Sewage Line Work (Update: August 2016)

SEWAGE LINE WORK UPDATE AS OF 8/3/2016

This post is a follow-up from the post on Wednesday, July 20th.

We received correspondence from the Contractor for the City of Houston, DG Medina, late in the day on Wednesday, August 3rd. Per our request, they have provided documentation of a project plan for this existing scope of work. This is outlined below.

If you have any questions regarding this work, you may contact the City directly. The Project Manager with the City, Brian Campbell, can provide more detail. He can be reached at Brian.Campbell@houstontx.gov.

The scope is actually quite limited and does NOT include work on properties that do not currently have the new sanitary sewer in the street right-of-way in front of the property (which would run with the street). Before the City can perform any rerouting of services for these blocks, they would have to install sanitary sewer in the street and then follow with sanitary service rerouting (back to front). This work will be included in potential future projects, with the City prioritizing these against other wastewater system needs. As such, this work very clearly delineates what blocks/homes are included, which are listed below.


The document outlines the following, and is available for download here so that you can see the original. The below language is taken directly from this document.

PROJECT # AND CONTACTS:

  • Project #: 4235-38, Work Order # 2
  • Contractor: D G MEDINA CONSTUCTION, LLC 
  • Contractor’s Project File Supervisor: Jack Wills cell 713-582-1190. 
  • D G MEDINA CONSTUCTION, LLC’s Subcontractor – Foreman: Raul cell # 713-725-0457 
  • City of Houston Project Inspector: Gerardo (Gerry) Navarrete cell # 832-763-9584

The information below concerning the referenced sanitary sewer rehabilitation project for 4235-78 Work Order # 2 issued to D G MEDINA CONSTUCTION, LLC. The following addresses or lots are scheduled to have a rehabilitation work within the right-of-way (on the street only). 

Locations: 1780 Kipling, 1724 Kipling, 1727 Kipling, 1807 Kipling, 1827 Kipling, 1833 Kipling, 1837 Kipling 

Anticipated Dates or Schedule (weather permitting): Mobilization and start work August 8, 2016, with approximately 2.5 weeks duration. There is not anticipated disruption of services. 

Street Closure: There will be not street closures, however work area will be barricaded with cones and traffic will continue on the street. Every day at the end of the work day all cones will be removed.

Neighborhood Benefits: This work will provide the residents to be connected eventually to the front new sewer line, preventing any sewer problem arriving from all lines. 

Notices: D G MEDINA CONSTRUCTION, LLC’s subcontractor (H-S Utilities, LLC) will pass out door hangers/flyers not less than 72 hours or more than 2 weeks to affected residents prior to work. 

Scope of Work: Cut street, excavate to install new PVC pipe from stub/cleanout to main sewer line located on the street, backfill and complete street restoration.

Sewage Line Work (Update: July 2016)

Sewage Line Work


Dear Winlow Place Residents,

We have been informed that some blocks have sewage work by the City of Houston underway through a department within PWE and the third-party contractor who was awarded the bid for this work, DG Medina Construction.

For those of you who are newer to the neighborhood, in short: our sewage lines are extremely old and beginning to fail. They currently run along the back of our properties (in the easement), which has proven challenging for maintenance by the City and would be very difficult for full replacement. As such, several new lines have already been put in within the City’s right of way at the street, and to service these lines, a new connection will need to be rerouted from the back of each of our properties to the front.

There are many nuances to this project, but that’s a general overview. Before contacting us, please hold your questions if you are at all able (I have been inundated with inquiries) and read through the following documents:

  1. Original FAQ provided the the City regarding this work
  2. FAQ that our residents came up with in 2013, with responses by the City on the right hand side
  3. Contract DG Medina has with the City including the contract and work order # (this document also lists the homes by block as well as a map – the highlighted addresses indicate work has been started or completed at that address)
  4. Original Right of Entry form

All in all this is a very good thing as the last thing any of us want are failing sewage lines. However, construction can sometimes be a frustrating/messy process, so we want to make sure that the City/DG Medina know to communicate with us proactively, and often. That has not been the case recently which is why you’re receiving this email. While the Contractors failed to contact Winlow Place prior to starting work, I have since met with both the owner of DG Medina as well as the Project Manager and key Inspectors for this work order to ensure quality and care moving forward.

