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DEC PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: GRAND PARKWAY (SH 99) DESIGN BUILD


Dannenbaum served as a Major Participant and the Segment F-1 Design Management Firm responsible for segment management, design and post-design services for the 11.5-mile, $200-million Segment F-1 in Harris County, involving direct connectors and main lanes from US 290 to SH 249. Dannenbaum’s design met the Owner’s and extensive Third-party goals while minimizing the footprint and intrusion of construction activities in the environmentally-sensitive yet rapidly developing area of northwest Harris County. Segments F-1 (and F-2) of the Grand Parkway were the first significant highway design-build projects in Harris County, and therefore, the Project Team worked extensively with Harris County Infrastructure (permitting, highway and flood control) Departments on submittal and review procedures to stream line the design development and approval phases.

The US 290 interchange provides the SH 99 overpass of the UPRR as well as accommodates for the ultimate METRO High Capacity Transit Corridor, Hempstead Managed Lanes, and the ultimate depressed US 290 and SH 99 frontage roads.

Segment F-1 included the design of five existing cross streets and overpasses as well as overpass accommodations for an additional five future cross streets. In addition to addressing the existing and future alignments of Major Thoroughfare Plan roadways, Segment F-1 roadway designs also addressed access to and provided for maintenance work space requirements to existing oil wells. The expense of off-site borrow areas was all but eliminated for this extensive embankment projects by the conversion of planned dry detention facilities to wet detention facilities and the development of an extensive new detention facility in the Willow Creek watershed to mitigate loss of compensatory floodway storage volume and to balance earthwork for the eastern half of Segment 6.

Extensive drainage studies and design were required to ensure the surrounding area was

not impacted by the improvements, and that environmental constraints were considered. Dannenbaum’s services included drainage impact studies and design and modeling for storm sewers, 9 major culverts across 3 floodplains, 11 equalizing culverts, 15 detention ponds, 20 grade separations, and 2 second-level grade separations over highways and railroads. Cross drainage culvert, and detention facilities design and modeling for Little Cypress Creek and Willow Creek watersheds utilizing HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS (steady and unsteady), HEC-GeoRAS, GeoPak Drainage, XPSWMM, EPA SWMM, and ArcGIS. XP-SWMM 2D was used for the Willow Creek watershed to better model its significant shallow flow component. Several CLOMRs were submitted and FEMA approved.

In addition to Segment F-1 roadway and drainage design, Dannenbaum designed four direct connectors, three floodplain crossings, three channel crossings, 20 grade separations, and two second-level grade separations over highways and railroad bridges. While the preliminary bridge layouts included curved steel plate girders at the US 290 interchange, the final bridge designs eliminated the curved steel plate girders at the US 290 interchange. Final bridge designs for the Segment incorporated Texas pre-stressed concrete girders (TX 46 – 62) and pre-stressed concrete U-beams.


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