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Associate at the Goodman Corporation
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Clear Lake Shores
1006 South Shore Drive
Clear Lake Shores Economic Development Corporation
New Clear Lake Road Bridge: Access & Mobility
Clear Lake Road
Clear Lake Road, over Jarboe Bayou – from Aspen to Birch Road
The project is a new bridge, which would provide access to pedestrians and bicyclists via a 10-foot shared use path, while bringing the facility up to a state of good repair, through containing safety standard compliant facilities for motorized vehicles. Building a new bridge would address all issues: lack of non-motorized access, lack of modernized safety features, and the deteriorating bridge condition. A new bridge would improve mobility and access to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula.
Currently, there is no pedestrian or bicycle access to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula. The main bridge across Jarboe Bayou, along Clear Lake Road, contains two travel lanes (one in each direction), with no shoulder or access for non-motorized users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Clear Lake Road is the main connection between the commercial area of Clear Lake Shores along FM2094 and the peninsula, which contains important municipal buildings and functions such as the City Hall, Police Department, Municipal Court and the Club House, as well as the core residential area of the city.
Furthermore, the existing bridge is in poor condition. The bridge was built in 1965 and is 53 years old. It rates as functionally obsolete, with a score of 55.9, based upon the latest bridge inspection report from 2018. The bridge also does not meet guard rail minimum standards. The bridge requires routine maintenance including sealing longitudinal cracks in pan girders and cleaning and sealing spalls with high strength repair mortar. Additionally, there are minor north abutment repairs and cleaning and sealing of deck joints that are needed. Based on prior inspections, the sufficiency rating is declining (based on the National Bridge Inventory) and eventually the bridge will lose its load-carrying capacity.
It serves as the primary hurricane disaster evacuation and emergency access for the 1200 residents that live in this waterfront community.
The proposed project would demolish the existing Clear Lake Road bridge over Jarboe Bayou and replace it with a new bridge. The new bridge would contain two 12-foot travel lanes (one in each direction), an 8-foot shoulder on the west side, and a 10-foot shared use path on the east side. The total span of the deck would be 47 feet, allowing for a 1-foot rail on each side and a 2-foot offset (plus one foot barrier wall) between the travel lanes and shared use path. The shared use path would comply with ADA requirements and provide accessibility to the peninsula for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project would also reconstruct the roadway between bridge and Birch Road intersection if needed.
Pedestrian connectivity would extend between Aspen Road and Birch Road. The project would also build a sidewalk along Clear Lake Road from Aspen Road to the bridge approach on the east side of the roadway, and from the north approach of the bridge to Birch Road, to connect the shared use facility on the bridge to the other facilities.
The project would improve mobility and access through allowing for pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula via Clear Lake Road. Qualitatively, the connectivity would allow for better mobility and increased economic development of the businesses along Clear Lake Road and FM2094 from the additional access. The project would allow for a connection between the residential area with the civic destinations across to the town center. The two areas of the city have their individual pedestrian networks but are not connected with each other. The bridge would increase mobility and allow for all residents to walk and bicycle across the entirety of the city. The additional pedestrian and bicycle accommodations would also reduce traffic and parking needs throughout the city.
Quantitatively, the additional access has a variety of benefits. The tax benefit from the increased property values would be a benefit: increased walkability and bikeability would yield a one-time increase in property values; the marginal tax would be a benefit. The non-motorized path would also provide health benefits from people being able to use an active form of transportation, as opposed to automobiles. There are also recreation benefits from the new path. Finally, the path would also encourage more non-automobile trips, resulting in reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which would reduce emissions, as well as automobile maintenance costs for users.
There was one crash along the roadway between 2015-2017. Improving the transportation infrastructure along this corridor will lead to a measurable reduction in crashes, thereby improving safety and reducing the economic costs of crashes along the corridor throughout the planning horizon.
Given the current condition of the bridge, the city would have to pay for routine maintenance and rehabilitation of various components of the bridge over the remainder of the bridge’s useful life. Over the planning horizon, there would be the cost of maintenance and the corresponding delay to users while rehabilitation occurs. However, it is anticipated that maintenance would realistically become infeasible at some point in time over the planning horizon. Any widening to accommodate wider vehicular access, stronger railings and pedestrian elements would be an expense that would be better served in a full bridge replacement in the next few years (pending subsequent bridge inspections).
Furthermore, the elevated construction of the bridge would allow for passage during flood events.
Less than $100 million
(Expand) Roadway Added Capacity/New Construction/Complete Streets
View Uploaded File: Clear Lake Support and Funding Commitment Letter.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
The final determination would need to be made by TxDOT, U.S. Coast Guard, and the USACE. However, it is anticipated that this project would require a bridge permit from the U.S. Coast Guard as it traverses a navigable waterway, and a Nationwide Section 404 permit as it is anticipated that any dredged or fill material discharged into Jarboe Bayou would be minimal. Because of the de minimis impacts expected of what is largely a bridge replacement project, as well as the limited span of the bridge, this project is expected to qualify for an open ended Categorical Exclusion as noted below. (d)-list Open-Ended Approval Authority for CEs. 23 CFR 771.117(d) provides a means to approve categorical exclusions that are not specifically included on the (c)- and (d)-lists. FHWA refers to this as “(d)-list open-ended approval authority for CEs,” or more simply, an “open-ended (d) CE.” To qualify as an open-ended (d) CE, a project must meet all the criteria listed in 23 CFR 771.117(a) and the definition of a CE in 40 CFR 1508.4. A project meeting the Section (a) criteria automatically meets the definition in 40 CFR 1508.4. In addition, the project cannot have substantial controversy on environmental grounds.
