Waugh Drive Bridge with Mexican free-tailed bats

Waugh Drive & Heights Blvd. Pre-Engineering

TEI led multimodal planning for conceptual design of major street improvements to the Waugh Drive and Heights Boulevard corridor, from IH 10 to Nevada Street/Bomar Street, including Yale Street, Commonwealth Street, and Waughford Street (2.7 centerline miles). The project developed a well-connected urban corridor with improved park access and safer mobility for all modes.

Waugh Drive and Heights Boulevard form one of just three north-south thoroughfares crossing Buffalo Bayou west of Downtown. They link the Heights and Montrose neighborhoods, two of the most dense activity centers in Houston, providing an essential connection for all travelers. Traversing the Waugh Drive at Memorial Drive cloverleaf on foot or bike adjacent to high-speed traffic is challenging due to heavy traffic and outdated designs; nonetheless, significant numbers of people bike and walk this corridor everyday.

Project stakeholders included Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Texas Parks and Wildlife, local TIRZ 3 & 5, and key land owners. TEI partnered with the City and stakeholders to recommend a holistic redesign of the corridor to: 

  • Realign the corridor between Washington Avenue and Allen Parkway to improve traffic operations and allow for reallocating 16 acres of right-of-way as urban park space; 
  • Enhance Buffalo Bayou Park and Spotts Park with improved access and amenities, drainage improvements, and significant additional acreage; 
  • Provide safe connections for people who walk or ride transit, and a high-comfort bikeway for people who bike; and 
  • Create true urban streets to support the existing and future development context of this corridor.

TEI prepared detailed benefit-cost analyses for project recommendations spanning street improvements, drainage, water, and wastewater utility improvements. TEI also identified additional funding sources for implementation.

Image of Waugh Bridge bats courtesy of Kathy Adams Clark

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