SJRA pipeline project looks to avoid conflicts with upcoming triathlons

With pipeline installation along Research Forest Drive nearly complete, the San Jacinto River is hoping to complete construction along Grogan's Mill Road by the end of the spring.

Eastbound lanes on Grogan's Mill Road between Research Forest Drive and South Millbend Drive are closed, except at major intersections, as crews work to install more pipeline and reinstall roadway.

"By mid-May we're out of there all together, that portion of Grogan's Mill is done," said Mark Smith, administrator for the SJRA's Groundwater Reduction Plan.

Smith said the 1-mile portion of Grogan's Mill Road between Woodlands Parkway and South Millbend Drive was initially scheduled to re-open in March, but will more likely be sometime in April.

"The wet weather and cold weather has slowed [the contractor's] progress," Smith said.

The portion of Grogan's Mill Road between Research Forest Drive and Woodlands Parkway will likely be completed by early- to mid-May, Smith said.

Road construction on Grogan's Mill Road would likely conflict with the CB&I Triathlon, and possibly the IronMan Texas event. The CB&I Triathlon is scheduled for May 3 and will have 1,300 athletes taking part in an event that includes a 5K run and a 15-mile bike ride through The Woodlands.

IronMan Texas is scheduled for May 17 and typically brings 2,100 athletes and more than 18,000 visitors to The Woodlands. The event features a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run through The Woodlands.

Both the CB&I and IronMan Texas triathlons have in the past routed a portion of their courses along Grogan's Mill Road. Trow said the SJRA has met with coordinators with the CB&I and IronMan to address any potential problems with their courses.

"Through some coordination, they have picked routes that don't really conflict with our project," Trow said.

Smith said construction along Grogan's Mill Road would likely not be complete before the CB&I Triathlon, but could be finished by May 17 when the IronMan Texas triathlon is held.

Once work is complete along the two sections of Grogan's Mill Road currently under construction, the SJRA will turn its attention in June to a 1-mile section of Research Forest Drive between Greenbridge Drive and West Trillium Circle, and a 1-mile section of Grogan's Mill Road south of South Millbend Drive.

Smith said the SJRA has delayed pipeline installation of those portions while school has been in session. The Woodlands High School is located on the portion of Research Forest Drive that will see road construction, while a Conroe ISD bus barn is located on Grogan's Mill Road near the upcoming construction site.

Smith said both of those projects will be completed over the summer and finished in time before the fall 2014 school year begins.