Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Archive for the ‘Misc Urban Infrastructure’

Avoiding signs to reduce sidewalk clutter

December 19, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Sidewalk Features, Signage

The state law in Texas requires a message 15 feet from each radius point of an intersection to restrict drivers from parking so close to the turn that other drivers cannot see on-coming traffic.CIMG7426.JPG If that message is on a typical sign then the intersection hasĀ  four more pieces of clutter in the form of a galvanizedĀ  or zinc-coated post adorned with a blue sign with its bolts and nuts. If the installationĀ  is like most then we would also have a base plate bolted to the sidewalk with four bolts that soon start rusting. In general this will not create a positive streetscape amenity. (more…)

Reusing Historic Street Bricks

November 15, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Placemaking, Sidewalk Features

One of our Cotswold projects anticipated removing many old street bricks. We found bricks in many streets but the street where they were to be saved for reuse was also where we were removing unused old railroad tracks and placing the new water, waste water and storm water lines. But, we did not find enough bricks to rebuild the planned two blocks of Commerce Street either side of Main Street.CIMG6936.JPG

Looking back on that disappointment I now believe that was a blessing. Not that it was a bad idea but that we did not have the contract requirements in place to recreate a pavement equal to what our forefathers built. We also did not have a consistent brick source. We did plan plan to install the old bricks on a concrete slab to support the heavier vehicles of today. (more…)

Urban Layers–Celebration on Labor Day

September 06, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure

This post is for the purpose of celebrating the generations of people who have worked for many years in our urban places long before the term urban was used and blogs were read. Our reconstruction/revitalization of the historic end of downtown Houston dug through some of the oldest soil in the city. When we rebuilt Commerce St. at Fannin St. we were only a few feet from Allen’s Landing where Houston began. Layers of old street pavement in DT Houston 1.JPG



Access Ramp Problems Solved

August 26, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Sidewalk Features

Anyone who rebuilds a street and sidewalk has faced the issue of making the new installation meet the ADA requirements for accessibility.At Milam and Congress Street Intersection The challenges are not exceeding the maximum slopes at the crosswalks and entries into buildings while also meeting the elevation of cross-streets and making sure the gutter slopes are adequate so the area drains to the inlets. (more…)

ATT Overhead Cable Removal

May 09, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Removing Overhead Utilities

This pRemoving ATT cables and poles after placing cables in underground conduit.ost is to relate the process we went through to remove ATT’s cable draped between short poles from the sidewalk. If you are considering a similar improvement be warned that ATT is only one of the communication companies that often have cables on poles. Removal of each cable will take you through a similar process but each company will have its own quirks.

The process for the relocation on Crawford Street from Preston to Commerce (map) was as follows. (more…)

Large-scale OH Utility Removal

December 01, 2007 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Removing Overhead Utilities

Today is December 1 and that has always been a special day for me as it is my father’ birthday. He is 88. Forty-one of those years was spent as an engineer for the telephone company. A lot of what he worked on was overhead “plant” as he called it–the wires and poles that line streets, highways and country roads.Removing overhead wires on Commerce St.

All urban places these days want to remove those poles and wires that is now large fat cables or nested small fiber optic cables. That can be done but as usual the only way is with a lot of money.

The first question though is where to move it. (more…)