View Uploaded File: Clear Lake Bridge Recon-Project Timeline.xlsx
This project stems from a recent planning process undertaken by the City of Clear Lake Shores to help develop mobility and infrastructure priorities, starting in fall 2017. As part of the effort, a Steering Committee was convened to help guide the process and provide local insight. There are 10 members of this Steering Committee, including residents, the Mayor, City Council members, the head of the Clear Lake Shores EDC, and a member of the Roads and Drainage Committee. Furthermore, the project was discussed at the Clear Lake Shores EDC meeting on April 10, 2018 and the City Council meeting on May 1, 2018. There were several members of the public at these meetings, who were able to hear the presentation and provide input.
The need for pedestrian and bicycle access across Jarboe Bayou was identified over a decade ago. In August 2005, the Master Park Committee request that the Clear Lake Shores EDC projects include a pedestrian bridge across the bayou for increased connectivity. Since then, plans have all identified this need, such as the Town Center Master Plan, adopted by City Council in March 2009. These discussions identified a stand-alone pedestrian bridge to be build adjacent to the existing vehicular bridge.
However, in the interim years, the bridge condition has deteriorated such that it is now more cost effective to build an entirely new bridge altogether with access for non-motorized and motorized modes.
The City has explored adding in a pedestrian bridge alongside the existing facility. This alternative was evaluated and previously funded. This alternative involved a 10’ shared use path, a 14’ bike/ped bridge, and additional 6’ walkways on the peninsula, including on Clear Lake Road from Birch Road to Cedar Road, and along Birch Road to the Civic Center. The alternative also included amenities such as lighting and palm trees. However, this project was unable to be completed. The grant received for the project did not include soft costs and the environmental costs became too high for the city to afford. This request has increased funding for engineering and environmental to offset those impacts.
In re-visiting mobility and access to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula during this planning effort, two alternatives were considered: adding a shared use path and separate bridge alongside the existing bridge and tearing down the existing bridge and replacing it with a new bridge for both vehicle access and a shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.
While either version would result in the goal of increased mobility through providing pedestrian access to the peninsula, rebuilding the bridge entirely would provide a longer-term benefit. Given the deteriorating condition of the existing bridge, the preferred alternative for this grant application is to rebuild the entirety of the bridge with facilities for motorized vehicles and non-motorized modes.
If this project is not built, there would be no pedestrian or bicycle access to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula, and the existing bridge would experience further degradation. If the bridge is not replaced, eventually, it would become obsolete and unsafe to use. There would be no access to the peninsula via Clear Lake Road, and the only access points would be from Miller Avenue or Carolyn Street. Neither of these roadways have sidewalks or other facilities for bicyclists or pedestrians.
Note that no utilities are involved therefore utility coordination is not necessary for this project.
View Uploaded File: Clear Lake Shores TIP Readiness Materials.zip
View Uploaded File: Clear Lake Bridge Recon MPK map.zip
View Uploaded File: Clear Lake Bridge Recon-Budget Worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Safety-Benefits-clks.xlsx
View Uploaded File: delay-benefits-clks.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Emissions-Benefits-clks.xlsx
View Uploaded File:
View Uploaded File: CLKS_Supporting files.zip
901 - 1000
0.01 – 0.10
View Uploaded File: lottr-estimation-clks.xlsx
Highway/Freight LOS: The improved bridge will allow for an 8’ shoulder and 12’ travel lanes which do not currently exist. This additional shoulder will provide a safety benefit for traveling vehicles and improve safety and efficiency for motor vehicles to include freight. This bridge is the major facility which carries people and cargo to Clear Lake Shores. Improvements to this bridge will improve LOS and will ensure the presence of a load bearing bridge into the future. Although this project is not on a state designated evacuation route in the question above, the bridge is the main access and egress point to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula.
Transit LOS: The bridge does not currently carry fixed-route transit, but it does carry demand-response transit as provided by Connect Transit as part of their Galveston County program. These demand response trips use this bridge. The addition of 12’ travel lanes and an 8’ shoulder will allow for improved efficiency and safety related to these transit trips.
Bike/Ped LOS : Currently, there is no pedestrian or bicycle access to the Clear Lake Shores peninsula. The improved pedestrian realm, including a 10 foot shared use path on the east side of the proposed bridge, will facilitate a safer, more comfortable walking experience along the corridor, encouraging more users to engage in active transportation. The shared use path would comply with ADA requirements and provide accessibility to the peninsula for pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicycle and Pedestrian LOS will increase due to the introduction of a high-comfort shared-use path.
Yes. The need for a pedestrian connection was stated in the 2009 Town Center Plan – page 17 calls out a “new pedestrian bridge to link island residential with Town.” This project proposes to reconstruct the entire bridge and include the pedestrian connection as a component, thus functionally adding the equivalent of a new pedestrian bridge. The project will also be included in a Mobility and Infrastructure Improvement Plan, which is currently under development. The planning process has been occurring since 2017, and the project has been presented at several City Council and EDC meetings which all members of the public can attend. Once the plan is completed, it will be given to City Council for adoption.
Houston-Galveston Area Council