For the Super Bowl, of course. Gotta look pretty, you know.
Currently, the area surrounding NRG Park, which includes NRG Stadium and the Astrodome, is “functional” but hardly an impression-maker for a throng of out-of-town guests, said Ed Wulfe, chairman of the Stadium Park Redevelopment Authority.
“The Super Bowl was the motivating factor the area needs,” he said. “The land around the stadium will be a focal point for the world.”
The work will focus on McNee Road, between Main and Kirby Drive; along Main, between McNee and Murworth Drive; and near the yellow parking lot on Main.
NRG will provide new branding and way-finding signs at each of the Main Street entrances. Harris County will build a new sidewalk along the south side of McNee with trees, landscaping and fencing. LED lights will be added along McNee and Murworth. TxDOT will add new sidewalks, landscaping and trees to the esplanades.
TxDOT also has plans to update the South Main corridor with more landscaping using a $310,000 grant from Keep Houston Beautiful. The agency plans to save 31 oak trees from work underway along Post Oak Boulevard and replant them in the area near the stadium.
Construction has begun and the work will continue into January.
Harris County has also been working on street repairs and striping of several streets in the NRG Park area in preparation for the Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 5.
(Yes, I know, it’s NRG Park now. Just assume I’m one of those annoying people who still talks about “the Summit” and “Transco Tower”, and move on.)
As the story notes, some of this work was initiated by Commissioner Gene Locke, who took the radical step of spending county money on infrastructure that was also in the city of Houston. I don’t work out that way anymore, so I can’t say what the transformation will look like, but at least as of when I last worked in that area in 2013, there were definitely some streets and sidewalks that needed work. I’m glad to see it happening.