Cullen construction poses problems for residents
Construction on Cullen combined with frequent rains has caused problems for some students since the work began in May 2019.
The Cullen Boulevard transformation is part of an ongoing project to improve streets in neighborhoods around the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.
The project has three goals: to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists, to enhance the image and character of that part of campus and to improve stormwater drainage.
“I got a bolt in my tire at the gate near the Cullen Oaks gate and it just makes the whole situation more annoying,” liberal studies senior Joshua Crocker said. “I don’t think they told enough people how it would affect those of us who live here.”
Construction on the section of road between North MacGregor Way and Wheeler Avenue has affected the living experience at Cullen Oaks, said Crocker.
The UH shuttle stop at Cullen Oaks has been demolished as part of the project. Students who use the shuttles to get to campus are being picked up in the middle of the road, where they have to step across a 2-foot wide ditch between the new and old road.
Prior to the construction, the area in front of the bus stop frequently flooded, making it hard for students to access the shuttle.
The new side of the road is being built lower than the old road as a part of the plan to improve local stormwater drainage. The new design involves installing new piping to store stormwater between North MacGregor Way and Cougar Place.
The new road will exceed the City of Houston’s required two-year rainfall event standard.
The street is being narrowed to slow traffic and will reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians. Larger sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists that comply with ADA standards are also part of the design.
Part of the project will include newly planted trees to enhance the green space and aesthetic along Cullen Boulevard.
The Office of Facilities/Construction Management at UH said the project is under the jurisdiction of Harris County.
The construction of Segment A – between North MacGregor and Wheeler Avenue – was projected to be finished in December 2019, but construction is still going on. Segment B, between Wheeler Avenue and I-45 is projected to be finished in June of 2021.
The entire project is being funded by Harris County, which is spending $15 million on the transformation.