On Oct. 6, contractors officially finished widening El Dorado Boulevard between Clear Lake City Boulevard and Horsepen Bayou from two to four 12-foot-wide lanes with a raised median.

However, months later, issues still linger.

After the widening, Harris County and city of Houston officials discovered a section of a large underground water drainage pipe failed to meet requirements, meaning it needs to be reworked. The cost is going to be covered by the contractor, Indi, who is coordinating the work with the county and the Clear Lake City Water Authority, Harris County Precinct 2 officials said.

However, according to county officials, Indi has not committed to doing the work.

“This is a contract issue that may become a legal issue that’ll take time as Harris County demands the contractor meet quality requirements for [the] pipe,” county documents about the project read.

In the meantime, a temporary limestone path has been installed above where the work on the pipe is to occur. This path was installed May 15 at residents’ request to provide continuity along the sidewalk, which was torn up pending the pipe work, officials said.

“I sympathize with residents who are frustrated and share their dissatisfaction,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said in an email to Community Impact.

Once the pipe is repaired, a permanent sidewalk will be installed to replace the limestone path. If there is a long dispute about the pipe repair that's expected to last several months or more, county contractors might decide months from now to install sidewalk until the issue is resolved, at which point it would be torn up to rework the pipe and then repaved, Precinct 2 Press Secretary Scott Spiegel said.

Other progress

Officials have begun planting trees along the corridor to replace those lost during the widening. According to county documents, about 250 trees have been planted so far to replace the 100 lost, resulting in a net gain of 150 trees.

Additionally, the city of Houston is coordinating with CenterPoint to install new streetlights in the new southbound direction.

Finally, the city is evaluating the possibility of connecting the sidewalk south of the El Dorado bridge to the Bay Forest subdivision as a future project.

The El Dorado widening project cost $8.7 million and began in May 2020. It was originally expected to finish in April 2022.

“My biggest concern is that the project be done right,” Garcia said. “Dealing with construction delays that create traffic concerns for longer than promised is agonizing. However, I will always advocate for getting the job done correctly.”