HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis announced on Tuesday a plan to improve six to seven streets in the Texas Southern and University of Houston area.
At a 2 p.m. news conference, Turner and Ellis discussed which street locations will be fixed by improving and building additional sidewalks, fixing drainage problems that will help reduce street flooding and making bike lanes in the Third Ward area.
They said this will give students an option to get around by either walking, biking or driving.
Turner said the area should have complete communities and streets.
“I am grateful and excited to see Commissioner Ellis bring his program of making streets safer and more attractive near the University of Houston and Texas Southern University,” Turner said. “The city already has taken some steps to improve sidewalks and mobility in the Third Ward area, and this program is an example of the county and city working together for the 2.3 million constituents we share.”
Ellis said his office, with the help of a collaboration, are working together on the $30 million project toward the UH and TSU street improvements.
Ellis said this is just the beginning of the partnership between the city and the county and hoping to work with Turner on other improvement projects in the future.
The project has also opened opportunities for students to intern for Harris County's engineering department to give their perspectives and ideas.
"One thing I do want to point out (that) I didn't tell the people from the universities, we're actually going to have interns from the respective universities working on these projects," said John Blount, the Harris County engineer. "So that's a unique perspective where students at the university get to improve their own schools. We have a very robust intern program, but we're adding to it through this project."
Carrin Patman, METRO chairman, also attended the news conference and applauded the project.
“METRO is excited to support this important initiative which demonstrates the innovative approach of Harris County and the City of Houston to invest in infrastructure that improves quality of life. METRO is committed to this mission and we look forward to collaborating with the city and county as we explore potential investments to enhance our region,” Patman said.