Analysis of CIP by MMD’s David W. Robinson

By | April 1, 2013

With Spring in the air, residents of Houston’s District C gathered at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center on West Gray to take part in an annual rite of passage, the city’s CIP Public Meeting.  Council Member Ellen Cohen hosted a group of city officials from a number of departments that included Finance, General Services, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works & Engineering.  With introductions and an explanation of the ongoing “ReBuild Houston” program, projects were described for the Capital Improvement Plan that were prioritized as adhering to a “worst first” analysis of roadways and drainage needs for the area.  Dale Rudick, Deputy Director and Executive of the program discussed the selected projects, and explained that a primary purpose of the meeting was to present the results of the selection process in case the community and neighbors were to observe that “you’ve missed something.”

Westheimer @ Taft
Westheimer @ Taft

Regardless of whether or not a repeat year of drought and damage contributes to the already sad state of the area’s aging infrastructure, an abundance of evidence suggests that there are serious gaps that so far have been missed.  Two such gaps were illustrated in materials presented at the meeting, as prepared by the MMD’s consultant team from Walter P. Moore.  The analysis of these highly respected engineers documented significant stretches of roadway along West Alabama and Westheimer that span the district from its boundaries of Spur 527 on the east and Shepherd Drive on the west.  Observing images as those included in this blog, it’s hard to fathom how such conditions had kept these decaying surfaces from rising to the top of the project list.  Yet it appears that somehow they haven’t registered as a concern.  With ongoing dialog with the city, the MMD plans to continue to bring these issues to light, to sharpen the focus of the program on the truly worst, and to help prioritize the highest areas of need for capital improvements within our community.

Please send us images of potholes on your street via Twitter.  Find us at MontroseHTX and use #MMDpothole to send twitpic.  Your efforts will help us document the severity of the issue as we work to secure CIP funding.

Westheimer @ Park
Westheimer @ Park

 

Next month:  How 3-1-1 is not like “American Idol.”

 

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7 responses to “Analysis of CIP by MMD’s David W. Robinson”

  1. Drew Street between Waugh and Montrose is in bad shape. Hazard Street from US 59 north to Richmond is really bad too.

    • Lenny Williams

      Thank you for letting us know! It’s efforts like yours that will help us document the many needs within the district. Please also take the time to download the City of Houston’s new 3-1-1 mobile app. This handy-dandy tool allows you to take pictures of potholes and damaged streets with your cell phone, and sends them directly to the city’s 3-1-1 center.

      http://hfdapp.houstontx.gov/311/index.php

  2. In addition to the forces of nature causing underground movement, does anyone see a correlation between the streets being continually dug up by developers for utility access and the deteriorating condition of our streets?

  3. William Ellis

    It looks to me that the worst damage to our roads is being done by the Metro buses. If you look at the road surface in front of each of the bus stops you will see that it is being chewed up by the weight and power of the buses when stopping and taking off again. The black top being used is not designed to take this kind of abuse. The city needs to do a more substantial repair in these areas. Just black topping over the damage doesn’t last more than a few bus passes and cost more in the long run than if they would do a repair using material that was designed to withstand the weight and power of the busses.

  4. Katherine Mestousis - Spokesperson, ReBuild Houston

    There is no doubt that the infrastructure needs of the Montrose area are great. Unfortunately, our infrastructure’s deteriorating condition did not get in its current state overnight. Historically, the City has not adequately invested in infrastructure. By implementing Pay-As-You-Go funding, ReBuild Houston has provided the ability to finally address the need created by deferred investment. This amplified level of project funding will significantly increase around 2020 and beyond. Today, if it were not for ReBuild Houston, the current CIP investment in our streets and drainage would have been slashed beginning in July of this year. With that all said, Public Works and Engineering will continue to maintain and provide a safe street and drainage system for our entire City within the constraints of our limited resources. To view a list of projects in the Montrose area, click http://alturl.com/ww836.

    • Lenny Williams

      MMD welcomes this debate and is happy to have an open dialogue about ways forward.
      We are glad to hear that funding will significantly increase around 2020, and recognize — even applaud — the
      efforts made to sustain the city’s infrastructure with minimal resources. However it
      is incredibly difficult to reconcile that one of the highest tax revenue generating neighborhoods in Houston
      will not have access to CIP funds for restoring our roads for five more years. Neglecting this most basic of needs
      will only succeed in driving businesses out of the District.

      Montrose also has thousands of new multi-family units becoming available this year, which translates
      into hundreds more vehicles up and down some of our most desperate streets.

      If the MMD report by Walter P. Moore — which was completed while the city was still creating its ‘worst first’ strategy — reiterates the findings of the city’s own data, it is difficult to rationalize postponing CIP funds any longer.

      • Katherine Mestousis - Spokesperson, ReBuild Houston

        While it is understandably frustrating to utilize less than ideal roads each day, there are streets in conditions less accommodating than that of the MMD area. There are several Montrose area projects in various stages of pre-engineering and construction with proposed projects planned for as soon as 2014 leading through 2018 and beyond. To name just a few:

        • Westheimer (Montrose to Main) – Pre-Engineering FY 14
        • Neighborhood Street Reconstruction (#467) – Construction FY 14
        • W. Dallas (Waugh to Montrose) – Pre-Engineering FY 14
        For more projects, visit http://alturl.com/ww836.

        ReBuild Houston maintains and provides street and drainage systems for the entire City of Houston based on need, not based on economic status or the “highest tax revenue generating neighborhoods.” We MUST address the “Worst First” for the betterment of Houston as a whole. Thank you for your interest in ReBuild Houston.

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