TxDOT/Union Pacific Hempstead Highway Project Update
This week, we spoke to the TxDOT project manager for the project to expand and repave Hempstead Highway. Here's a quick update on what's happening!
About the Project
This project is a pretty hefty one and involves both federal (Union Pacific Railroad) and state (TxDOT) agencies. These are some of the project goals:
To stop the area under the bridge from becoming a lake when it rains and to generally improve drainage in this area
To expand Hempstead Highway all the way from I-10 to 610
To add pedestrian pathways on each side of Hempstead Highway
To replace aging train bridges and reroute multiple train tracks over the new bridges
Soooo, by this time, the project was supposed to be completed. Anyone driving by the site will see that it isn't! In fact the project completion date has been pushed back to July 2023 at the earliest. This is because of major issues with the contractor doing the work and some shifting of project priorities early on. Here's what's happening now:
Work under the bridges is paused while the pump station is completed. It has to be done so that they can lay the new tracks - the tracks come within 15-20 feet of the pump station.
After the pump station is complete (estimated January 2023), then work will continue on the train bridges and after that the train tracks that go over the bridges. This will allow demolition of the old bridges and for Hempstead to finally be expanded.
The VERY last part of the project is pavement replacement at Hempstead and Kansas. It will probably extend as far as the railroad tracks, and maybe a bit farther.
As anyone who lives in Cottage Grove knows, earlier this year a significant amount of traffic was rerouted through our neighborhood because of this project. Not cool! It ruined our very small and substandard streets even worse than they were. We are currently asking our elected officials for support in replacing our aging infrastructure with particular focus on the areas that were damaged in the course of this project.
We'll keep you updated as things go. There are no major closures anticipated in the near future - let's hope it stays that way!