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Heights Wal-Mart public meeting reminder

From the inbox:

Responsible Urban Development for Houston [RUDH] Announces their next:

PUBLIC MEETING: TUESDAY MAY 3RD, 2011 AT 6:30 PM
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston, Texas 77007

Regarding: Heights Wal-Mart Project and the Yale Street Bridge over White Oak Bayou

WHAT: Alarm Bells are sounding in the Heights and West End communities of Houston over revelations surrounding the Yale Street Bridge over White Oak Bayou. This is a load-zoned bridge that is predicted to have far greater traffic, including vehicles idling in both directions during peak hours, after the construction of the new I-10 frontage roads and the proposed Wal-Mart development. The City of Houston has acknowledged the 40K load-zoned bridge is a public safety risk. This very bridge directly feeds traffic from the I-10 to the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter and associated retail. The City of Houston has not required that the developer spend any of the public funds given via the 380 Agreement, or any of
their own monies, towards ensuring this bridge is structurally sound.

Mark Loethen and Jeff Weatherford from the Public Works and Engineering Department will be in attendance at the May 3rd Public Meeting to answer the public’s questions.

WHY: RUDH has been publicizing the dangers to the Bridge for many months. District H Councilman Ed Gonzalez and State Representative Jessica Farrar have written letters this April to the City Engineer and the Mayor citing the dangers posed to the load-zoned bridge by 18-wheelers and traffic generated by the proposed Wal-Mart development. The West End Civic Club, the Heights Association, the Woodland Heights Association, Super Neighborhood 22, and Super Neighborhood 15 have sent even stronger letters to the City citing the load-zoned bridge as a major concern.

The City claims they will re-route 18-wheelers to the development on Heights via the Koehler Street extension, and that this re-routing solves the problem of 18-wheelers exceeding bridge weight limits. However, the City has admitted that the only available method of enforcing the weight limits is HPD issuing tickets.

Be there if you can.

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One Comment

  1. Rod C. Venger says:

    From Bryan, Texas: Since when is a retailer responsible for the soundness of a bridge? It’s for public use and that includes developers both large and small. It’s the job of state and federal inspectors to ensure that a bridge is sound. If unsound, it needs fixing. If unsound for a specific purpose by a specific entity, traffic must either be rerouted away from it or government can choose to upgrade the bridge. It’s not the user’s responsibility to ensure it’s use is wise, unless there’s load limit signage posted, in which case the users can be fined for knowingly exceeding the load. Looking to Walmart to upgrade the bridge isn’t reasonable nor legal.