Where Lyons Ave. Will Go Down, West St. Won’t Go North, and Fifth Ward Trains Will Continue Through

Among a few Fifth Ward buildings abutting a new railroad underpass scheduled to be installed near the intersection of Lyons Ave. and West St.: The warehouse pictured above at 2305 Lyons Ave., graced by a Wiley Robertson mural. The Gulf Coast Rail District plans to eliminate the at-grade railroad crossing west of I-69 and directly to the east of that corner by routing Lyons Ave. under the tracks. According to the district, 30 trains a day currently cross Lyons Ave. — on 3 separate sets of tracks. North of Lyons, 3¬†additional at-grade crossings¬†will be eliminated by closing down West St. entirely from a little south of Lyons to a little south of Brooks St.

The earliest possible start date for the project, which would cost an estimated $28.5 million and take approximately 2 years to complete, is listed as the fall of 2020. At a meeting last night at the Saint Arnold Brewery, which is just west of the West St. intersection, the district and TXDOT showed these images of a widened Lyons Ave. with dual 12-ft.-wide car lanes as well as bike lanes and sidewalks passing under the HB&T rail line:

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From the east:

And from the west (with the building at 2305 Lyons pictured at left):

According to Rail District drawings, however, the underpass is only the first of several plans to transform the entire area into a multimodal transportation through-way. This map shows the northbound portion of the Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector will be routed in a bridge directly over the railroad crossing; the separate southbound route is shown a little to the west of the soon-to-be-abandoned West St. Also shown: 2 separate detention ponds controlled by the county’s toll road authority:

The rail district is accepting comments on the proposal until July 11.

Photo: El Muralcho Bayou City Murals. Images: Gulf Coast Rail District/TXDOT

Underpasses and Overpasses

4 Comment

  • “Shoofly detour.” Never heard of it! Now we know: a temporary rail track realignment that maintain utility while the main tracks are being worked on.

  • Dang that’s a lot of money and time to construct a paved hole.

  • Guess whose car was towed from Midtown Saturday evening? Guess where it was towed? Guess what happened when I took a taxi cab to the tow lot pictured in this article on Sunday morning?

    If you guessed that a train was stalled , blocking the intersection, and rather than pay $24 per hour to wait inside the cab, I ended the trip, exited the cab, crawled UNDERNEATH the stalled train, and walked the remaining block to the tow lot, you would have guessed correctly.

    And now somebody wants to build an underpass here. Day late and a dollar short, if you ask me lol

  • @XCellKen: Some “stalled” train advice:
    .
    1. Never crawl under. Always climb over the coupling.
    2. NEVER CLIMB OVER THE COUPLING! I was with my bike team waiting for a stopped train in this part of town. Beer was on the other side of the train, so after some time some of the cyclists started discussing crawling under or climbing over. I said not to do it, that it was too dangerous. I was assured that when the train started it would do so ever so slowly and gently. One of the cyclists started to get between the boxcars to climb over the coupling (see #1) when the train VIOLENTLY LURCHED into motion and scared the crap out of everyone. It turns out the train starts very slowly near the front, but very quickly near the end.