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Vines On Highway 59


kbates2

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I saw that they are removing all of the vines on the spur entrances to 59 from midtown.  I thought that those were the best looking part of any of our freeways in the whole city.  Pretty pumped to see the grafiti that goes up on the walls instead of the vines.

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I saw that they are removing all of the vines on the spur entrances to 59 from midtown.  I thought that those were the best looking part of any of our freeways in the whole city.  Pretty pumped to see the grafiti that goes up on the walls instead of the vines.

 

You gotta do some clean up ever now and then. They were getting pretty wild. The area is first a highway not a nature preserve. Once the vines start to interfere with what the purpose of the space is....which is a highway then you have to go in and clean house. Vines were getting out of control. particularly the lamp fixtures that were part of the freeway. I'm sure they will plant new ones. More than anything it looks like they are doing some kind of maintenance which means they would have to cut back the vines in the first place. So lets keep in mind that whatever landscaping is part of any infrastructure be a part of it not the other way around.

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They've never done any maintenance on those vines. Some are falling down and other spots are dead. There are full on trees growing out of the wall in some spots.

It's a shame. Some minimal maintenance and those vines could be a beautiful stretch of freeway.

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I wouldn't be surprised if roots were causing damage to the walls. Before the Memorial Day floods, I remember seeing water flowing from one of the walls underneath one of the overpasses. TxDOT had the right lane blocked off in that position. I wonder if these repairs have something to do with that?

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  • 5 years later...

not sure what plants the vines are on 59, but my guess is that they will grow back from the ground. yellow jessamine for instance wasn't even affected, white jasmine will start growing back on the vine. that is what I have (or have had) in and around my garden.

I can't find any record on the internets (granted I didn't do a heap of searching) for what kind of vines they are, although they aren't either of the ones I mentioned above. I'd guess that even though the leaves died, the root system is still alive, and probably the branches will start sprouting soon, especially after the recent rains we've been getting. 

my lemon tree (as an example) was wrapped, and even still all the leaves died, but just yesterday I saw green sprouts starting to grow out of the main trunk, we're a full 4 weeks post the coldest day, if we haven't seen signs of life yet, we should see here soon.

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44 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Yeah 59 looks pretty bad. The overgrown vines are brown and the LEDs are messed up on each Bridge. The City needs to think of solutions that require very little maintenance since they don't do any at all.

Sadly, they actually do maintenance, at least on the lights.  Very recently there were crews working on the LEDs and briefly they were working great.  This is not uncommon on LED lighting installations, unfortunately (and surprisingly).  One would think the technology would be more perfected by now.

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34 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Sadly, they actually do maintenance, at least on the lights.  Very recently there were crews working on the LEDs and briefly they were working great.  This is not uncommon on LED lighting installations, unfortunately (and surprisingly).  One would think the technology would be more perfected by now.

Yeah Houston is right, they have crews out there intermittently. I saw one two weekends ago early morning.

Are the vines even a city thing? I assumed it was the local super-neighborhood given how robust the vines are and the amount of trees. I don't think the vines need to change at all, they'll pop back. That part of 59 is the greenest (but not right now) highway we have, what could we change it to? The other contender for green stretch of highway is 610 by the galleria during the summer when all the trees are at their peak. 

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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Sadly, they actually do maintenance, at least on the lights.  Very recently there were crews working on the LEDs and briefly they were working great.  This is not uncommon on LED lighting installations, unfortunately (and surprisingly).  One would think the technology would be more perfected by now.

Is it the technology or is it wind and environmental damage? I know the cheap self adhesive ones you buy are delicate, but I've never seen the all the bridges completely working or changing to the right color at the same time. It did a few years ago during the revamp, but continues to get worse. The strips can mess up but what about the spot lights that are encased? How do those fail?

I know you don't have the answers to this. It's just so strange cities in China, Dallas, New York, can master LEDs simultaneously on different buildings or structures and we can't do a few small bridges.

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2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

Is it the technology or is it wind and environmental damage? I know the cheap self adhesive ones you buy are delicate, but I've never seen the all the bridges completely working or changing to the right color at the same time. It did a few years ago during the revamp, but continues to get worse. The strips can mess up but what about the spot lights that are encased? How do those fail?

I know you don't have the answers to this. It's just so strange cities in China, Dallas, New York, can master LEDs simultaneously on different buildings or structures and we can't do a few small bridges.

