HOUSTON -- If you drive down Westheimer near the Galleria, you are no stranger to traffic. Now, after nearly three months of road work, traffic is about to improve at the intersection at Fountainview. What first appeared to be a collapsed sidewalk on November 29, 2010, turned out to be a major sewer failure underneath the street. Lanes are scheduled to reopen this weekend after crews finish repairing a sink hole under the street.
Dr. Shawn Muldoon has had a front row seat to the nearly three-month long repair project from his optometry office. "Initially it looked like a quick fix, and then they kept bringing in more people and more equipment," Dr. Muldoon told us. "Patients are running a little bit late, and that causes me to be a little bit late during the work day... during the holiday season, it was pretty bad." Traffic was pretty bad because the repairs were pretty extensive.
I contacted TxDOT for more information on the closure. They told us the broken sewer and pump station caused the sinkhole, which swallowed 15 feet of a utility pole. Before it was all said and done, TxDOT, the City of Houston, CenterPoint, AT&T, and Comcast all had to work at the site. That forced road crews to close several traffic lanes through the holidays.
The traffic closures also necessitated that workers close one of the entrances to a nearby parking lot, which frustrated some business owners. "What I am most looking forward to is having one of the close driveways into the parking lot open up," Dr. Muldoon said.
The lanes and driveway are expected to reopen this weekend. According to TxDOT, the repairs will be finished by Friday, so that drivers on Westheimer at Fountainview can beat the traffic with more open lanes.