Project Description

Completed Sidewalk South of Beverly Hill St

Completed Sidewalk South of Beverly Hill St

The St. George Place neighborhood is a densely populated and commercially vibrant part of Southwest Houston. Many people live, work, shop, and attend school in this area, especially in the neighborhood surrounding the Pilgrim Academy, located between Hillcroft Ave and Fountain View Dr, south of Richmond Ave. Multiple multifamily homes, businesses, schools, and other activities generate heavy foot, bike, and vehicular traffic. Since there is no viable north-south street alternative, people have accessed the grassy area along the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) Ditch W-142, known as Bering Ditch. To help encourage safe pedestrian access and economic development, the St. George Place Redevelopment Authority (Authority) proposed a plan to build a sidewalk over the well-worn paths.

The Goodman Corporation (TGC) assisted the Authority with the development, design, and construction of the Bering Ditch Sidewalk. Initially conceived in early 2019, the project entailed one 800-ft segment from Beverly Hill St to Skyline Dr. An additional 800-ft segment from Skyline Dr to Windswept Ln was added after the design phase began. The design was approved by HCFCD and the City of Houston (COH) and let in June 2021. McCrory-CTi Services won the contract with a bid of $149,242 and began construction in August 2021.

Construction Plans
Project Map

 Location
Houston, TX 

Timeframe
2019-2022 

Client
St. George Place Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ 1) 

Reference
Don Huml
TIRZ Administrator
713.882.3360
dhuml@haweshill.com 

Location of Bering Ditch Sidewalk

The Bering Ditch Sidewalk, as an infrastructure project, experienced several development challenges related to public use facility establishment within existing HCFCD right-of-way. Initially, HCFCD was hesitant to permit the sidewalk within 20 feet of the steep concrete-lined banks of the ditch, and acquiring private property to meet this requirement would significantly increase project costs. TGC ultimately negotiated a hike-and-bike trail agreement with HCFCD that kept the sidewalk within the existing right-of-way.

The scope of the project included an eight-foot-wide sidewalk along the east side of Bering Ditch from Beverly Hill St to Windswept Ln, a total length of approximately 1,600 feet, including a mid-block crossing at Skyline Dr. Since this crossing was not located at a street intersection, TGC coordinated the proposed improvements with the City of Houston Planning & Development and Public Works departments to ensure compliance with recently published Infrastructure Design Manual requirements. Due to site conditions, TGC designed a special three-way curb ramp structure to join the proposed sidewalk and mid-block crossing with existing sidewalk on the north side of Skyline Dr.

Due to right-of-way constraints where the streets cross Bering Ditch, TGC adapted the design to taper the sidewalk and related improvements to avoid impacting private properties. These locations introduced the risk of sidewalk users falling into the ditch, due to the proximity of the sidewalk to the ditch banks. To address this issue, TGC designed 48” tall handrails to prevent falls where the sidewalk came within five feet of the top of the bank.

Narrow Right-of-Way on North Side of Skyline Dr

Completed Handrail and Sidewalk at Windswept Ln

Three-way Curb Ramp at Skyline Dr Crossing

Completed Handrail and Sidewalk at Windswept Ln

Completed Handrail and Sidewalk at Windswept Ln

Other challenges TGC addressed during design and construction included:

  • Removal of several trees that had grown in the ditch right-of-way
  • Need to preserve a heritage oak tree on adjacent private property
  • Adjustment of an underground utility structure located on the alignment of the sidewalk

Trees to be Cleared in Right-of-Way

Tree Protection of Heritage Live Oak

Finished Adjustment of Underground Utility Structure

Throughout construction, various precautions and care were taken to minimize unfavorable impacts on the community. During concrete placement, flaggers were provided to ensure drivers were aware of the temporary lane closures. TGC and McCrory-CTi Services collaborated to connect the project to existing sidewalks, replacing deteriorated sections where needed and placing temporary barriers to prevent people from accidentally walking onto the unfinished concrete.

Concrete Operations on Skyline Dr

Finished Sidewalk Connection at Beverly Hill St

Construction Barriers at Skyline Dr

Pleased with the completed project, the Authority immediately turned to TGC for an extension of the sidewalk from Windswept Ln to Westpark Dr. This Phase II of the Bering Ditch Sidewalk is currently in design and is expected to let for construction this year.

Before and after photos illustrate how this project provides public benefit in the form of easily traversable walkways over uneven and worn-out trails. The boost to neighborhood accessibility was a welcome change, and TGC looks forward to providing the same benefit with the Bering Ditch Sidewalk Phase II.

Completed Sidewalk North of Skyline Dr

Completed Mid-block Crossing on Skyline Dr

Conditions South of Skyline Dr Before Construction

Completed Sidewalk South of Skyline Dr

Conditions North of Windswept Ln Before Construction

Completed Sidewalk North of Windswept Ln