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Harris County / City of Houston Cullen Boulevard Transformation

Fact Sheet

March 20, 2019


  • In March 2018 Harris County and the City of Houston announced an agreement to invest $30 million to improve streets in University of Houston and Texas Southern University neighborhoods.
  • Under the agreement, Harris County is spending $15 million to transform Cullen Boulevard from a 55 foot wide, five-lane thoroughfare into a 33 foot wide, pedestrian- and bike-friendly campus street.
  • Traffic studies prepared for the City revealed that south of Elgin Street, Cullen Blvd. had more daily traffic capacity than needed, both now and in the future. The new campus street embodies this traffic analysis.
  • The project extends 1.5 miles from N. MacGregor at Brays Bayou to I-45. It includes complete reconstruction of Cullen Blvd. from the bayou to Elgin Street and median and sidewalk enhancements from Elgin to I-45.
  • The project will be constructed in two segments:
    • Segment A, between N. MacGregor and Wheeler Avenue, from May 2019 to December 2019; and
    • Segment B, between Wheeler Avenue and I-45, from December 2019 to June 2021.


  • The design of the new street reflects a partnership among the City, County and University. Under an inter-local agreement, the County is leading the design and construction effort. The County has worked closely and collaboratively with the University during the design process.
  • The University will maintain non-standard elements, including pedestrian lights, bollards, street trees, irrigation and “green” storm water infrastructure.
  • The Cullen transformation project has three goals: to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists; to enhance the image and character of this “front door” to campus; and to improve storm water drainage.
  • The new Cullen Blvd. improve safety and mobility by:
    • Narrowing the street to slow traffic and reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians
    • Locating sidewalks away from street curbs and passing vehicles
    • Providing wide, 14 – 16 foot sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists.
    • Connecting to the City’s growing Bikeway network
    • Constructing sidewalks and street crossing to ADA standards
    • Installing pedestrian lighting in a regular pattern
    • Installing smart signaling at major intersections
    • Adding new safety gate arms at the light rail crossing at Wheeler Avenue
  • The new Cullen Blvd. enhances the image of the University by:
    • Creating a pedestrian-friendly street at the University’s “front door”
    • Providing consistent and regular pattern of street trees, pedestrian lights and sidewalks from N. MacGregor to I-45
    • Incorporating a curb-less, plaza street design in front of the stadium, from Cougar Place to Holman Street
    • Getting the details right, including color-coordinated traffic poles, light poles, bollards, pavers and other street furnishings
    • Introducing campus branding, including new UH bus stops and pole-mounted banners
  • The new Cullen Blvd. improves local storm water drainage by:
          • Exceeding the City’s required two-year rainfall event standard
          • Designing the manage the run-off from a 100-year rainfall event (currently, 13 inches in 24 hours)
          • Installing new and larger concrete piping to store storm water in the segment from N. MacGregor to Cougar Place
          • Incorporating an innovative system of porous pavers and underground storage tanks to detain storm water in the segment from Cougar Place to Holman Street 


Project FAQs