September 20, 2013 -- Mayor Annise Parker and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today formalized an agreement for the construction of nearly 14 miles of hike and bike trail along Sims Bayou from Interstate 45 to Croquett Street. This new off-street bikeway will connect up to seven city parks within southeast Houston including Reveille Park, Stuart Park, Law Park, Sims Bayou Park, the County’s Hill at Sims Park, Scottcrest Park, and Townwood Park.
“This is an important project in our effort to fill gaps in our hike and bike trail system,” said Mayor Parker. “My goal is for cyclists to start at one point and be able to ride all the way to the other side of the city on bikeways. The Bayou Greenways initiative approved by voters last year envisions our bayous serving dual purposes of essential flood control as well as traffic free paths in extended green settings. With this project, Sims Bayou will remain an important component of our drainage system, but it will also be enjoyed on a daily basis by many Houstonians.”
The project will cost about $7 million. The majority of this cost will be covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There is a requirement of local matching funds that will be met by the City of Houston and Houston Parks Board, which will be responsible for paying for the planned recreation amenities and acquisition of three remaining land parcels needed to complete the project.
"The Corps is committed to contributing to the safety, economic success and quality of life of the citizens of Houston and its neighboring communities,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District Commander Colonel Richard P. Pannell. “Our partnership with the City of Houston will allow us to complete this recreation component as part of the larger Sims Bayou Flood Risk Management Project that will bring lasting benefits to those who live and work in the Sims Bayou Watershed."
Construction will occur in five phases, starting with the first phase from I-45 to Stuart Park. This first phase will consist of 3.1 miles of 10-foot wide shared use concrete paths similar to existing trails along Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou. Recreational components will include picnic shelters, park benches, picnic tables, drinking fountains with dog bowls, parking lots, lighting and other park amenities.
Work is scheduled to begin November/December 2013 and be completed by fall 2015.