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Gulf Bank Road
IH-45 to Hardy Toll Road
Gulf Bank Road is classified as a Major Thoroughfare with 4 lanes in the City of Houston's Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan and has a Minor Arterial functional classification by TxDOT, but it exists as an undivided 2-lane asphalt road with roadside ditches that does not have sufficient capacity to serve travel demand. Gulf Bank Road is also listed in the National Highway System for its importance to mobility in the region and its potential connectivity to various highways. The road serves communities in unincorporated Harris County that have been identified as economically distressed and are lacking in adequate public infrastructure, housing, and community facilities. The road primarily distributes traffic from these adjacent communities and businesses to IH-45 and Airline Drive. Additional travel demand is induced by two Aldine ISD schools along the road during the weekdays and by five flea markets and a church at the intersection of Airline and Gulf Bank during the weekend. A 2009 H-GAC study identified that congestion caused by flea market traffic is a major source of concern for the neighborhood residents. Previous H-GAC studies have also identified this corridor and the surrounding area as a location where there are significant opportunities to replace vehicle trips with pedestrian and bicycle trips. The roadway currently provides no pedestrian or bike facilities, and residents have complained that children are forced to walk to school in drainage ditches or next to cars without any traffic calming elements.
In 1990, under its Urban System/Principal Arterial Street System Program, TxDOT authorized a project to widen Gulf Bank Road from IH-45 to Hardy Toll Road and designated the road as a Principal Arterial Street. TxDOT began designing the project and acquired right-of-way under CSJ 8003-12-006 but ceased project activity due to funding constraints. CSJ 8003-12-006 is listed in the latest 2035 Houston-Galveston Regional Transportation Plan as an unfunded project in Appendix F.
In 2008, the Airline Improvement District completed a Water and Wastewater Planning Study that identified that 45% of residential properties in the district have no access to public water or sewage facilities and rely on private wells and on-site sewage facilities. In order to provide residents with access to adequate public facilities, to be able to sustain the demand from a projected 40% population increase in 30 years for the district, and to promote economic development, the study recommended water and sanitary sewer improvements for Gulf Bank Road.
A large portion of the project area is located within the Halls Bayou floodplain and floodway. School administrators have complained that localized flooding has resulted in traffic congestion. In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region and flooded most of the properties along Gulf Bank, especially the section between Airline and the Hardy Toll Road.
The proposed improvements consist of reconstructing Gulf Bank Road as a 4-lane divided boulevard with 8-foot to 10-foot multi-use paths, pedestrian ramps, modernized traffic signals at Sweetwater Lane and Airline Drive, a closed drainage system, detention ponds, and appropriate signage and striping. The improvements will also implement access management strategies to limit conflict points between vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Design engineers will meet with school officials to determine the safest elements for student crossings and drop-off circulation. These elements may consist of school zone flashers, a striped crosswalk, or the signalization of an intersection near Carroll Academy.
The proposed drainage improvements will include complete underground storm sewers and new outfalls to Halls Bayou. Flooding along Halls Bayou is a common occurrence and since Halls Bayou does not have capacity for the increase in storm water run-off from the drainage improvements to the Gulf Bank Road project, the hydraulic impacts will have to be mitigated. A regional impact analysis of Halls Bayou and the road project improvements will be done to determine the hydraulic impacts to Halls Bayou and to determine the required detention it will take to mitigate the increases in stormwater runoff.
Harris County will also be working with HCFCD with their Halls Ahead project. The HCFCD Halls Ahead initiative is a flood damage reduction project by HCFCD within the Halls Bayou watershed that will create a series of detention basin “parks” that will incorporate sustainable design principles and enhancements to the natural environment while providing flood reduction to the area. Harris County will work with HCFCD to integrate the proposed detention basins required to mitigate the impacts from the Gulf Bank Road project into the Halls Ahead detention “parks” to provide both flood mitigation and as an amenity for the region.
The proposed improvements are expected to achieve an acceptable level of service for future traffic volumes and reduce delays at signalized intersections. The additional capacity will allow through-traffic to proceed along the road around the traffic generated by the schools and flea markets. The improvements will also provide safe mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists and provide safe access to the schools, church, park, businesses in the vicinity, and the Metro bus stops at Sweetwater Lane and Airline Drive.
The proposed improvements will also create an opportunity for Houston Public Works and the Airline Improvement District to implement necessary water and sanitary sewer improvements along Gulf Bank Road.
The proposed drainage improvements will have a tremendous impact to local drainage and reduce, if not eliminate, structural flooding of residences and businesses within the project area. Harris County will work with HCFCD as they implement the Halls Ahead project to incorporate the Gulf Bank Road detention basins as part of a series of parks along Halls Bayou.
Ultimately, the primary outcome to be achieved is to support the revitalization of the underserved communities surrounding Gulf Bank Road by providing new public infrastructure, access to affordable and comfortable modes of transportation, and safe access to community facilities.
Less than $100 million
(Expand) Roadway Added Capacity/New Construction/Complete Streets
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Harris County Funding Commitment Letter.pdf
Environmental Assessment (EA)
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Letters of Support - Houston Public Works and TxDOT.pdf
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Project Development Timeline.pdf
TxDOT previously acquired most of the property necessary to expand the existing right-of-way from 80 feet to 100 feet. This was completed while TxDOT was working on CSJ 8003-12-006.
The project sponsor began the Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Assessment tasks at the end of August 2018, prior to the 2018 Call for Projects.
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Location Maps.pdf
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank Project Budget Worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Safety Benefits Template - Roadways.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Delay Benefits Template - Active Transportation, Roadways, Transit.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - Emissions Benefits Template - Roadways.xlsx
View Uploaded File:
901 - 1000
0.11 - 0.20
View Uploaded File: Gulf Bank - LOTTR Estimation Template.xlsx
An additional lane in each direction is expected to increase the average speed and provide stable flow of vehicles during peak-hour traffic. Vehicles are also expected to more easily access IH-45, both a designated evacuation route and freight corridor, and reduce the delays along the IH-45 Frontage Road caused by cars turning right onto Gulf Bank Road. The addition of a median, strategic median openings, and exclusive turning lanes will enhance the efficiency of the corridor and reduce traffic conflict points by providing storage for vehicles turning at major traffic generators, such as the two schools, the flea market, and church along the road. The road currently has no sidewalk or considerations for bicyclists, and desire paths have been observed along the road, indicating a demand for alternative modes of transportation. By providing multi-use paths, modernizing traffic signals, and providing appropriate signage and striping, it is expected that pedestrian activity and casual bike ridership will increase to serviceable numbers. It is expected that increased pedestrians and bike ridership will eliminate some vehicular trips, specially to the schools and park. A multi-use path is also expected to increase Metro bus ridership by providing a mode of transportation to access the Metro bus stops at Sweetwater Lane and Airline Drive. Improved intersections and modernized traffic signals at Sweetwater Lane and Airline Drive also have the potential of improving the reliability of Metro bus routes 56 and 99.
2017 City of Houston Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan; 2035 Houston-Galveston Regional Transportation Plan (Appendix F); 2009 Airline Improvement District Pedestrian and Bicyclist Special District Study; 2008 Airline Improvement District Water and Wastewater Planning Study; 1988-92 Urban System/Principal Arterial Street System Program
https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/transportation/MTFP.html ; http://www.h-gac.com/taq/plan/2035_rtp.aspx ; http://videos.h-gac.com/CE/pedbike/airline_improvement_district_study.pdf ; http://www.airlinedistrict.org/WaterandFeasibilityStudy.shtml ; https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003686415.pdf
Houston-Galveston Area Council