In The Press

Celebrating the Completion of Kirby Drive

Intown Magazine

Kirby area property and business owners joined elected officials, Upper Kirby District board members and Houston area management district leaders Thursday, December 15 at the iconic 2727 Kirby Drive high rise development to ring in the holiday season and celebrate the completion from US 59 to Westheimer.

The first phrase of Kirby Drive construction through the Upper Kirby District began in 2008 with the complete reconstruction of the roadway between Richmond and Westheimer and continued in 2010 with the segment between Richmond and US 59. This second phase was completed just last month. The two projects combined to upgrade all storm, water and sanitary infrastructure, repave the roadway, bury all overhead utility lines and install a complete pedestrian-oriented streets cape along near five-thousand linear feet of Kirby Drive. The project was made possible through funding participation by the Upper Kirby Management District, the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority, the Federal Transit administration and the City of Houston. Upper Kirby District President, Jamie Brewster welcomed guests, elected officials and event sponsors, the Goodman Corporation, the Gunda Corporation, Haven Restaurant, HEB and Texas Sterling Construction Thursday night and spoke to the fact that the Upper Kirby District has been working toward buried utilities on Kirby for twenty years. Harris County Improvement District No. 3 (HCID 3) Chairman, Rob Axelson then spoke to HCID 3’s participation and thanked those in attendance who contributed to the project. HCID 3 was responsible for implementing the partially federally funded streets cape improvements along the roadway. He noted federal participation consultants, the Goodman Corporation and the City of Houston. Axelson also noted the Holiday lighting along the roadway on Kirby Drive and said that it would be a Management District program that would continue to expand across the District.

 The Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority (UKRA) Chairman, Buddy Bailey spoke to the infrastructure improvements funded by the UKRA brought to light in 2001 when Tropical Storm Allison flooded many Upper Kirby neighborhoods and provided a preview of several upcoming projects soon to break ground in the area. Bailey advised that Richmond Avenue between Kirby Drive and Buffalo Speedway would undergo a drainage project in the first quarter of 2012, Westheimer between Shepherd and Buffalo Speedway would break ground on complete roadway reconstruction later in the year and the Shepherd and Greenbriar drainage projects would follow shortly behind.

Also annunced was a public/private initiative to bring an iconic piece of public art to Kirby Drive. World renowned artist and Houston native, James Surls has been selected to create the piece. The evening concluded with a special thank you to District C Council Member, Anne Clutterbuck for her integral role in making the street project a reality.

For information on how to get involved with Upper Kirby public art endeavors or for questions about area construction, contact 713.524.8000.

Photos by Jay Ford.