Slowing you down in the Med Center

April 2, 2008 9:59:57 AM PDT
The Texas Medical Center area can already be a traffic nightmare. Now, patients and people who work there face years of new delays.

It's all because of a drainage project started on Holcombe between Fannin and Braeswood. It will eventually help stop potentially dangerous floods at the Medical Center, Rice University and even Hermann Park.

Ask just about any Medical Center employee about Holcombe Boulevard and you're likely to get some very similar answers.

"That point where it just goes down to one lane is just ridiculous so I just try to avoid Holcombe," said Med Center worker David Bermudez.

Unfortunately the traffic is about to get a lot worse as the city of Houston begins a $11 million project to rebuild the out of date drainage system under the road.

"We're putting in 7,000 feed of lines and storm drains," said Alvin Wright with the city of Houston Public Works Department.

The city says it's all part of an ongoing effort to improve drainage throughout the Texas Medical Center. Katy Robbins has managed a building along Holcombe for almost 20 years. She's seen floods and traffic jams so we asked her what's the bigger headache?

"It depends if you're sitting in traffic or trying to get out of water, they're both bad, though water is by far the worst," she said.

The rebuilding of Holcombe is expected to last until next year. Once complete, drainage should improve immensely. Robbins just hopes people's patience lasts that long.

"The buzzword is it's going to be tough, but it's needed to make it better," she said.

For years, work along Kirby has slowed drivers down. Crews are improving drains and burying utility wires. The work has steadily moved up Kirby and will eventually impact the Upper Kirby area, between Richmond and Westheimer.

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