The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority board of directors held their monthly meeting April 9 to discuss ongoing mobility projects in the Kingwood area, including Northpark Drive, intersection improvements along Kingwood Drive and drainage projects. The meeting was a teleconference due to coronavirus.

Delaying public meeting

LHRA Chairman Stan Sarman said the Harris County Flood Control District's ongoing Kingwood drainage analysis project is moving along despite coronavirus concerns.

The $700,000 study will analyze the level of service on all Kingwood channels, which move water out of Kingwood into the river, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. The LHRA, which oversees property tax revenue collected in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10, contributed $100,000 to the study.

"Unfortunately, in light of the current circumstances with the virus, the public meeting that was tentatively proposed for May 1 at the present time is being postponed until we can determine when it can be done in the future," Sarman said. "However, the plans and the preliminary report are continuing to go forward and are on schedule."

Sarman said the flood control district will try to get information to the Kingwood community as soon as the preliminary study is complete, but a meeting will have to be scheduled for a later date. HCFCD officials previously said the study would be completed in April.

Evaluating intersection improvements

Officials from Walter P. Moore, the company hired to engineer the intersection projects for Kingwood Drive, provided updates on future intersection improvements along Kingwood Drive.

Senior Associate Rachel Ray-Welsh said her team is evaluating drainage options for improvements scheduled for the intersection of Willow Terrance and Kingwood Drive.

"The existing [stormwater] system already ties into the creek that's there, and so we create detention so we don't put any more water into the system faster than what was already going in there. So we're kind of working through that right now," she said.

The intersection project, which costs roughly $1.36 million, will include pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, according to LHRA's capital improvement plan budget.

Acquisitions push forward

HNTB Corporation, the company hired to design and engineer the Northpark Drive project, also sought board approval April 9 for a $51,932 supplemental increase to fund environmental requirements on the Northpark Drive Overpass Project.

The Northpark Drive Overpass Project will cost $39.9 million and 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.

Vincent Obregon, associate vice president of the HNTB Corporation, said his company recently submitted preliminary designs to the Texas Department of Transportation for approval. While the designs came back with only a few notes, he said TxDOT asked the company to complete additional environmental requirements.

LHRA directors unanimously approved the $51,932 increase. Additionally, Sarman said property acquisitions along Northpark Drive for the Northpark Drive Overpass Project are moving along as quickly as possible while abiding by social distancing standards from the coronavirus.