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.