59 Feeder Road Construction Without End

59 FEEDER ROAD CONSTRUCTION WITHOUT END Road Construction, North Side Feeder Rd., U.S. 59 West of Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston“Why is there always construction on the feeders between Weslayan and Kirby especially when it seemed like nothing needed to be done?” writes a Swamplot reader, who is under the impression that the work started sometime last summer. “It looks like they are only redoing the road, not adding sewers, nor laying power lines, and doesn’t seem to making it wider. One side is done and then they come back and do the other side! . . . I hope you can find out why they are tearing up a perfectly good feeder road.” Alas, doing so would spoil the chance to indulge in the fantasy of having encountered along the Southwest Fwy. a truly eternal feeder-road replacement cycle. We’ll illustrate that here with the above photo from earlier today of a fresh concrete placement (with shopping cart) on the north side feeder just west of Kirby Dr. Update, 2/27: Clever reader JD finds an actual report outlining the scope of the reconstruction project from last year posted in an obscure online publication. Photo: Swamplot inbox

13 Comment

  • Clearly you haven’t read about Metrorail’s 59-feeder line. It’s really the next big thing.

  • I’d have to go back and find the press release, but it was something about Upper Kirby TIRZ have more money than it knows what to do with, and TXDoT deciding there was something horribly wrong with those perfectly good feeder roads, while claiming poverty when asked to redo other state-maintained Houston-area roads. Though I’m pretty sure those are my words, not theirs.

  • Feeder roads are being expanded now to make room for new construction that is part of the 610/59 interchange improvements that are under design right now. The 610/59 improvements include several new dedicated exit and entrance ramps both north and south on 59. If all goes well, construction will start next year on those improvements and then you can really complain. And it definitely isn’t the Upper Kirby TIRZ….

  • I live in the Greenway Plaza area, and redoing the frontage roads makes absolutely no sense. They would have been fine for several more years with a little periodic pothole filling (which the city is very bad at).

    They are not putting any more utilities or sewerage or storm drains underneath, just redoing the roadway. In the mean time, there are GIGANTIC potholes where the new roadbed meets the old. They haven’t filled them because hey, they’re going to come back in several months and replace the rest of the roadbed, so why not just let them alone until then.

    The only explanation can be that there must be a ton of federal funds behind this useless project, and the city (or TxDOT?) needed to use the money or lose it. Unbelievable.

  • TxDot had previously discussed this matter with the reporters from local news stations. The feeder road concrete was reaching its life expectancy and they had the money put aside to fix them, if they decided to wait a few more years then everyone would be complaining about how horrible the feeder is. They decided to do one lane at a time in respect of businesses and traffic flow, and they stopped for the christmas season. The feeder is being redone from shepherd to 59 on both sides. In reguards to another comment, TxDot does not spend money on roads they dont control, so no they are not going to repair richmond or streets in the heights, its not their jurisdiction. Upper Kirby TIRZ had nothing to do with this project due to the fact they dont have jurisdiction as well. What are these other state-maintained houston-area roads you speak of? Btw odds are there are plans to redo those roads, they just are in the process of bidding or are in the funding stages.

  • This is something that has perplexed me, too. The existing feeder roads were already in good condition (practically Formula One grade compared to roads like Shepherd and Westheimer!), yet now they are ripping them out and repaving them. The sidewalks are a nice addition, and perhaps the lanes will now be slightly wider, but I just don’t see why they are spending money on this when there are so many other roads right nearby that are in far greater need of repair.

  • I know we hate road construction, but Houston needs it badly. Yes, the feeder road probably could of gone a few more years before needing reconstruction, but TXDOT does take care of its roads, something the City of Houston does not do, unless you happen to live in River Oaks or other well to do neighborhoods. A good example of TXDOT vs the City is Westheimer Rd. From 610 to Fulshear, Westheimer is a state Farm to Market road and in very good condition. From 610 eastward towards downtown, the Westheimer is a City street, thus the conditions get really bad. Westheimer is being upgraded between Kirby and Shepherd with funds from the Upper Kirby District.

    Houston’s problem is they do not properly fix roadways or insure contractors perform to standard. Take for instance, all the patches. First off, these are patches, which are not repairs, but temporary fixes. The City will come back numerous times and keep re patching the same problem, actually making it worse, in lots of cases causing the “wash-board” effect.. In some places, the City uses a truck with a single operator that sprays a tar/rock mixture into cracks and holes. If you notice where this occurs, they have taken a hole and created a bump. Along Richmond Avenue, they have used this technique to “stitch” cracks along Richmond, thus the bumpy road. Not good at all. The City of Houston also patches concrete holes with asphalt. For a temporary fix, this is fine, but the City never comes back and saw cuts the problem out, reestablishes the subsurface, dowel into the existing concrete and pour new concrete. (which is the proper repair).

    I could go on about the problems with our streets, but nothing will change until someone holds the City and its Public Works Department’s feet to the fire.

  • For the love of God, fix Richmond if you’re going to fix anything!

  • Not sure this is accurate, but I also heard this had to do with making the roads compliant with upgrading to I-69 designation requirements?

  • pretty sure I heard they’re going to be installing HOT/lexus lanes on the feeders roads as well so all the range rovers and audi’s can get to their offices in uptown quicker without cutting people off or running them off the roads.

  • @Joel: LMAO. +1 for you sir.
    The buzz among my TxDOT friends is that this has to do with the upcoming US-59 & 610 interchange expansion (which is also part of the I-69 re-designation).

  • If we could all drive hover crafts, potholes wouldn’t matter. Just sayin.