Please note that the information and links contained below are intended for parents and students of Houston Ballet's Academy, and do not necessarily pertain to staff. All information is subject to change, so please be sure to check back for current updates.
Dear HB Academy Parents,
Congestion on downtown streets has increased recently, particularly on east/west streets.
The following briefly describes the various projects affecting traffic and the anticipated completion dates.
Main Street Rail Signal Prioritization
Projected initial changes: end of June
METRORail is supposed to operate with full traffic signal priority for trains traveling along Main Street, but the system’s detectors are overriding traffic signals before necessary, resulting in longer wait times to cross Main Street. The City and METRO are working aggressively to resolve this issue. Initial improvements should be noticeable by the end of June.
Projected completion: early August
In April, TxDOT reduced the number of lanes on I-45 northbound beginning at Allen Parkway in order to reconstruct the elevated structure. Work includes replacing the bridge decking and pouring new concrete paving to preserve the integrity of the bridges. This work slowed traffic on I-45, and thus (especially) afternoon traffic exiting on the west and southwest areas of downtown. Completion was scheduled for the end of September; however, in light of the adverse impact the project has had on traffic in the downtown grid, TxDOT has increased the contracting incentives, accelerating the timeline for the project with the mainlanes expected to be restored by early August.
Traffic Signal Synchronization
Project completion: TBD
The City is currently reviewing improvement in synchronization for several east-west streets.
Queue Jumps for Light Rail on Capitol, Rusk
Projected completion: TBD
For safety reasons, a few intersections on Capitol and Rusk provide a “queue jump” for trains, meaning the train gets its signal to proceed five seconds prior to regular vehicle traffic. Currently, this queue jump happens even when a train is not present, adding five seconds of unnecessary red-light time for east-west traffic on Capitol and Rusk. METRO is working on improving train detection so that a queue jump occurs only when a train is present.
Several projects are underway on Dallas Street.
1. Dallas streetscape improvements, which includes new roadway and underground utility replacement, resulting in multiple lane closures over an eight block segment of Dallas between Milam and Crawford. Dallas Street from Caroline to Austin will be completely closed for approximately 1-2 months starting in mid to late July. Project completion: April 2016
2. The 1111 Travis office building is under construction but nearing completion. The developer expects the lane closure on Dallas Street to last through the end of October 2015.
3. Construction has started on Hotel Alessandra at GreenStreet
The developer expects the lane closure on Dallas Street to continue until October 2016.
Allen Parkway (future)
Project completion: May 2016
All lanes, in both directions, are expected to remain open throughout this project, even though the project will involve lane shifting. Construction of improvements to Allen Parkway between I-45 and Dunlavy is expected to begin in late July of 2015.
Resources for Staying Informed
The City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department has an interactive map, which shows issued permits for street closures. The City updates the Mobility Permit Map on a daily basis, so it is a good way to get up to date information regarding surface street closures.
The Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) also produces a weekly email newsletter with a summary of street closure information related to construction, building maintenance, and special events occurring in or around Downtown. You can sign up for the weekly Downtown Streets email here. Downtown specific street closure information is also available on the Downtown District’s website.
Houston Ballet Academy Staff