Bagby Street Reconstruction
The aging infrastructure along ten city blocks of Bagby Street in Houston’s Midtown needed revitalizing in order to keep up with the areas vibrant business and pedestrian life. Bagby is a one-way collector that connects downtown to the Museum District and one of the most heavily travelled freeways in Texas, the Southwest Freeway (US59). Traffic had to keep moving while improvements were made to this developing business, residential, and pedestrian environment. In other words, no street closings.
The main challenge was how to effectively balance the need to move traffic while improving the environment. The solution included a block-by-block analysis of the street to determine the appropriate context sensitive solutions. We then designed detailed traffic control and construction phasing plans. Bagby remained open even during installation of the 28-foot deep, 60-inch storm sewer beneath it. Our traffic study confirmed that traffic counts did not warrant Bagby’s existing four lanes. Two, and possibly three by 2030, were sufficient. Teaming up with an urban planning and design firm, we put together a Low Impact Development (LID) plan. It would be the first of its kind in the City of Houston.
This project has resulted in a walkable community with wide sidewalks and pedestrian friendly amenities while maintaining vehicular mobility. It has set a new standard for sustainable street design in Texas. To illustrate the overall success of the Bagby Street Redevelopment, the area has attracted more than $25 million in new private development.