Here’s a timelapse video showing workers creating a plaza in front of the lone extant office building in Generation Park’s Redemption Square development just inside the northeast corner of Beltway 8. The pavers were laid a little more carefully than shown here late last month in front of the brand-new 5-story, 86,523-sq.-ft. building at 250 Assay St.
Other than the 5-level parking garage structure now behind it — and the landscape improvements now going in — there’s not a whole lot crowding the building so far, as the earlier aerial photo above shows. The Beltway is in the foreground of that image; here’s a closer-in view of the east side of 250 Assay St. shortly before the trees and pavers went in:
For the second time in 6 months, the original Ninfa’s at 2704 Navigation has a brand new parking lot surface. The owners hope this one will last a whole lot longer than the sog-prone crushed-limestone install that crews replaced prematurely last week (see photo above). “There were potholes everywhere,” declares a press release put out by the manufacturer of its replacement. Here’s a pic of how it looked before (found-in-place jalapeño included for scale and local flavor):
A STRETCH OF THE TOLLWAY THAT SUCKS, QUIETLY The Harris County Toll Road Authority is hoping its first expanse of Permeable Friction Course asphalt will reduce accidents caused by hydroplaning: “Taking a pitcher, [HCTRA engineer Quinton] Alberto poured water on a one-foot square block of PFC asphalt sitting in a plastic tray. Instead of running off as it would on concrete or regular asphalt, the water was absorbed — almost instantly. The water then trickled to the bottom and out the sides. It works because the PFC asphalt is full of tiny holes and air pockets that allow rainwater to drain through it. On RM 1431 in Austin, TxDOT says the PFC asphalt is a big reason why there has been a dramatic decrease in wet-weather accidents. Before laying down the new pavement, wet weather accidents accounted for nearly 60 percent of all crashes. After the PFC, they accounted for less than 10 percent. In Harris County, the Toll Road Authority is using PFC for the first time, spending $4 million to pave a five-mile section of Beltway 8 between US 290 and SH 249. The authority picked the section because it said in just the last two years, there have been over a hundred injury accidents there, many in wet weather.” [11 News]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: I-10 AND BUNKER HILL PAVING REPORT “. . . as someone who lives on Westview and who has lived in the area mentioned (or near it) for 15 years… let me tell you what was paved over. -Ditches on either side of Bunker Hill between Longpoint and Katy freeway. -Old Katy road, which had grass on both sides and a ditch. -A little shop (maybe a car dealership I dont remember) that was on an island between both sides of bunker hill, dirt and green was taken from there -the already mentioned quarry which was NOT all pavement. I went there often and it was very much dirt. Cars would get stuck there when it rained. -The daniel area that was also not all paved where those new apartments are (where there is standing water when it DOESNT rain due to poor drainage). This is not a flooding that hasnt happened in 20 years, the houses here are much older than 20 years… these houses are 50+ years old and it has NEVER happened.” [Alma, commenting on The Detention Battle of Bunker Hill: Flooding Above the New Katy Freeway]
Some residents of Long Point Woods are blaming the new and well-paved 48-acre Village Plaza at Bunker Hill shopping center along the north feeder road of the expanded Katy Freeway for the late-April flooding that damaged many homes between Bunker Hill Rd. and Blalock, south of Westview. Abc13’s Miya Shay reports, opting not to mention the neighborhood or the development by name:
[Resident Barbara] Hunt says homeowners grew worried when a large development along I-10 and Bunker Hill [was] allowed to be built without additional retention, and when heavy rain fell, it ran off the parking lots and into their homes. . . .
But Mayor White says the developers didn’t get special treatment because the property was already covered in asphalt before the developers bought the land and began building.
“If something is built, and somebody buys it from somebody where it already has some paved over and is already developed, we don’t have new detention requirements,” said Mayor White.
Next experiment at that Swamplot-Award-winninghouse built out ofshipping containers on Cordell St. in Brookesmith? The unique driveway installed earlier this week. John Walker of Numen Development writes in with details:
It is composed of recycled crushed glass, with a resin binder, and achieves the consistency of caramel popcorn for lack of a better description, so it has voids that allow surface water to percolate through the paving and ultimately be absorbed into the underlying soil rather than running off into the storm drainage system. It is a triple threat: recycled material, reduces environmental impact of development, and it’s really cool!
Walker says Presto Geosystems, a division of Alcoa, installed the driveway as a pilot project for the Houston market.
This installation has been described by their consulting engineer as most likely the “first and last” residential project they will do in Houston as the product is expected to meet with huge commercial demand, especially for “landlocked” developments for whom expansion is limited by Harris County stormwater detention limitations.