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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Gulf Coast Rail District Board of Directors
by Jim Guidry
Friday, November 11, 2011

The Gulf Coast Rail District Board of Directors on Tuesday voted unanimously to modify the district’s contract with Klotz Associates for the Hempstead Corridor Commuter Rail Feasibility Study.
MP3 RealPlayer 

“We are not changing the amount of funding in the contract, just shifting some funding between tasks,” said Executive Director Maureen Crocker, explaining that the team will expand the study of rail costs versus highway costs, including expenses related to maintenance.

Crocker reported to the board on several items including the Fort Bend County Interlocal Agreement, a Local Project Advance Funding Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation, and other recent activities.  Listen: MP3 RealPlayer 

GCRD Chair Mark Ellis introduced Joe Lileikis and Lindsay Wood of HNTB Corporation for an update on the West Belt Improvements Feasibility Analysis.  
Phase I Hempstead Commuter Rail Report to Board

The pair explained that the analysis will examine options for development of a series of grade separations and road closures between Cullen Boulevard and Lee Street. 
MP3 RealPlayer

"Recommended in the TxDOT Houston Region Freight Study, the establishment of this 'closed corridor' would provide significant public and private benefits, including enhanced rail and vehicle mobility, and reduced emissions.  It would also enable the establishment of a quiet zone (no train horns required) along the corridor," said the report. 

Several at-grade crossings will be examined in the West Belt Improvements Feasibility Analysis.

  • Scott and York Streets
  • Leeland Street
  • Navigation Boulevard and Commerce Street
  • Lyons Avenue
  • Canal Street
  • Milby Street
  • Cullen Boulevard
  • Nance Street
  • Hutchins Street
  • Runnels Street
  • McKinney Street
  • Lee Street

Two other documents related to the project were provided to the board.

Evaluation matrix

Study area map

The board tabled action on the minutes of the September 13 meeting. 

A previously scheduled meeting for December 13 has been cancelled and the next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 10.

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