What’s the Story with Rutland Pond?

A Swamplot reader offers a trade: A few photos of the retention ponds going in north of White Oak Bayou where 6th St. was blocked between Yale and Shepherd (above and below) — in exchange for more details on the park that’s apparently planned for that location, including a scheduled completion date for the construction. “I have no ‘official’ information, only old data and hearsay,” reports the reader. Which includes this map dating from 2010:


And this plan from the same year, showing a proposal for a new Rutland Pond in that location, also from the White Oak Bayou Association:

The other pix, all from the bank of the bayou, facing north (“On the right you can see the colorful townhomes off Rutland. The white buildings due north in the photos are the SemaSys facility in the 700 block between Ashland and Tulane. On the left is the Aztec rental facility off Waverly.”):

Photos: Swamplot inbox. Drawings: White Oak Bayou Association.

10 Comment

  • It’s moving forward.

    Two things happened here.

    TxDOT needed flood storage volume to build their new project to meet HCFCD and CoH criteria.

    The neighborhood worked with TxDOT, HCFCD, and CoH to see what can be done to make the hole in the ground multi-use.

    Piggy back on this the Houston Parks Board shift in focus from the projects it completed on Brays to White Oak Bayou, and you have a marriage made in heaven.

    The hole in the ground was inevitable, how the hole is landscaped and finished is the communities job. Also, looking at TxDOT’s recent Houston detention and retention ponds, this facility will likely be a new forested wetlands preserve. The sheer number of migratory birds that use the areas under the I-610/I-10 interchange on the West Loop would seem to facilitate a bird watching overlook.

  • Long story short, they are way behind schedule as a result of soil samples revealing oil, gas, and buried tires thanks to a less than environmentally friendly company that once occupied that lot. A contract company is currently cleaning up the soil so TxDot can resume work. Plans call for a replanting of 5600 trees, estimated to start in the Spring, with an overall projected completion date estimated for summer of 2013.

  • I looked at HCAD maps which showed a bunch of tiny SF lots along the north side of bayou in this area. I guess that is from old plats?

  • What interests me is the fact that, when looking at the artist’s rendering, the north end of this proposed space will conjoin with the Heights Bike Trail. This makes me wonder if they plan on building some sort of bike path around the pond.

  • what will they do to prevent mosquitoes? the water doesn’t look like it will be flowing in any measurable amount . . . .

  • TxDOT knew going into this that many of the properties may have environmental issues. They steered clear of some of the worst.

    I would welcome the delays to cleaning up since that’ll make the area that much better.

    TxDOT’s commitment to tree planting as part of the Green Ribbon Projects putting a new face on upgraded freeways. The Heights is essentially getting a new forested park out of the I-10 construction.

    I like the 5600 tree number. And the way TxDOT plants their trees is in a more natural (forested) pattern now.

  • I have also been snooping this project for a while. Progress has been painfully slow. I wonder what the actual plans look like right now. There is currently a temporary roadway (built up gravel) across the middle of the site that sort of connects 6th street. I wonder whether they are intended to make that permanent? It would add much needed cross street access between Yale and Shep and possibly help spur redevelopment once all the indusrial/warehouse stuff along White Oak Bayou decides to move out to cheaper digs. Of course it would also suck to have a street cutting through what could be a very beautiful park. The Willow Waterhole down off of 610 and S. Post Oak is a wonderful example of how these detention ponds can become wetlands for both resident birds and visitors from out of town. It would be nice to get some more info about what is happening and what the final plans are for the detention pond.

  • According to one of the head engineers, 6th street will still dead-end into the pond/park area from both directions. And I agree with kjb434. I’d rather have them clean the area up and do the project right so as to maximize the benefit to the community. Once this is completed, it will be a beautiful addition to the Heights.

  • Good to hear TXDOT is cleaning up the area. There is an old map of Houston on line and it indicated a company that made castor oil was located on that tract of land. I wonder if castor oil manufacturing was environmentally friendly in the early 1900’s?

  • Has there been any update on this? I haven’t been able to find anything new since these posts about 9 months ago and there doesn’t seem to be any progress when looking at the subject site. Any recommendations on how to get more community support to encourage this city project/park to keep moving along, with at least some sort of progress?