Red Oak Drive Reconstruction

Client: Harris County

Project Cost: $ 5.1M

Service: Civil Engineering, Design, Review

Practice: Traffic, Transportation, Surveying, Hydrology & Hydraulics

Location: Houston, Texas


The stretch of Red Oak Drive affected by the construction included critical facilities such as a school, hospital, medical center and office complex, and a post office to which access could not be restricted for any length of time.

Further, Harris County did not have a pre-defined methodology for efficient roadway design.


Expert traffic control phasing was implemented by our project team to allow the contractor to construct the roadway as quickly as possible, limiting closures, and minimally affecting access to the critical facilities. To accomplish this, we specified the use of high early strength concrete at pivotal intersections to permit vehicular traffic to utilize the roadway within 48 hours.

To address the issue of an inefficient design process, we developed a scheduling template for the County that clearly established how to design a roadway project from the outset. Initial alignment studies show rights-of-way, utilities, etc. and reduce the need for countless redesigns that add months to a schedule. Utilizing this method, the Red Oak Drive reconstruction was accelerated by nearly 18 months. The County has adopted this approach for their other roadway projects going forward.

The Red Oak project reconstructed a key roadway in one of North Houston’s busiest corridors, doubling the lanes of traffic. As with most traffic projects in Houston, failing infrastructure necessitated that we also address drainage and storm sewer capabilities at the site. We prepared the Preliminary Engineering Report for all elements of the project including a storm sewer drainage study, reconstruction of the TxDOT traffic signal at FM 1960, traffic control plans, concrete paving, and utility adjustments, including extensive coordination with local utilities including AT&T and Centerpoint Gas to minimize impacts to the schedule and their services. Through careful upfront planning, the roadway project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget.

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