The intersection improvement projects for West Lake Houston Parkway at Kings Crossing and Northpark Drive may not reach 100 percent completion until November.
Most of the intersection improvements have been complete for a few months now, such as the addition of turn lanes and sidewalks.
Rachel Ray-Welsh of Walter P Moore said at the May board meeting of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority — a subsidiary of Tax Reinvestment Zone 10 — that she expected the intersection projects would be completely finished in late July. At the time, the intersections were still waiting on signals, the poles and mast arms because an unforeseen issue forced a manufacturer change.
Ray-Welsh announced at the August meeting that the intersection projects have encountered another road block that will delay the installation and activation of permanent signals, for perhaps another few months.
The new mast arms installed at the Kings Crossing intersection did not meet the city of Houston’s required specifications.
“They have an extra piece on them,” Ray-Welsh said. “That piece has to go away. The city won’t accept the signal and they won’t turn it on.”
Additionally, a tree is encroaching on the placement of one of the required signal heads. The tree must be trimmed so that it does not interfere with the signal before the city will approve the intersection’s signalization.
A new foundation has to be installed at the northwest corner of the West Lake Houston Parkway and Northpark Drive intersection.
The original intended location for the foundation had multiple unexpected gas lines that were not shown on the survey used for project designs. This required the foundation placement to be moved to a location that required a longer mast arm.
The foundation that was put in is not deep enough to meet the support requirements of that mast arm length. According to Ray-Welsh, the foundation needs to be about 4 feet deeper.
“So, we’re in the process of finding a new location for that foundation, but the problem with that is you’ve got a gas line in the way, so that’s taking a little more time than we expected,” Ray-Welsh said.
After a new site has been deemed acceptable, Ray-Welsh said, the project should move forward quickly. A temporary mast arm with an extension will be used at that light until the new mast arm arrives.
Although the permanent traffic signals are not yet completed, Ray-Welsh said the pedestrian signals are already functioning at the Northpark intersection.
“Those are the ‘Walk,’ ‘Don’t Walk’ signals at Northpark so that the kids could cross the street for school,” Ray-Welsh said. “There are a bunch of kids that cross right there that go to the junior high, so they’ve got those turned on.”
A change order approved during the August meeting showed the West Lake Houston Parkway Intersection Improvements project revised contract between LHRA/TIRZ10 and Jerdon Enterprise, LP amount to be $1,298,584.
Once finished, these will be the first two intersection projects completed from TIRZ10’s 5-year capital improvement plan, which includes several other mobility projects, most of which are intersection improvements.