The long-awaited connection between the Terry Hershey Trail System and the Brays Bayou Trail System is now underway, courtesy of a Westchase District project that will improve sidewalks and bike lanes on the north end of the District.
Bicyclists and pedestrians will enjoy a reconstructed, 8-foot wide, continuous sidewalk along the west side of CityWest Blvd, from Westheimer to Briar Forest. At Briar Forest, the path will utilize the existing signalized intersection to reach the north side of Briar Forest, then continue west until reaching Walnut Bend Lane. There, the path will turn north and follow the existing City of Houston on-street bike route on Blue Willow Drive until reaching Riverview. At Riverview, the route will turn east onto Deerwood. The sidewalk on the north side of Deerwood will be reconstructed and widened to accommodate pedestrian traffic. And a dedicated two-way bike lane will be separated from vehicle traffic. From there, users may continue to Terry Hershey Trail using the existing pedestrian bridge.
DVL Enterprises is the contractor and work is expected to take five months. For approximately six to eight weeks during construction, the Deerwood entrance to the neighborhood will be closed.
“Walnut Bend residents will also benefit by the reconstruction of Deerwood Drive, which will eliminate the poor roadway conditions that lead to significant ponding during heavy rains,” said Irma Sanchez, Westchase District’s vice president of projects.
Connectivity for Elmside and Woodchase
A similar project will bring back-of-curb improvements along the east side of Elmside Drive and Woodchase Drive, between Westheimer Road and Westpark Drive. This 1.25-mile path will be upgraded with wider, continuous sidewalks and improved landscaping, including the planting of additional shade trees.
Other improvements include an exercise station, half-moon spheres that promote creative play and mile markers that promote walking. A pedestrian-activated traffic signal will be installed at the Richmond/Elmside intersection to provide a protected pedestrian crossing and the Westpark/Woodchase traffic signal will be upgraded from span wire to mast arms. Finally, the intersection approaches and curb ramps will be upgraded to meet current standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“This area has a lot of pedestrian traffic as transit users make their way to a METRO bus stop, the Gessner Park & Ride or Westheimer retail,” said Sanchez. “These improvements will not only benefit those pedestrians but will also encourage more outdoor fitness activity.
“What’s even more exciting,” said Sanchez, “is the fact that this side path will connect so many residents to our park. There are approximately 2,500 apartment and condo units immediately adjacent to Woodchase Park and this project will allow them a much easier access to the park when it opens.”
D.L. Meacham Construction was awarded the bid for this project at $3.1 million. “This project will improve transit connectivity, enhance property values and promote a healthy community,” said Sanchez. It is expected to take 5 months to complete.