Preliminary landscaping designs, lane alignments for Northpark Drive improvement revealed at open house

Kingwood residents had the chance to give feedback and see designs for the long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project at an open house on Feb. 6. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kingwood residents had the chance to give feedback and see designs for a long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project at an open house Feb. 6. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Kingwood residents had the chance to give feedback and see designs for a long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project at an open house Feb. 6. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The preliminary designs included potential turn lanes and entrances into surrounding neighborhoods. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Kingwood residents had the chance to give feedback and see designs for a long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project at an open house Feb. 6. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The draft designs also included two ponds on the north and south sides of the roadway—similar to the ponds on either side of Kingwood Drive. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The draft designs also included two ponds on the north and south sides of the roadway—similar to the ponds on either side of Kingwood Drive. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The $39.9 million project also includes installing new landscaping and 10-foot pathways on the north and south sides of the road. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Updated Feb. 27: The article has been updated with a revised timeline for the Northpark Drive Overpass Project. The project was previously estimated to break ground in late December 2020 or early 2021, but Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority officials said the timeline has been revised to 2021.

Kingwood residents had the chance to give feedback and see designs for a long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project at an open house Feb. 6.

Phase 1 of the project—called the Northpark Drive Overpass Project—is expected to break ground in 2021. It includes expanding the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and adding an overpass over the Union Pacific Corp. railroad.

Phase 1 is funded by the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority—which oversees property tax revenue collected in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10—as well as about $15.5 million from the city of Houston. Phase 2 spans from Russell Palmer to Woodland Hills Drive.

Ralph De Leon, LHRA and TIRZ administrator, said the project will start with lane expansions. After that, construction will begin on the feeder roads. The final portion of the project focuses on the overpass.

The $39.9 million project also includes installing new landscaping and 10-foot pathways on the north and south sides of the road, according to landscaping designs from M2L Associates Inc. The draft designs also included two ponds on the north and south sides of the roadway—similar to the ponds on either side of Kingwood Drive.


LHRA board chairman Stan Sarman said the overpass project not only aims to reduce congestion, enhance safety and bypass train traffic at the railroad crossing, but it will hopefully help with flooding along the corridor.

The elevated section, of course, will help with emergency access and ingress and egress with traffic when there is a severe flooding condition,” Sarman said.

Kingwood resident Diane Cooper said she is excited that the overpass will help eliminate congestion at the railroad, but she is concerned evacuations in flood events could be hindered. Cooper said the intersection of the Hwy. 59 feeder road and Northpark Drive became impassable during the May 7-9 rainstorm—and the current Northpark Drive designs do not include raising the roadway at the feeder road.

"We are still going to have an access onto a highway issue for flood event evacuation, but it gets us one step closer," she said.

De Leon said he does not believe the current designs keep drivers from getting to safety during floods; however, a drainage study for the project is set to be completed in the fall, so De Leon said the LHRA will have a better idea of drainage areas of focus then.

"This isn't actually showing ... everything we're going to do at this point," he said. "This is simply the draft as of today's date—it still hasn't been completely refined."


LHRA officials said the meeting was the first of two open houses that will take place regarding the first phase of the project. LHRA is asking the community to submit comments until March 1 on all aspects of the project. Residents can mail comments to the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority at 3200 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 2600, Houston, Texas, 77027 or email them to [email protected].
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.



MOST RECENT

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.

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.

A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered to a person's arm
Montgomery County sees July increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County climbed above 1,000 for the first time in two months, just after June recorded the lowest active cases since 2020.

Come out to a family-friendly market complete with separate bounce houses for toddlers and older children, a sack race and an egg-on-the-spoon race. (Courtesy Kotour Event)
Attend a musical, support young athletes: 20 events, things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout July, August

Here are a few events and things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout the months of July and August.

Get Well Clinic's new location in Humble offers pediatric and family medicine in addition to flu shots, vaccines and physicals. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Get Well Clinic's new Humble location offers pediatric care

Medical provider Get Well Clinic celebrated the grand opening of its new location on June 15 at 19020 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Humble.

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.

drainage
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.

Humble ISD anticipated the state would pass a bill that would give them $15 million-25 million to help fund a virtual learning option for the upcoming school year. Without these funds, HISD now turns to the Texas Education Agency for help. (Courtesy Unsplash)
Humble ISD continues fighting for virtual learning funds ahead of 2021-22 school year

Humble ISD continues its search for virtual learning funds as the beginning of school approaches.