Safer Commuting and Stunning Surroundings Headed to Caroline Street in Midtown Houston
(rendering by Design Workshop)
Caroline Street in Midtown Houston provides connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists traveling between the Central Business District and Houston Community College- Central Campus. With this in mind, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) designed the Caroline Street Reconstruction Project to create a vibrant corridor that balances the needs of transportation, local businesses, pedestrians, parking, and district identity. The end result in fall 2021 will be a more comfortable and safer corridor that accommodates growing mobility needs while improving pedestrian accessibility.
Roadway Enhancements Equal Safety and Convenience in Midtown Houston
The Caroline Street Reconstruction project includes complete roadway reconstruction with new concrete pavement and public utility upgrades from Pierce Street to Elgin Street. In addition, the project incorporates public realm improvements, including wider sidewalks, enhanced landscaping, pedestrian lighting, and on-street parking, as well as improvements to the city’s designated bicycle route along Caroline Street. The project’s context-sensitive design embraces the spirit and intent of the City of Houston’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan by providing safe, accessible, and convenient use of roadways for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders.
The project’s public infrastructure upgrades to drainage, water, and wastewater utilities will make the community infrastructure more resilient and help meet the expanding demands that have resulted in part because of the MRA’s other successful redevelopment efforts.
Caroline Street Design Supports Thriving Public Realm and Economic Development
Caroline Street’s refreshed design is the work of the MRA’s design team led by KCI and Design Workshop. The project contains similar amenities to MRA’s award-winning Bagby Street project. New design components for Caroline Street will include rain gardens filled with cypress trees and irises that create a stunning seasonal display, custom furnishings, wayfinding signage, and a dedicated bicycle lane. The design elements will inspire a thriving public area that encourages private investment and development. The enhancement to the emerging mixed-use corridor will help to expand the Midtown community identity east of Main Street as a place to live, work, and play. In support of its designation as a City of Houston Walkable Places Primary Street, the safer, more walkable urban environment created along the newly designed Caroline Street will act as an economic development catalyst to attract small businesses.
The construction of the Caroline Street project is a partnership between MRA and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The MRA provided funding for the project design and majority funding for the construction of the Caroline Street project. Because of its attractive design, the project was awarded a $5.5M construction grant. Due to the project being awarded grant funding through the State of Texas, the construction of the Caroline Street project is managed by TxDOT.
Current project construction updates include:
- Roadway paving activity and sidewalk installations between Hadley Street and Pierce Street
- Waterline and drainage installation between Gray Street and Pierce Street
- Rain garden excavations and grading for landscape installations between Elgin Street and Hadley Street.
- Traffic signal installations at McGowen Street and Gray Street intersections
Project completion is scheduled for this fall. However, dates are subject to change depending on factors such as weather and other unforeseen barriers to construction. We appreciate the community’s patience with the Caroline Street project. Although TxDOT manages the construction of this project, Midtown will continue working with TxDOT to advocate on behalf of the Midtown community to address the concerns of Midtown residents and property owners.
For the latest updates, please join us monthly at the Midtown Redevelopment Authority Meeting, held virtually on the last Thursday of the month. Click here for more information.