HOUSTON – It’s a project that has been two years in the making.
Downtown Redevelopment Authority announced it will begin construction of the $28.8 million Bagby Street Improvement Project Saturday.
The project will reduce vehicular lanes to allow for wider pedestrian walkways, a bike lane, beautification elements, lighting and 79 new trees. The corridor’s storm sewer system will also be updated to meet current requirements. The planning and designing of the project first began in July 2017, according to DRA.
The renovations to the corridor will be completed in phases with the initial construction to be focused on Bagby Street from Franklin to Walker Streets. There will be partial lane closures along those streets during construction. The project is expected to wrap up in December 2021, according to the DRA.
“Mayor Turner has tasked us with enhancing and bringing new energy to the west side of Downtown,” said DRA President Bob Eury. “We see great potential in transforming Bagby Street into a safe and engaging place for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles while linking the diverse civic, cultural and entertainment offerings along the corridor with adjacent neighborhoods such as the historic Fourth Ward.”
A separate project to reconstruct the sidewalks around City Hall led and funded by the City of Houston General Services Department will begin in July and is expected to be completed in December 2020, according to the DRA.
Bagby Street is a major transportation thoroughfare in downtown Houston. It is the first street encountered when entering downtown from the west and one of the few two-way streets in the central district. It also serves as a gateway to the Theatre District, City Hall, Central Library and Sam Houston Park. In total, Bagby Street connects nine parks and cultural attractions.
“The Improvement Project will greatly enhance quality of life by providing more accessible walkways and safer bike lanes,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “I’m excited that the Downtown Redevelopment Authority is starting construction this week and will do it in a way that minimizes disruption for the public."