HOUSTON -- Plans are rolling forward for at least one portion of Metro's light rail expansion. Workers have begun on the North Line, which will connect U of H Downtown to locations north of the 610 North Loop.
If you drive on Main Street or Fulton, north of downtown, you've probably noticed road crews and closures. Now that Washington has given the green light to federal funding, Metro has ramped up construction on the light rail's North Line, and that means they're rolling out the heavy equipment.
"It is a major milestone that we're able to move forward with," David Couch, Senior Vice President of Metro's Capital Projects told us. "This line is basically an extension of the very successful Main Street line that is seven and a half miles long."
Metro is completing the work in phases. The first phase is the a section of roadway, north of Boundary on Fulton, on the east side of the street. That's where Gerardo Elizondo's auto shop is located. "It's been pretty tough for us here," he said. Elizondo repairs and replaces car parts, but since the road closures, business has been slow. "There's been people who've been calling us, and once we tell them we're right on Irvington and Fulton, they're like oh that's where the construction is at."
Nonetheless, Metro is taking steps to try to keep construction from hurting area businesses. While construction is ongoing, the agency is keeping driveways open and providing signs to indicate where the driveways are located. Drivers can expect rolling closures, shutting down parts of Main and Fulton, for the next two years. "We understand of course it's their job," Elizondo said. The line is expected to open in 2013.