Client: Uptown Development Authority (UDA)
Location: Houston, TX

Aurora Technical Services serves as the lead construction engineer (and design consultant) for the Uptown Development Authority. In this role, the firm supports the Authority’s ongoing $150M construction program to reconstruct various infrastructures within the Galleria Area. The most notable project involves the reconstruction of over 9,000 LF of Post Oak Boulevard from Richmond Avenue to IH-610 with enhanced roadway, drainage, public access, intersections, crosswalks, landscape and hardscape. As part of the project, the existing six lanes of traffic are shifted outwards to accommodate the placement of two dedicated bus lanes down the middle of the road. Construction requires significant traffic control and phasing. Utility improvements include the construction of 15,000 LF of 18″ to 66″ storm sewers (including storm sewer boxes varied in sizes), over 15,000 LF of 42” to 12” sanitary sewers and 18,000 LF of 12” water lines, including the relocation of numerous water meter vaults and multiple adjustments to an existing 24” water line. To facilitate the construction and reduce the impact to the local retail/commercial and residential stakeholders, major utility relocations were coordinated in advance of the main reconstruction work.

As the Lead Engineer during construction, Aurora is responsible for establishing the construction protocol, managing the inspection team, working with the design team, and providing various design modifications to enhance and resolve constructability of numerous work elements. This effort has also included performing constructability reviews, conducting value engineering and workshops to identify ways to reduce the overall project costs, and evaluating specific elements of the design to reduce estimated impacts on the public and construction schedule. With the ongoing utility (public and private) relocations, Aurora is actively engaged in conflict resolutions, addressing design RFIs, and coordinating with the adjacent property owners and tenants.

The original storm sewer design required AT&T to relocate and lower their existing duct bank from about 200 LF south of Westheimer to approximately 400 LF north of the intersection (800 LF total). AT&T informed Uptown that it would take 14 months to perform the relocation; 9 for construction and 6 for pulling the cables).

To avoid delays and cost, Aurora redesigned the storm sewers so the proposed leads to capture stormwater from the adjacent property extended across sections of the AT&T duct bank where is already dipped down. This eliminated the need to reconstruction the duct bank via open cut (trenchless was not an option due to conflicts with other utilities within Westheimer) across the intersection – which would have to be done at night due to traffic counts.