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Beat the Traffic: Wakeforest Drive helps ease Kirby congestion

by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

People who drive near Richmond and Kirby are used to seeing lane closures and road work. Now, a new cut-through has opened, and it could shave time off your communte.

After about a half a year's worth of construction, Wakeforest Drive (between Richmond and US-59) is now open to traffic. It's helping folks like Megan LeGrue, a veterinary nurse, who was used to being delayed by heavy traffic.

"We had clients calling us telling us they were late they were caught in traffic, and we just have to be understanding because we can see it out our window."

LeGrue works at Greenway Animal Clinic on Richmond, between a couple of well-known traffic hotspots.

"There's construction going on on Buffalo Speedway and on Kirby, so the area between the two of them on Richmond gets quite backed up," she told KHOU 11 News.

Now, Wakeforest is helping take the load off those busy thoroughfares. Wakeforest runs parallel to Kirby and Buffalo Speedway, providing a north-south detour to US-59.

It's a small street, but the impact is big. "It was a big bang for the buck on this project," said Travis Younkin, Deputy Director of the Upper Kirby District.

The reconstruction of Wakeforest not only helps drivers there, but also right here on Kirby, by giving them an easier way to access US-59.

"It provides a valid alternative for drivers to access the freeway from Richmond without using Kirby Drive that's currently under construction," Younkin said.

The street also has wide, ten-foot sidewalks, and space for on-street parking. Now, Le Grue and her clients can get to the vet a little quicker, "I would say it would shave at least five or ten minutes, cause sitting in the traffic on Kirby to Richmond to 59, it can take at least five to ten minutes in that little two block area."

Now drivers in Upper Kirby can beat the traffic using Wakeforest.

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