I found out late Friday (July 15th) that work had started on Harold and residents weren’t given appropriate 3-day notice. I also learned that during their digging, a gas pipe was hit, which created a gas leak. We have since spoken about this mishap and they have acknowledged their obligations to notify residents, contact 811 several business days prior to beginning work, and the need to keep us informed in a timely and cordial manner. As such, I requested a copy of their Contract (link above) and rundown of the project, broken out by address/street.

As residents, we were originally informed that we would be able to have input regarding any concerns for our individual properties. As I understand it, we were never afforded the ability to weight in on the “design” step regarding input into how the connecting line from each house is routed to the new sewer line to the street. This was the primary focus of my meeting with the responsible parties as moving forward without our involvement is unacceptable. 

Finally, for those of you who perhaps did not sign the “Right of Entry” before (back in 2013 or so) or might not have even lived in Winlow Place at the time, we would recommend that you contact the Project Manager with the City, Brian Campbell, for more details on obtaining an updated copy of the Right of Entry if you want the City to complete this new sewer connection for you. If you do not provide a signed Right of Entry, the City is more or less taking this as an indication that you would prefer to pay for the new line privately, which is an option for you. Brian can be reached at Brian.Campbell@houstontx.gov.

Again, we will do our best to keep you informed as a Civic Club, however the burden of that absolutely must fall on both the City and the Contractor who was awarded the bid – DG Medina – as it is their paid job. In the interim, we’ll do our best to hold them accountable for keeping us on the loop.

– by Caroline Garry

Houston Bike Plan Proposes New, Safer Bikeways for Our Neighborhood

Attention: Public comments are needed on the draft of the Houston Bike Plan by April 11th, 2016! Please read the below for more information.

Please enjoy the below article by guest write Robin Holzer, a Montrose resident and active transportation advocate with Traffic Engineers, Inc. The Houston Bike Plan needs your input – see details and links within the article.


Bicycling in Houston is fantastic, except when it isn't. That's because less than half of the City's bikeways are high-comfort facilities. We enjoy 259 miles of high-comfort trails and the occasional protected bike lane, but they don't connect to one another. The other half are often just "share the road" signs and sharrows on wide, high-speed roads.

Despite stressful and fragmented facilities, the number of people moving about our city on bicycle keeps growing. The bike share system is expanding, bike connections on METRO keep growing, and more people of all backgrounds are riding in events like Tour de Houston and Critical Mass. It's time to make pedaling in Houston safer.


In 2015, the City of Houston opened the Lamar Cycle Track, the City's first two-way protected bike lane:

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In February, the City of Houston put forward a new plan that was developed in cooperation with the community, BikeHouston, the Houston Parks Board, H-GAC, and TxDOT.

Review the draft network at HoustonBikePlan.org and share your thoughts before April 11, 2016. The Houston Bike Plan envisions a well-connected network of low-stress bikeways for people of all ages and abilities. The big idea is to make Houston a safer, more accessible, Gold Level Bicycle Friendly City by 2026.

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Example of a Protected Intersection

Example of a Protected Intersection

The plan lays out the approaches necessary to make it happen, and includes:

  • 121 miles of Programmed high-comfort bikeways that are already funded,
  • 249 miles of Short Term high-comfort bikeways that can be achieved through modest investments like restriping street and adding wayfinding signage on low-volume, low-speed streets,
  • 86 miles of Key Connection projects to link neighborhoods and activity centers to a city-wide network,
  • 861 miles of Long Term projects to be developed over time as streets are reconstructed, and a
  • Bicycle Toolbox with comprehensive approaches and recommendations for the design of bikeway projects, a policy framework, and programs to educate and encourage more people to bike.

The map excerpt below shows short-term bikeways proposed for our neighborhood. I especially appreciate new dedicated bike lanes to connect Taft, Waugh, and Dunlavy north to the trails along Buffalo Bayou. Visit HoustonBikePlan.org to see all the maps and share your thoughts.

