Right of way acquisitions for Northpark Drive expansion project to begin soon in Kingwood

Right of way acquisitions will begin soon on the Northpark Drive project.

Right of way acquisitions will begin soon on the Northpark Drive project.

The multimillion-dollar expansion of Northpark Drive pushes forward. Soon, Kingwood officials will begin seeking right of way acquisitions for properties along the heavily trafficked corridor. The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority, which oversees the property tax revenue collected within Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10, held a meeting Sept. 26 to discuss the mobility project.

The Northpark Drive project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Woodland Hills Drive. Phase 1, set to start in 2020, spans from Hwy. 59 to Russell Palmer Road and will create an overpass at the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks. Phase 2, set to start in 2023, spans from Russell Palmer to Woodland Hills Drive.

At the previous board meeting Aug. 8, officials with the HNTB Corporation—the company hired to design and engineer the Northpark Drive project—presented a timeline with a construction bid date for Phase 1 of March 2021; this was when the board's original plan was to begin construction for Phase 1 in late 2020.

"I think that's way too long," board chairman Stan Starman said at the Aug. 8 meeting. "We've got to talk about trying to tighten this schedule up."

At the Sept. 26 board meeting, however, Vincent Obregon, associate vice president of HNTB Corporation, said the company now believes it will be able to reduce the project timeline by submitting design schematics to various entities, such as city of Houston and the Texas Department of Transportation, in unison.

"One of the things coming out of the meeting last month was we were trying to figure out ways to compress the schedule," Obregon said. "One of the ways we're going to compress that schedule and get ... it into construction—we're going to be doing those [schematics] in parallel."

HNTB planned to submit design schematics to TxDOT at the end of this week, Obregon said. He also said HNTB intended to meet with the city of Houston, and the company has been coordinating with the Union Pacific Corp.

Obregon also said the company's hydraulic engineers have begun establishing drainage patterns and developing hydrology for the project. The engineers will soon meet with the Harris County Flood Control District to make sure HNTB's work is in line with the HCFCD's ongoing drainage studies, he said.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



MOST RECENT

Mayor Turner and the honor guard.
Houston joins nationwide coronavirus memorial, lights landmarks

The memorial was planned as a component of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inauguration.

Northern Tool + Equipment will open its new Humble store in late January. (Courtesy Northern Tool + Equipment)
Northern Tool + Equipment sets late January opening date for Humble store

The store will be the ninth Houston-area location for the Minnesota-based hardware store.

Montgomery County continues to see new daily highs in active COVID-19 case counts as hospitalizations rise. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County COVID-19 total case count increases to over 34,000; active case count decreases by 1,500

The total COVID-19 case count across Montgomery County has surpassed 34,000.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

If approved, the Lake Houston Dredging and Maintenance District could take on all future dredging in Lake Houston. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
To-be-filed bill could fund dredging in Lake Houston by charging additional surface water fee

The conservation and reclamation district would have the power to take out bonds to fund projects. The bonds would be paid through a fee charged to utility providers who purchase surface water from Lake Houston.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

Houston City Hall aerial view
Houston City Council ethics committee to review speech policies

The discussion comes after Facebook posts by Council Member Greg Travis led to calls for his resignation or censure.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is scheduled to return in person in October. (Courtesy Katya Horner/Bayou City Art Festival)
Bayou City Art Festival scheduled for in-person return in October

The Memorial Park version of the festival will be celebrated through alternative virtual and smaller in-person events.

The Conroe clinic was allocated 2,000 doses of Moderna Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine the week of Jan. 18 because of its designation as a hub provider. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Conroe's Lone Star Family Health Center designated as COVID-19 vaccination hub, receives 2,000 doses

The facility was the sole Montgomery County provider to receive a vaccine allocation in the sixth week of statewide distribution.

At a Jan. 15 emergency court hearing, officials came up with a plan to try to reduce the inmate population at the Harris County Jail that centers on hosting more bail reduction hearings. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
With open beds dwindling, officials look for ways to reduce Harris County jail population

The inmate population at the Harris County Jail is rising, and officials are looking for ways to quickly ease the pressure as concerns grow over the ability to quarantine and restrict the spread of the coronavirus.