HOUSTON - Shepherd Drive construction project is set to start in four weeks.
The City of Houston and Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority have funded a $20 million project that’s expected to take two years to complete.
Construction will begin on March 1 near I-59.
"Shepherd Drive has been in dire need of restoration for a very long time," said Lee Cisneros, Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority.
Cisneros tells FOX 26 the focus of the project is to widen the drainage pipes that run under the roadway.
He said they plan on working in segments to help try to ease some of the traffic concerns.
"We have required the contractors to maintain at a minimum one north and one southbound lane open at all times," said Cisneros.
The project is also to encourage more foot traffic and pedestrian accessibility up and down the street.
The project will bring in new utilities, wider sidewalks, and landscaping. However, there will be no widening of the roadway. It will remain two lanes traveling north and south.
But for local shops along Shepherd, the two-year project only means potential struggle for businesses.
"It’s devastating to businesses," said Bart Wittrock, Owner of Rockin’ Robin Guitars.
Dozens of shops line Shepherd Drive, like Rockin’ Robin Guitars and Music, a stop that has garnered the status of iconic. They’ve been on Shepherd since 1980.
Wittrock tells FOX 26 he doesn't have much hope in the new drainage system.
"The stores been flooded 4-5 times in the past three years. My feeling is that there’s no place for the water to go in a reasonable period of time. I don’t know if a larger pipe will make any difference," said Wittrock. "We’re hoping this road construction, while it may be miserable, hope it won't be the final nail in the coffin."
Cisneros tells FOX 26, construction will be halted during the holiday season in November and December.