– Guest post by Robin Holzer

City of Houston Zika Virus Announcements

The below content is directly copy/pasted from emails from the City of Houston. We recommend that you sign up to receive these, and emails like these, by going to this address:

http://cohapp.cityofhouston.gov/citizensnet/


ADDRESSING CONCERNS REGARDING THE ZIKA VIRUS

The City of Houston is taking the Zika Virus very seriously. The Houston Health Department held a planning meeting on January 29th with Harris County and our regional partners, including blood banks, healthcare providers, petrochemical companies, mosquito control specialists, and others to begin developing plans for pre-emptively preparing for and preventing the transmission of Zikavirus in the Houston-area. The City will continue coordinating with regional, state and federal partners to prevent the virus.

The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The infection is usually mild, lasts from several days to a week and includes fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon, but there may be serious complications for pregnant women.

This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus an international emergency and public health officials are considering barring patients who have traveled to affected areas from donating blood for up to 28 days.

How do we stop the spread of the virus? 

  • Remove ALL mosquito breeding opportunities around your home by eliminating all standing water, or items that may hold water.
  • Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitos out.
  • If you are traveling to Central or South America or the Caribbean, it's important to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • When you return home, continue using DEET containing insect repellent for two weeks.

For more information on the Zika virus in our community, pregnancy tips, and travel alerts visit: 
http://www.houstontx.gov/health/Epidemiology/Zika_Virus.html  

Frequently Asked Questions can be found here: 
http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/zikavirus-qanda.pdf


FOLLOW-UP FROM THE CITY OF HOUSTON SENT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2016

City of Houston Begins Trash Roundup to Reduce Mosquito Breeding Grounds, Combat Zika

As part of Mayor Sylvester Turner's Zika Virus response plan, the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department has started a comprehensive citywide cleanup of illegal dump sites and collection of heavy trash to help reduce mosquito breeding sites.  The special collection sweeps will occur on Saturdays for the near future. Normal junk waste collection will proceed per the regular schedule.

Residents can help by doing the following: 

  • Eliminate all standing water from their property.
  • Remove all trash because mosquitoes can breed in areas as small as a water bottle.
  • Make sure to empty water from discarded tires and separate them from the rest of your junk waste pile at the curb to allow the SWMD employees to properly sort the materials.
  • Report illegal dumping sites by calling 311.
  • Utilize one of the six Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Centers listed below to dispose of heavy trash if you miss the collection date in your neighborhood.

Northeast: 5565 Kirkpatrick
Northwest: 14400 Sommermeyer
North: 9003 North Main
Southeast: 2240 Central Street
South: 5100 Sunbeam
Southwest: 10785 Southwest Freeway 

For more information about the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and its services, please visit us at www.houstonsolidwaste.org, like us on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste, follow us on twitter @houstontrash or call 311, the City of Houston's Customer Service Hotline.

Houston Tomorrow's Vision Zero Plan

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Houston Tomorrow recently published a report called Vision Zero: Toward a Vision Zero Action Plan for the City of Houston. This report outlines their recommendations for eliminating traffic-related deaths and injuries across all modes of transit – motorists, cyclist, and pedestrians.

Read the full report by clicking here.


This comprehensive report is well-worth a read, and outlines how we can reduce the 13-County Houston traffic deaths from 667 per year to zero per year over the next decade. This number doesn't even include the several thousand of incapacitating injuries, or the even higher number of total crashes – most of which are completely preventable. Many cities worldwide and across the nation have Vision Zero reports, including other "car" cities such as Los Angeles. With the recent hit-and-run pedestrian death at Taft and Westheimer, this is something that affects all neighborhoods of Houston, including ours.

The report dives into initiatives that are already working hard for Houston such as Complete Streets, and also outlines several concrete ideas for how we can reduce traffic deaths and make streets safer. The over-arching strategies include the below four points, but again, there are many tactical methods of implementation outlined in the plan as well:

  1. Proper metrics of safety and usage, which accurately identify problem areas and track progress toward program goals.
  2. Education and enforcement of existing policies and laws.
  3. Introducing new policies and laws and enhancing existing ones to make conditions safer.
  4. Re-examining the underlying built environment and taking steps to reconstruct it to meet the safety needs of all users.

Please take 15 minutes to read the report as it's certainly a conversation worth having and plugging into.

– by Caroline Garry, with thanks to Kay Warhol for providing the tip!