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District E January 2021 Newsletter

Dear District E Residents,

Now that 2020 is in our rearview mirror, I look forward to working with my City Council colleagues in 2021 and celebrating, for the first time in Houston City Council history, a female majority on City Council. I’m happy to welcome my newest neighbor on the floor, Council Member Tarsha Jackson, who was sworn in just before Christmas. The new year brings an upcoming Texas Legislative Session and I look forward to standing for my District in support of legislation to reduce the impact of future flooding, increase the City’s resiliency, and improve the City’s accountability of developer’s entering our communities. I remain committed to pursuing meaningful stormwater drainage and flood mitigation projects as well as improving pedestrian safety within District E.

Heading into the New Year, Lake Houston residents have been reminded that with our rain event earlier this week, the District E office remains diligent in lake lowering procedures when more than three inches of rain is predicted in our watershed. The City of Houston began lowering Lake Houston six inches on the evening of Wednesday, December 30 in advance of sever storm threats that entered our region. Our goal is to end each rain event with the lake as close to full pool as possible, which is a level of 42.4 ft. Lake levels can be monitored by visiting the Coastal Water Authority website. This strategy of lake lowering will continue until the completion of the Lake Houston Dam Spillway Improvement Project, which due to delays is expected to be completed in 2023.

In the same vein of hurricane preparedness, I have remained actively engaged with representatives in the Clear Lake and Bay Areas regarding storm surge protection, submitting my letter of support signed by several of my City Council colleagues for the Coastal Texas Study, last month. 

I am thankful to represent District E which is comprised of residents who are resilient, engaged, and educated. Without your constant support and participation in public comment periods, District E would not be as far ahead, of other parts of the City, as it is as far as projects and plans to prepare for future disasters.

As always, thank you for your support and I look forward to continuing to serve you during this new year.

Dave Martin

Houston Spaceport is New Home of Axiom Space

Mayor Pro Tem Martin is proud to announce the Houston Spaceport, located at Ellington Field in the Clear Lake area, will be the new home for Axiom Space. At the future 14-acre complex, Axiom Space will be training future astronauts and will be constructing the world’s first commercial space station. For more information on The Houston Space Port and Axiom Space please visit their websites.

Mouthbar Dredging Update

The City of Houston, through its contractor DRC Emergency Services, LLC (DRC), began mechanical dredging of the mouth bar in January. The total cost for this project is $40 million, which is funded through a combination of City of Houston Harvey Disaster dollars provided by Governor Greg Abbott, grant dollars from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and funding from the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) Bond Program.
DRC is completing the scope of work for dredging activities in two distinct phases. The first phase will remove accumulated materials near and at the mouth bar on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, and the second phase will remove accumulated materials in the East Fork of the San Jacinto River and other locations in Lake Houston. During phase one of this project it is expected that a minimum of 400,000 cubic yards (CY) of material will be removed over twelve months. To date, DRC has removed approximately 385,000 cubic yards of material. DRC is now dredging in the area immediately north of the mouth bar and is expected to dredge approximately 260,000 CY of material before finishing the remaining section of the mouthbar itself.

Additionally, during phase two of the project City of Houston, Harris County, HCFCD, SJRA, and Coastal Water Authority (CWA) will develop and execute a plan for the City of Houston or CWA to assume long-term dredging operations on Lake Houston. This work effort will include determining funding for the dredging operations in perpetuity. This phased approach will obligate the full grant funding before the 87th legislative session in 2021. This grant funding was made possible thanks to State Representative Dan Huberty (District 127) through the passage of Senate Bill 500 .
Mayor Pro Tem Martin, again, would like to offer a very special "Thank You" to State Representative Dan Huberty for his commitment to seeing this project through and his dedication to the long-term maintenance activities on Lake Houston. Representative Huberty has been a champion for his residents and a great ally in seeing these additional dredging efforts come to fruition.

Houston Parks Board 50/50 Program: Freeway Manor

Through the 50/50 Parks Partners Initiative, Mayor Turner has challenged 50 companies to join a citywide coalition driving improvements to neighborhood parks.

Mayor Pro Tem Martin is happy to announce Freeway Manor Park in the Edgebrook Community has been selected to be part of this project. Houston Parks Board is anticipating a virtual Community Listening Session in late February or early March, please stay tuned for more details and information on how to participate in the meeting. For more information about the 50/50 Parks Partner Initiative please visit their website.

Construction Scheduled on Valley Rim Safe Sidewalk Project

Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin is pleased to announce, in an effort to provide increased pedestrian mobility as well as safety, Houston Public Works will be adding new sidewalks in Mills Branch Village. The new sidewalk will be installed on the south side of Valley Rim Drive from W Lake Houston Pkwy to Wild Blackberry Drive. The cost of the project is $17,250 and is being completed through Houston Public Works Safe Sidewalk Program.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 4 and is expected to be completed by Monday, January 18, weather permitting. Crews will be operating between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

As a result of the construction activities, please be aware of flagmen and orange traffic cones that will be put in place on site to help with traffic flow through the construction zone as the project will require one lane closures. Two-way traffic will be maintained at all times. Businesses and residents will have access to driveways at all times, and may experience an increase in noise levels due to trucks and equipment in the area.

Construction Scheduled for West Fork Bayou Greenway Project

The Houston Parks Board recently announced that construction on the West Fork Bayou Greenway Project is beginning in Mid-Late January and expected to conclude in late 2021. Houston Parks Board has been working in close partnership with the City of Houston, Harris County Precinct Four, Harris County Flood Control District, community groups, and partners to plan a new San Jacinto Greenway.

The 2.6-mile greenway will feature a hike and bike trail, wayfinding signage, benches, trash cans, recycling bins, wildflower plantings, and more. It will eventually connect to the Spring Creek and Cypress Creek trail systems on the west end via Ross Road through the future Precinct Four Edgewater Park. It will also connect to the Kingwood trail system on the east end via Woodland Hills Drive, giving access to hundreds of miles of trail systems on both the east and west ends built by other partners.

Since construction is mostly contained along abandoned residential streets, green space, or unused right-of-way. Crews will be working Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

To see a map of the planned greenway route, click here.

City of Houston Government Relations

The City of Houston Government Relations team helps generate information for both the Mayor, Council Members, and the public with regards to efforts made to partner with different levels of government to solve problems and provide resources for the citizens of Houston. In the upcoming legislative session, the Government Relations website is a great resource that explains the City's legislative priorities such as flood mitigation, public safety, education and economic development.

To subscribe to their newsletter or offer feedback, contact nick.anderson@houstontx.gov.
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