Market Street Gets Attention at Pct. 2 Open House

By David Taylor

Market Street in Channelview has long been a neglected stretch of road in the Channelview area south of Interstate 10, but last Friday afternoon, it became the focus of a Precinct 2 open house. The Reimagining Market Street Project focused on the stretch of Market Street between Beltway 8 and the San Jacinto River. All afternoon, dozens of residents filed through to look at the image boards and put what they would like to see done to the roadway when considered by engineers.

“Some of the input we’ve received today was improvement of the road, better lighting, and sidewalks in the area close to the school and playground,” said Sonia Cantu with Pct. 2 Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s office.

“Some wanted more green with grass maybe in the medians depending on traffic flow,” she said.

The purpose of the meeting was to gauge input from the public who live and work in the area.

In the early days, farmers coming from Goose Creek, Anahuac, Baytown, and Pelly navigated across the San Jacinto River at Lynchburg on a pull bridge and traversed to the other side down Market Street into downtown Houston where they would sell their crops. The trail and roads were dusty and bumpy, but the trek was profitable to east county residents looking to sell their wares. It was the major artery in East Harris County into Houston until Interstate 10 was built in the 60s and early 70s.

Today, Market Street has developed mostly industrial and commercial ventures with a few remaining neighborhoods and only one school, De Zavala Elementary, south of I-10 in Channelview.

The project is part of the Revive2Thrive Community Revitalization Initiative.

Cantu said after the meeting, engineers would take the information they received and produce a design.

“We’ll have another community meeting in about a year,” she said, “and ask the public for any tweaks and changes they’d like to see,” she said.

“This is for our 2023-year budget and if it’s passed on to construction, it will be up for consideration in the 2022 (infrastructure) bond that was passed,” said Amanda Marshall, assistant director of capital projects for Harris County Pct. 2. The precinct’s share of that bond equated to approximately $294 million. The funds for the design and study come from the annual operating budget, she said, of between $20-$30 million.

“We’re doing these studies to look at the entirety of our area and then prioritize based on budget and looking at developing where the money is needed and spend it over the next 5-10 years,” Marshall said.

Currently, there are 31 projects underway across Precinct 2 area.

Byron Acevedo, senior director of engineering for Pct. 2, said residents shouldn’t despair if they don’t see the ideas they wrote down on the sticky and stuck to the board.

“That probably means that they are probably being looked at as a future project because it costs more money and takes more time to develop the project,” he said.

Acevedo said they will also seek out community development block grants and other forms of funding to help along with some of the projects and those take time.

Bruce Arenales, structures task lead for AKV engineering in Houston, has a little more interest in the project than most. Arenales is a graduate of North Shore Sr. High School and is very familiar with the neighborhood and roadway.

“My first job was here at TapcoEnpro,” he said. His company, AKV, will design a segment of the 6-mile project. “I care about it because it’s my community.”

Four different engineering companies will work on the project including HDR, AKV, Signtech and Concept Engineering.

“We typically break it down into smaller projects or it gets too expensive,” Marshall said. “We won’t build the whole six miles at one time.”

Carolyn Stone, a Lakeview resident since 1981, said she didn’t think Market Street had been touched in all the years she has lived here.

“This part of Channelview is the most neglected,” she said. “It’s also the part of Channelview that a lot of people come to do business with industry and other commercial business, and this is the impression they get,” she said.

Stone hoped that the addition of sidewalks, road repairs, stepped up patrols, and a more refined look would encourage additional investment and get rid of crime.

“It’s hard to hide in the light,” she said.

Marc Soriano with HDR engineering firm was present at the meeting to assist residents with questions.

“We’ve been hired to provide an assessment and develop a schematic level drawing of the Market Street corridor. We’ll provide options to improve the corridor,” he said.

His focus will be to improve pedestrian and automobile safety and specifically to increase the safety of the roads for trucks who travel to the area.

While it’s not a done deal, with the amount of truck traffic that travels Market Street, they are leaning toward concrete with curb and gutter.

“Adding that six-inch curb will be another layer of safety to delineate between vehicle traffic and pedestrians,” he said.

Engineers spent part of the hot summer days walking the corridor to get the feel of the roadway and make some assessments with traffic patterns.

“We’ll do traffic counts, some manual counts and types of vehicles in the near future that will also help us in our evaluations,” Soriano said.

They will also be taking bores in the current roadway to assess the current state and how to improve it.

To learn more about the project, visit the Precinct 2 website at

1 Comment

  1. Thank God, they are finally paying attention to the East Side starting from Freeport Street in Cloverleaf and Channelview area. For very many years this area has always been neglected. Thank you so much for attending to this matter.

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