Westchase District motorists who use Wilcrest will enjoy the new improvements coming to the Wilcrest/Westheimer intersection. More than 80,000 vehicles travel through this busy intersection every day and the many possible turning movements that occur immediately north of the intersection can slow traffic and cause considerable congestion.
“On Wilcrest just north of Westheimer, there are several misaligned driveways in close proximity to one another. That, coupled with the high traffic counts, creates a challenging traffic management situation,” said Irma Sanchez, Westchase District’s vice president of projects.
“Working with the City of Houston, we have come up with a solution to address those traffic slowdowns without impeding access to any of the nearby businesses,” she added.
The six median openings on Wilcrest immediately north of Westheimer will be rebuilt to accommodate better traffic flow. Most significantly, the Wilcrest left-turn lanes at Westheimer will be extended to allow for more cars to enter the turning lanes.
The first median north of Westheimer will feature a channelized turning bay to accommodate south-bound motorists turning left into the adjacent shopping center. The other five median openings on Wilcrest will be rebuilt to accommodate u-turns and left turns. These openings will better align with existing driveway openings and will result in smoother, safer traffic to and from the businesses on Wilcrest.
Special paving deters unsafe pedestrian traffic in medians
The Westchase District Board of Directors approved an $875,601 contract with R. Miranda Trucking & Construction to complete the project. That bid also includes the installation of special paving in the medians to deter pedestrian traffic in the roadway. The special paving will be installed at three intersections: Westheimer/Wilcrest, Westheimer/Beltway 8 frontage roads and Westheimer/Gessner.
Landscaping to follow
The board approved a separate $500,691 contract to Earth First for landscaping and irrigating 16 esplanades on Wilcrest between Westheimer and Lakeside Place. The esplanades will feature custom green concrete pavers similar to those installed elsewhere throughout the District, plus river rocks and moss boulders. The esplanades will feature Mexican Sycamore trees, plus Drift Roses, Asian Jasmine, Foxtail Fern, Red Yucca, Variegated Flax Lily and Dwarf Bottlebrush.
This is the first project outside the Westchase District boundaries to be completed under the District’s 380 Area Agreement with the City of Houston. The City will assume responsibility for the irrigation of the esplanades and ongoing maintenance will be funded through several private businesses and neighborhood associations, including Cornerstone Automotive, Lakeside Estates Townhomes, Lakeside Improvement Association, Michael Stevens Interests, Uncle Bob’s Storage, Westside Tennis Club and Mitterhoffer at Wilcrest.