We have officially kicked off construction for the Shepherd Durham Project in Memorial Heights. Waterlines are currently being installed on Shepherd, and pavement work will begin in a few weeks. The project will bring much-needed roadway improvements all along Shepherd Drive, Durham Drive, and certain cross streets from I-10 to I-610. This area hasn’t seen significant infrastructure updates since the 1950s. You may be wondering what current and upcoming construction will mean to you, such as how it will look, how long it will take, where it will happen, and what benefits you can expect. In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about the Shepherd Durham Project.
What Does the Shepherd Durham Project Encompass?
Construction to Shepherd Drive and Durham Drive is essential to the community because it will remedy or lessen residents’ many challenges, including a high crash rate, lack of multimodal and regional access, flooding, and congestion. The Shepherd and Durham project aims to address regional priorities related to safety, maintaining a state of good repair, multimodal access, stormwater mitigation, and congestion relief.
The Shepherd Durham Project Has Two Phases
There are two overarching phases to the project. Phase 1 will handle rebuilding and modernizing the roadway on Shepherd and Durham from 15th St. to I-610, as well as cross streets at 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 24th. The second phase will deal with Shepherd and Durham from I-10 to 15th St. and is anticipated to begin in 2024. It will include the cross streets at 11th, 12th, and 14th. The City of Houston has a separate project planned to rebuild the cross streets at Cornish and Larkin.
Breaking Down Phase 1 of the Shepherd Durham Project
There are three sub-phases within Phase 1. The first sub-phase will encompass Shepherd and Durham between 15th St. and 20th St., the second between 20th St. and 24th St., and the third and final sub-phase between 24th St. and I-610. Each sub-phase will take approximately 12 months and there will be times when they overlap. The budget for Phase 1 construction is more than 50 million dollars.
What Improvements Will There Be to Shepherd, Durham, and Cross Streets?
You can look forward to roadway improvements like dedicated turn lanes, enlarged pedestrian and bicycle facilities, new traffic signals, and landscaping. Additional improvements will include signage and crosswalk improvements as well as upgrading sanitary sewer and water lines, upgrading transit stops, and improving drainage.
The numbers behind the Shepherd Durham Project showcase its enormous impact. By the project’s completion, we will have placed 19,100 feet of storm sewer lines, 4,600 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 25,200 feet of sidewalk, 16,410 feet of water lines, and 3.6 miles of pavement. Plus, we will have planted 606 new trees.
Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations are another significant aspect of the Shepherd Durham Project. We will construct 6’-10’-wide sidewalks on both sides of Shepherd and Durham, sidewalks on cross streets, and 6’-wide bike lanes behind the curb on the east side of both Shepherd and Durham.
How Can You Stay Safe and Prepare for Memorial Heights Construction?
Preparing for construction to Shepherd and Durham is simple. First, keep your door hanger, which includes construction information and contact information for questions or concerns. Second, remove items from the right-of-way (ROW) you wish to protect, such as plants or personal items. If you don’t know where the edge of the right-of-way is along your property, please contact the project team (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can show you where it is on your property. The ROW typically includes the land and the sidewalk bordering the street pavement, but it can vary. You can leave feedback or ask questions about the project at any time by contacting the Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority here.
We are currently installing new water lines on Shepherd Drive. During this time and for the duration of the project, you may encounter equipment and materials such as orange fencing, concrete traffic barriers, steel plates, and traffic control devices like cones or signage. You may also experience temporary impacts to your water service, parking and driveway access, and bus route (such as a moved stop). Expect trees and landscaping to be impacted as well.
We are committed to keeping you informed and safe throughout the Shepherd Durham Project. You can learn more about the project by visiting this link. Construction updates can be found at www.shepherddurham.com.