As part of the “Houston Regional Bike/Ped Connections to Transit” project, which was funded by the US Department of Transportation, the City of Houston completed a hike-and-bike trail along White Oak Bayou from San Jacinto Street through the University of Houston’s Downtown Campus, on both sides of the bayou, to White Oak Park and on to the MKT bikeway near the Studewood Street bridge. The trail connects Houstonians to the downtown area, transit centers, and recreational spaces.
Aguirre & Fields provided structural design services for the 10-foot wide concrete path that is approximately 3 miles in length. The path is adjacent to the University of Houston Downtown campus and crosses beneath Main Street and Wood Street. Most of the path is along the side of the existing banks of the bayou, creating grade challenges to allow the trail to fit into the side of the banks. To resolve this challenge, Aguirre & Fields designed several retaining walls along the path.
Some locations required the use of a sheet pile wall due to the steep slopes at the base of the wall and to account for potential erosion. Cast-in-place reinforced concrete spread footing walls were used in other locations to provide the desired aesthetics by the owner. The aesthetics included a sloped face and texture that matched the existing rock walls in the vicinity of the project. To reduce cost, form liners were used on the concrete walls to provide the rock texture the client wanted in lieu of building an expensive rock wall. We also provided structural design and detailing for reinforced concrete stairs, providing access to the trail from the University of Houston Downtown campus.
Additional structural design provided by our team along this path includes a bridge over White Oak Bayou west of May Street that connects to the Heights Hike and Bike Trail. The new bridge replaces the former MKT Railroad Bridge. Our team also designed another bridge crossing White Oak Bayou along the trail parallel to Alabonson Road.