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Author Topic: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels  (Read 3366 times)

MaxConcrete

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Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« on: December 10, 2020, 06:08:29 PM »

This project is proceeding much more quickly than I expected. I'll need to visit the construction site this weekend. I've seen this type of land tunnel used for animal crossings on the Trans-Canada highway in BC, and of course it's also been done elsewhere (like on US 101 in San Francisco and in Tulsa as noted below).

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/memorial/news/article/Memorial-Park-reaches-construction-milestone-on-15792247.php#photo-20370526

Quote
Memorial Park reaches construction milestone on $70 million land bridge

The installation of the first tunnel arches has begun at Memorial Park, marking a construction milestone for the Land Bridge and Prairie Project.

The tunnels will measure 400 feet wide and 560 feet long and will be comprised of a total of 620 separate panels. According to the Conservancy, a lot of attention must be paid to the design of the tunnels as the average of each concrete panel weighs just under 50,000 pounds, and the soil on top will add another 300,000 pounds.

According to the Conservancy, residents can expect to drive through Memorial Driveís tunnels and experience the new road alignment with the three lanes restored each way in September 2021.



« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 01:26:20 PM by MaxConcrete »
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kphoger

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 06:29:22 PM »

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rte66man

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 09:16:47 AM »

Looks just like what Tulsa did with Riverside Drive at the Gathering Place.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1214268,-95.9848452,453m/data=!3m1!1e3
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bugo

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 03:29:44 AM »

Looks just like what Tulsa did with Riverside Drive at the Gathering Place.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1214268,-95.9848452,453m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here is a video of the Riverside Drive tunnels heading south not too long after they opened.


And northbound...

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 05:50:37 AM »

That is hard to believe they didnít build bike lanes. Yes Iím aware that cycling paths exist but bike lanes still should have been built.
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rte66man

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2021, 10:30:13 AM »

That is hard to believe they didnít build bike lanes. Yes Iím aware that cycling paths exist but bike lanes still should have been built.

The bike lanes are on both east and west sides and run on the top so bikers can join other trails.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2021, 05:07:03 PM »

Yeah, you sure don't need bike lanes going right down next to the roadways, much less going into the tunnels! :-o

It's much better (read: SAFER) for the bike lanes to be substantially separated from vehicle traffic. Of course that opens the other can of worms: pedestrians jogging or walking all over the bike paths, often wearing earphones/ear buds and not paying attention to their surroundings. A bicyclist hitting a jogger or walker isn't nearly as bad as a vehicle hitting a bicyclist.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2021, 06:20:19 PM »

The bike lanes could be separated by delineators or a concrete divider. Every major street except freeways should have bicycle lanes.
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Road Hog

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2021, 06:34:11 PM »

Any tunnel in Houston should be renamed a water main because that'll be what they become.
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rte66man

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2021, 10:19:28 PM »

The bike lanes could be separated by delineators or a concrete divider. Every major street except freeways should have bicycle lanes.

Not practical here.  The already existing River Parks bike trail is between Riverside and the river. It would have made no sense to run it in the tunnels.  The bike trail on the east side connects to both the River Parks trail and the Midland Valley trail. The vast majority of riders are recreational and don't want to be any closer to the fumes than they have to.  Even assuming there are those who 'commute' via the trails, it is no burden to go over the top. The bike trail is well marked and separated from pedestrian traffic. You have more problems with people riding bikes on the pedestrian trails than vice versa.

These before and after photos show the paths quite clearly:
https://tulsaworld.com/photovideo/slideshows/photo-gallery-the-gathering-place-then-and-now/collection_cb7e1215-ac48-52d3-b2ce-e2063da1f76c.html#6
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2021, 04:18:29 PM »

Photo taken 6-March-2021

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2022, 06:09:04 PM »

Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2022, 12:46:45 AM »

Just a thought: those tunnels look like they would be a pretty cool location for a big budget movie car chase.
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bugo

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2022, 07:02:17 AM »

Bike lanes on Riverside through the tunnels is an absolutely horrible idea. There are trails that parallel the tunnels on both sides. The speed limit through the tunnels is 35 mph but that speed is only a suggestion because I regularly see cars going 45-50 mph through the tunnels. Riverside Drive is a de facto freeway between the tunnels, and it's easy to accidentally go above the speed limit.

The imagery on Google Maps is old and the park was still under construction, but the imagery on earthexplorer.usgs.gov is more recent and shows the park after completion, except for the part south of 31st Street. Bicycles are much safer high above the highway completely away from traffic is far safer than bikes in a lane going through a tunnel with 50 mph traffic.

I think it's funny how the main office ("The Bunker") of the Gathering Place is nearly invisible from above unless you happen to know where it is.
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armadillo speedbump

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2022, 11:27:30 PM »

Maybe he really enjoys the deafening noise and concentrated fumes a bike rider would endure inside those road tunnels.

I don't judge....
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Houston: Memorial Park tunnels
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2022, 03:14:46 PM »

Any tunnel in Houston should be renamed a water main because that'll be what they become.

But these are structures built over the existing grade, so the roadway is not lowering its elevation.  They're making a hill, not a trench.
That may not have been clear in the upthread discussion, but the pics Max posted show how these will be the only Houston-area tunnels that never flood.
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