Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a joint agreement in which Precinct One will pay $30 million to improve seven streets in the University of Houston-Texas Southern University corridor.
“This is a great example of how Harris County can innovatively and strategically partner with the City of Houston, our universities and other entities to improve mobility, safety and quality of life for all residents,” Precinct One Commissioner Ellis said. “Precinct One is looking forward to supporting TSU and UH, and the entire Third Ward community through this project.”
Dubbed “Complete Streets” project, the improvements dovetail with Mayor Turner’s Complete Communities program, which involves improving Third Ward and other neighborhoods.
“Now I’m excited to see that the Commissioner is bringing safer, more attractive streets to this community of twin universities,” Mayor Turner said. “If the improvements in these areas were just relying on the city, they would be highly incomplete.”
Precinct One is committing $15 million to improve infrastructure near TSU and another $15 million to projects around UH. The goal is to create streets that are attractive and enhance the neighborhoods’ character, while improving safety and accessibility to all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.
In addition to roadway work, the project also includes drainage improvements, which will help reduce street flooding during heavy-rain events.
Students from each university will be selected to work as interns on the project offering a unique educational experience.
“The internship is critical because it gets our students job ready by giving them that practical experience. We thank you for this partnership,” said Paula Mendoza, a member of the University of Houston System Board of Regents, who represented UH at the press conference.
The streets near UH are Cullen (Interstate 45 to North MacGregor); Wheeler (Cullen to Scott); Elgin (Scott to I-45); and Holman (Scott to Cullen).
The streets in the TSU area are Cleburne (Emancipation to Scott); Blodgett (Scott to Ennis); and Attucks (Cleburne to Wheeler).
“This project will significantly enhance the gateways into these great institutions by creating a beautiful streetscape for students and residents,” Commissioner Ellis said. “The improvements also will help hundreds of Houston residents who attend classes and work at the universities.”