Each day, approximately 19,000 vehicles travel on the stretch of Cullen Boulevard that runs through the University of Houston campus. For many members of the campus community and visitors, the street is the primary gateway to campus and into the historic Third Ward neighborhood. Wear and tear, however, have taken their toll on the street that leads to many of UH’s facilities – including research labs, theaters, concert halls, museum and sports venues.
To make campus commutes and visits much easier, the UH System Board of Regents pledged support for major enhancements to the street that is so crucial to the University. During today’s special called meeting, the Regents approved a resolution in support of the City of Houston’s renovation of Cullen Boulevard. The resolution was passed after discussions with representatives from the City of Houston including District D City Council Member Dwight Boykins, Daniel W. Krueger, the city’s Public Works and Engineering director and Patrick Walsh, the city’s Planning and Development director.
Between May 12 and Aug. 15, sections of Cullen Boulevard are scheduled to undergo major rehabilitation. This process will entail replacing sections of the street’s concrete on Cullen Boulevard between Elgin Street and Wheeler Avenue. Panels of concrete will be broken out of the street. New concrete will be poured and allowed time to cure. The result of this intensive process, Krueger said, will be “significantly improved street conditions.” Another positive outcome will include enhanced pedestrian accessibility at key intersections.
“Our commitment to creating a Tier One university isn’t limited to classrooms and research labs,” said UH System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator. “It includes maintaining and enhancing the campus itself. For many Cougars, the road to success begins on Cullen Boulevard, which serves as the University's 'welcome mat.' These improvements to this important thoroughfare reflect our dedication to making UH as user-friendly as possible. We appreciate the city of Houston’s efforts to help us with that.”
The action on this project follows discussions between UHS Board of Regents Chairman Jarvis V. Hollingsworth and Houston Mayor Annise Parker, as well as subsequent meetings between UH administrators and Council Member Boykins, who represents the University’s district.
“This is a historic day for the University of Houston,” Hollingsworth said. “Everyone has worked hard to deliver this solution for the University and the surrounding neighborhoods. I thank the City of Houston for listening to our concerns and its hard work in developing this plan.”
“I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time,” added Cedric Bandoh, senior and former Student Government Association president. “When I was elected SGA president, this was one of the first items on my agenda. I am extremely pleased to see it coming to light.”
The rehabilitation will extend the usability of Cullen Boulevard for nearly two decades. Following rehabilitation, city officials will continue to assess the street and determine if complete reconstruction is necessary.
The timing of this project is crucial as Cullen Boulevard will be a main route to the new UH Cougar Football Stadium. The first game in the new 40,000-seat facility is Aug. 29. Also, the Alley Theatre will temporarily relocate its performances to UH’s Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre. Its first play at UH is scheduled for Aug. 15. Krueger added, however, that it is feasible for the project to be completed within the scheduled timeline.
For more details on this project or to track its progress, visit UH’s Construction Project Summaries website.