Major lane switch planned for Westheimer

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Relish Restaurant has a front row seat to Westheimer construction.

"We've had people tell us we're avoiding Westheimer completely," said Dustin Teague, chef and owner of Relish Restaurant.

The restaurant started serving customers just two weeks before crews began roadwork last fall.

"Opening a restaurant is a challenge itself. Having construction come with it, we just had to weather the storm," Teague said.

Dozens of businesses are weathering the storm of construction on Westheimer between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway, where the Upper Kirby District is rebuilding the 60-year-old street and drainage system.

"You are going to have four fully functional, fully drivable lanes that are not going to tear up the bottoms of your cars," said Travis Younkin, of the Upper Kirby District.

When the project is finished, the street will look like the portion of Westheimer between Shepherd and Kirby, where it boasts wider sidewalks, brand new trees, and even pedestrian benches.

The Upper Kirby District is doing whatever they can to encourage people to walk, because they are simply running out of space for more lanes and more cars.

"We want to make it as efficient as we can for the lanes that we have," Younkin explained.

Traffic is currently narrowed down to one lane in each direction on the south two lanes of Westheimer. Crews plan to switch traffic to newly-finished lanes on the north side by mid-July, with the hope of completing roadwork before the holidays.

Even though the impact of lane closures and limited driveway access is big, businesses hope the payoff will be even bigger.

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