Once-a-Boat-Launch at Woodway to Re-Open by Mid-December

Meanwhile Buffalo Bayou Busy Replanting, Beautifying

Sept. 5, 2015

A contractor has been found at last to take down the heavy-duty chain-link construction fencing, put up some railing, spread some gravel and sod, and restore the informational sign in that western part of Memorial Park that was once a popular boat launch and is now referred to by public officials as a drainage outfall.

Native, edible amaranth in the foreground growing on the bank of the Woodway drainage outfall. Smartweeds, snoutbean, and other plants, mostly native but also some invasive, in the background. Photo Aug. 28, 2015

Native, edible amaranth in the foreground planted by Buffalo Bayou on the bank of the Woodway drainage outfall. Smartweeds, snoutbean, and other plants, mostly native but also some invasive, in the background. Native plants like amaranth and smartweed stabilize the soil and help prepare for new forest growth. Non-native Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses planted by contractors. Photo Aug. 28, 2015

Closed to the public for more than two years, including more than a year after the $1.36 million taxpayer-funded solar-irrigated “erosion control” project was completed, the ugly, massively enlarged outfall draining Post Oak Road is still officially a Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trail boat launch. Previously it was also a forested area with a nature trail.

But officials with the Uptown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) 16 now seem genuinely eager to do “what we can to get it open to the public,” said John Breeding, administrator, at the Uptown board meeting in a Galleria high-rise last Wednesday, Aug. 26.

The board voted without discussion to award a contract for $219,272.10 to Jerdon Enterprise, LP, which was the sole bidder for the long-delayed project. With “add-ons” the cost could go to $335,615.10. That seems like a lot of public money for taking down some chain-link fencing, putting up some standard railing, laying down some loose gravel, etc. But apparently no one else wanted to do it.

Work on the Outfall Phase II is now scheduled to begin this month and be completed by December 15, 2015.

And if you’re confused about why a TIRZ and not the parks department or the city council would be making these decisions, well, it is confusing. But the TIRZ has control of the money.

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