Those lights have never really worked even after they were redone after the superbowl.

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2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

Is it the technology or is it wind and environmental damage? I know the cheap self adhesive ones you buy are delicate, but I've never seen the all the bridges completely working or changing to the right color at the same time. It did a few years ago during the revamp, but continues to get worse. The strips can mess up but what about the spot lights that are encased? How do those fail?

I know you don't have the answers to this. It's just so strange cities in China, Dallas, New York, can master LEDs simultaneously on different buildings or structures and we can't do a few small bridges.

The were all completely working just recently.  I had hoped they finally had it fixed.  

You don't see all those buildings in China, Dallas, etc. up close and on a regular basis.  I wouldn't be so sure they are all working seamlessly either.

Edited by Houston19514
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/19/2021 at 4:48 PM, kennyc05 said:

Those lights have never really worked even after they were redone after the superbowl.

A little unrelated (to LED lights specifically at least), but I remember when we hosted the Super Bowl in '04, Houston looked the best it's ever looked at night IMO. After the usual yellowish lights around the tops of our buildings during the holidays, there was some sort of coordinated effort that either kept those same lights on or changed colors...and more buildings were lit up all the way between the New Year and the Super Bowl that year. It seemed like every building in the city was lit up during that stretch. Greenway Plaza looked amazing...IIRC, some buildings had orange lights, some had green, purple, blue, red, etc. all over the city...but I thought Greenway Plaza looked the best.

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On 3/18/2021 at 7:37 AM, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

If you have ever watched the Cubs on WGN, every April the vines covering the outfield brick wall at Wrigley Field are brown. On one Spring day they all come to life.

It's the same with the vines on 59.

I take that back. Those vines are dead.

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Lol, well thats too bad.. hopefully they're cleaned up and more replanted/grown back soon. 

As for the bridge lighting, yeah.. that seriously perplexes me. There are insane technically coded led light shows covering entire skyscrapers with dancing colors forming intricate pictures, and we cant even figure out how to keep 5 or 6 bridges the same colors?

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Big wish, but the lights on the bridges need a lot of work again.  I had some friends visiting from Dallas.  They thought the bridges were cool, but the lights were half burnt out, strobing, and out of sync.  They should probably just turn them off again.  

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I took a pic of the vines near Montrose bridge and yes, they are very dead. I also took one of the entrance of Rice and they look like they are coming back. Don't know if they are the same species plus the ones at Rice have access to more moisture vs. the ones on the highway.

LM87XHk.jpg

7E2Mh8z.jpg

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21 hours ago, cspwal said:

The Rice ones are probably older

They're also at street level.
The freeway is several feet below street level. It would have filled with and retained the coldest air, creating its own microclimate. 
Exposing the vines to temperatures a few degrees lower over a longer period of time could have made the difference between survival and death.
 

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On 5/17/2021 at 11:38 AM, hindesky said:

I took a pic of the vines near Montrose bridge and yes, they are very dead. I also took one of the entrance of Rice and they look like they are coming back. Don't know if they are the same species plus the ones at Rice have access to more moisture vs. the ones on the highway.

LM87XHk.jpg

 

Those don't look very dead to me.  Look closely -- there is lots of green hiding behind the dead branches.  If they clear out the dead vines on top, they will grow back.

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On 5/17/2021 at 11:38 AM, hindesky said:

I took a pic of the vines near Montrose bridge and yes, they are very dead. I also took one of the entrance of Rice and they look like they are coming back. Don't know if they are the same species plus the ones at Rice have access to more moisture vs. the ones on the highway.

LM87XHk.jpg

7E2Mh8z.jpg

You may be right. I wrote off some Star jasmine and when I checked closely greenery was sprouting. Same with many of the gardenias. So hopefully you are correct.

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Posted (edited)

@hindesky on the other side of the freeway at that same bridge, they've waited so long, you can see greenery sprouting at the bottom and underneath the middle portion of the vines. Its just the top that needs to come off. But if we're seeing green already, especially with all this raining, I would probably just wait it out at this point. 

My question is, there is substantive growth happening at the bottom of the vines/coming out of the ground, like you can see in the first photo but on a bigger scale, at further down 59 in the southern direction. Now did they traditionally prune those? Cuz I don't remember that being there.

Edited by X.R.
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