Houston Parks Board, City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Harris County Precinct 3, Harris County Precinct 4, and other key project partners today celebrated the start of construction on a new 7.67-mile segment of Brays Bayou Greenway. Connecting Braeburn Glen Park to Archbishop Fiorenza Park, this is the longest Bayou Greenway segment built to date by Houston Parks Board and will complete the 35-mile Brays Bayou Greenway.
“Brays Bayou sweeps across our city, linking iconic institutions such as the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Equitable access to greenspace is critically important, and I am enthusiastic to have Brays Bayou Greenway ultimately connect communities past Beltway 8 to the bayou’s end.”
The new greenway segment begins on the north side of Brays Bayou at Braeburn Glen Boulevard before crossing a new 12-foot-wide hike-and-bike bridge parallel to Highway 59. The greenway will then cross under Highway 59 and continue along the bayou’s south side to Beltway 8. After passing under Beltway 8, the greenway will link into the existing trail network in Harris County Precinct 4’s Arthur Storey Park.
“Bayou Greenways is all about connecting people to parks and connecting parks to one another. When construction is complete on this new segment of greenway, trail users will be able to traverse the entirety of Brays Bayou Greenway,” said Beth White, President and CEO for Houston Parks Board. “Thank you to our partners in helping make our vision for Houston a reality.”
From Arthur Storey Park, the greenway will connect into existing Westchase Management District trail and continue on the bayou’s north side until reaching Mike Driscoll Park. There, the greenway will traverse to the south side of the bayou until reaching existing trail network within Archbishop Fiorenza Park at Eldridge Parkway.
“This project is all about making Houston a better city,” said Kenneth Allen, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “When this section of Brays Bayou Greenway is complete, hikers and bikers will have even more opportunities to explore areas of Houston they may not ever have explored before. Thank you to the Houston Parks Board and all of our partners on this transformative project.”
Notable new features of Brays Bayou Greenway include:
- Connection into City of Houston’s Braeburn Glen Park and three Harris County Precinct 4 parks: Arthur Storey Park, Mike Driscoll Park, and Archbishop Fiorenza Park
- Street-level connections to Braeburn Glen Boulevard, Boone Road, Belle Park Drive, High Star Drive, S. Dairy Ashford Road, and Synott Road
- A trail connection to the Club Creek Detention Basin trails and new Club Creek Park, developed by the Southwest Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ 20
- Five acres of newly acquired greenspace, including 1.46 acres adjacent to Wilcrest Drive and 3.6 acres adjacent to Ashford Point Drive
- Safety lights under Highway 59
- Native trees, procured from Trees for Houston
- Interpretive and directional signage
- Benches, trash cans, and recycling containers
The project cost including design, land acquisition, and construction is $20.5 million. Precinct 4 provided a commitment of $1.8 million, and Precinct 3 committed $1.5 million. The project was originally located in Precinct 3 at the start of planning but is now located in Precinct 4 following redistricting of the precincts in 2021.
“Bayou Greenways is an important infrastructure project for Harris County, and it’s wonderful to have this vast network of greenspace extend through Precinct 4,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle. “Safer neighborhoods are a priority for my constituents and, through this off-road trail, they and their neighbors will be able to walk, jog, or bike safely to – and between – several of our favorite parks.”
As part of its $50 million transformational gift to Bayou Greenway, the Kinder Foundation contributed $5,139,500.00 towards design, land acquisition, and construction management of this new segment of Brays Bayou Greenway.
“Bayou Greenways is creating greenspace in communities with few to no parks, and the Kinder Foundation shares Houston Parks Board’ vision of parks for everyone. We are proud to support the completion of Brays Bayou Greenway in connecting neighborhoods across our great city,” states Nancy Kinder, President and CEO.
Construction is expected to conclude in the fall of 2023. Residents should be mindful of the active construction sites along Brays Bayou as well as all intersections and connecting streets. Pedestrians and cyclists should not enter areas surrounded by orange construction fencing.
Following construction, Houston Parks Board will continue ongoing maintenance of Brays Bayou Greenway, which includes weekly trash pickup, bi-weekly mowing of grass along the concrete trail, upkeep of the trail and amenities, and any necessary flood cleanup.
Brays Bayou Greenway is one of nine bayous being transformed as part of Bayou Greenways, a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, the City of Houston, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. The initiative is implemented in close collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District, which manages the county’s bayous and creeks for drainage and flood risk reduction. Bayou Greenways will transform 3,000 acres of underutilized land along nine major waterways and create a 150-mile network of connected parks and trails along Houston’s major waterways.
Thanks to Kinder Foundation’s visionary leadership and transformational gift, as well as the extraordinary generosity of the Hildebrand Foundation, Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation Inc. and many other Houstonians, Houston Parks Board has surpassed its goal of assembling more than $225 million to invest in Bayou Greenways. The fundraising journey began in 2012 when Houston voters resoundingly approved a bond to provide $100 million in funds to the Bayou Greenways initiative. Houston Parks Board has since more than matched this number through a $125 million capital campaign.