds totaling $1.23 million; and city entry signs totaling $424,000.

As part of the deal, TxDOT will fund nearly all the work. The only costs incurred by the city are the design and construction fees from a contractor, Pacheco Koch. Additionally, two years after construction is completed, League City will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of these projects.

“It’s a real good deal,” said David Hoover, League City’s director of planning and development.

Today, the city’s medians are unremarkable with only strips of grass, Hoover said. Landscaping improvements include adding different types of trees and potentially wildflowers along the medians.

“There’s a lot of good opportunities to really make some difference because right now they’re just plain,” he said of the medians.

Additionally, League City will get a say in how green areas and detention ponds alongside I-45, which TxDOT is widening, will appear. Some could end up with fountains, several trees and other potential improvements, Hoover said.

“It’s an attempt to create something that looks better than a hole in the ground,” Hoover said.

The projects could go to bid as early as this fall and take anywhere from a year to two to complete, Hoover said.

When Mayor Pat Hallisey initially saw the agenda item, he was worried it had to do with the new median plan residents opposed, he said at the May 11 council meeting.

In fall 2020, League City officials proposed taking advantage of the TxDOT program that would have allowed for the free construction of medians along Main Street between I-45 and Egret Bay Boulevard. The road has a shared center turn lane the medians would have replaced.

League City officials thought the medians would draw more attention to the economically stagnant area. However, many Main Street business owners opposed the move, saying it would make it harder for residents to reach their businesses, so the city nixed the plans.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD trustees to vote on district's 2021-22 compensation, benefits plan July 26

The proposed plan includes a 3% salary increase for all employees.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here is how Galveston County's COVID-19 positivity rates, infection patterns compare year over year

The county was in the middle of a second wave of coronavirus infections in July 2020. One year later, an outbreak has affected more than 150 county residents and marked the emergence of the delta variant.

ERCOT's instability has fueled interest in alternative sources of energy, with one solar nonprofit seeing interest increase across Texas in recent months. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Hot spots: Solar energy interest sparks in Clear Lake

Residents of 50 homes in Clear Lake and the surrounding area began forming a co-op in spring 2020 through Solar United Neighbors, a national nonprofit focused on supporting the growth of residential solar energy by informing consumers.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

port of houston
Port of Houston sets new diversity standards for business contracts

The port is joining a growing number of local and regional bodies interested in updating policies to increase participation from minority and women-owned businesses.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is pleading with residents to be more vigilant, asking all residents to start wearing masks again in indoor settings and asking those who are vaccinated to urge their friends who are not to get the shot. (Screenshot Courtesy Facebook)
Harris County raises coronavirus threat level as Hidalgo asks all residents to mask up indoors

Although those who are vaccinated are very unlikely to end up in the hospital, officials said wearing masks in certain situations could help reduce transmissions to the more susceptible unvaccinated.

(Community Impact staff)
DATA: Bay Area homes sold quicker, at higher prices in 2021 compared to prior year

Local real estate data shows an active market for June 2020-May 2021 compared to June 2019-May 2020.

Memorial Hermann has locations throughout the Greater Houston area, including Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. (Courtesy Memorial Hermann)
Memorial Hermann visiting policies change as COVID-19 cases rise

As of July 21, Memorial Hermann has changed its visitor policy in light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Greater Houston area.

Houston launches revamped 3-1-1 system

City staff have been in the process of updating the system over the last nine months.

Houston unemployment is above state and national levels, while home sales in the region continue to be strong, according to a July 21 economic update from the Greater Houston Partnership. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unemployment, strong housing sales mark 2021 Houston economy, Greater Houston Partnership says

While Houston job recovery lags due to the pandemic, area home sales are strong, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

In a late-night amendment addition, Harris County Commissioners Court denied an original resolution aiming to increase restrictions on nonmonetary pretrial release bonds in a split vote after hearing over two hours of public testimony July 20 for and against the resolution. The amended resolution, which was approved in a second split vote, favors focusing on criminal court backlogs and funding alternative public safety solutions. (Courtesy Pexels)
After hours of debate, Harris County commissioners oppose resolution restricting felony nonmonetary pretrial release bonds

In a late-night amendment addition, Harris County Commissioners Court denied an original resolution aiming to increase restrictions on non-monetary pretrial release bonds in a split vote after hearing over two hours of public testimony July 20 for and against the resolution.