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MaxConcrete last won the day on March 18 2017

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  1. Latest Astroworld Plot redevelopment news

    The parking on the former Astroworld site is indispensable during the barbecue cookoff, since the cookoff takes over nearly all of the parking lot south of NRG stadium and the dome. When I went to this year's event, there were message signs reporting that the south (Astroworld) lot was totally full. During the rest of the rodeo season the lot is heavily used, but I don't know that it is critical. I also don't know if the site is used for parking for Texans games. So any parking that is lost due to development is going to have to be replaced, presumably with parking structures. Of course that costs money, and of course those parking garages will be empty most of the time, just like the surface lot. Since the Astroworld site has never been fully paved (although it has aggregate), that suggests to me that some kind of development may be envisioned for the future.
  2. New Mixed-Use Project - Texas Instrument Facility Site

    There are three streets now open on the corner of the property near the Southwest Freeway and West Airport. The street names are Lumen, Current and Pulse, scientific-sounding names which surely pay tribute to the former semiconductor factory. As dml423 mentioned, there are frames for small buildings, I counted three separate buildings (one very small in the first photo). There's still no new progress on the demolition of the main Texas Instruments building, which seems to be on hold for a long time. That leads me to wonder if there is an issue with environmental contamination, since old semiconductor plants were notorious for using nasty chemicals called ethylene glycol ethers (EGEs) as part of the photoresist process, and Silicon Valley is full of superfund sites where factories existed. (Those chemicals were also bad news for workers, see ) Anyways, I'm just speculating about the EGEs, and I have no idea why the demolition seems to be on hold. It could be a financing issue. If anyone knows the reason, it would be interesting to find out.
  3. The Pierce Elevated/I-59 Redesign Thread

    At the public hearing last year, the homeowners in the Chenevert area were opposed to ramp due to the potential for more traffic on their streets. That probably was a factor.
  4. The Pierce Elevated/I-59 Redesign Thread

    The most significant change is for the connection to the SH 288 toll lanes. The connection into Chenevert Street is eliminated. The northbound SH 288 toll lane now connects into the ramp which connects to IH 45. The southbound entrance to the toll lane is now from the frontage road. The only other significant change is on the downtown connector at Dallas Street, as already pointed out and discussed. Looking at the schematic, the schematic creates the suggestion that the Sabine Street bridge is slated to be replaced. Trivial changes include some modifications to streets connecting to the frontage road at the 610/45 interchange, frontage road right turn geometries at the 610/45 interchange, and a two-lane exit to Bell on southbound IH-69 (previously one lane). So overall, changes in the design are minimal. I was disappointed to see that there were no adjustments in the locations of my list of concerns, so I think I can safely conclude that the design in basically final in those locations.
  5. 59 - 610 Interchange Partial Rebuild
  6. KLM Ends 747 Service to IAH

    Photos from January 2016. Unless KLM resurrects 747 service, we'll never see this view again.
  7. Midtown Sears to Become Houston's Innovation District

    You are correct, the first planned construction of the overall downtown and IH 45 project is the section of IH 69 in Midtown. My perception (based on speaking to representatives at public meetings) is that they are proceeding full speed with design and will be ready for immediate work on right-of-way acquisition when the Record of Decision is received, which is expected this year. But I also heard that there is a last-ditch effort by northside interests to derail the entire project, which could delay the ROD, perhaps substantially.
  8. Amazon HQ2

    Unfortunately some interests are going to use the Amazon situation to promote more rail, when in fact Houston having less rail than other cities was almost surely a negligible factor. 1. Analyses like fail to mention that our proposed sites were poor. Generation Park is a nonstarter due to location, East River is extremely rough (and a dump in my opinion), and there is no obvious good site in the recently-hatched "innovation corridor". 2. As the bisnow article mentioned, our technical workforce is substantially incompatible with Amazon's needs. Houston is rich in chemical/process engineers, medical researchers, energy-related engineers, energy-related sciences like geophysics, and NASA-related space/aerospace. Our workforce has speciality/niche technical skills, while Amazon needs the kind of workforce that the mainstream technology industry uses (mostly programmers), and any number of cities have a workforce more geared to mainstream technology. 3. Houston's incentives appear to be weak compared to the competition. While there really was nothing for Houston to lose because we were never in the game due to the incompatible workforce, this could turn into a loss for Houston if it results in billions of dollars being squandered on new light rail with very low ridership like the green and purple lines.
  9. Amazon HQ2

    No conclusions about Houston's viability and relevance can be made unless Amazon releases details of their decision-making process, including criteria where Houston ranked poorly. It is very possible Houston was eliminated due to natural disaster risk (i.e. hurricanes and flooding).
  10. Amazon HQ2

    From the Wall Street Journal
  11. Amazon HQ2

    Amazon is negotiating for 500,000 sf of office space in downtown Boston, which matches the initial requirement in the project specification, and they are also negotiating for another building for the next 500,000 sf. This is seems to be the best clue that has emerged so far about a possible winner. This report in the Dallas Morning News says the large office space requirement is separate from HQ2. So maybe this space is for HQ2, or it could be a technology hub separate from HQ2. There have been reports since the process started that Amazon executives favored Boston, and there is going to be a large presence in Boston even if this office space is not for HQ2.
  12. Beltway 8 / Ship Channel Bridge Replacement In the HCTRA contract document (, the cost is listed at $567,911,750.40, well below the cost estimate of $612 million.
  13. Amazon HQ2

    Actually, nothing is publicly known about which cities are still in the running. That report from CNBC gave Houston a B- for meeting Amazon's criteria, but the CNBC analysis has nothing to do with Amazon's decision-making process. So Houston (or any other viable city) can't make any assumptions about still being in the competition. I have not seen any news reports about the status of Amazon's analysis, and it's possible any short list (if there even will be a short list) is weeks or months in the future. Of course it is also possible that Amazon is secretly negotiating with short list sites, but nothing is publicly known.
  14. Hanover River Oaks - 39 Stories

  15. Elysian Viaduct removal

    Photos were taken December 24