a bridge to the heights

Pivotal Heights-area bridge long closed reopens to walkers and bikers

Pivotal Heights-area bridge long closed reopens to walkers and bikers

MKT Bridge Heights Houston
The crucial bridge opens May 27. Photo courtesy of the Houston Parks Board

A vital and long-unused bridge in a buzzing Houston neighborhood is set to reopen. 

The M-K-T Bridge, located in The Heights near White Oak Bayou, will be accessible to users on Friday, May 27, the Houston Parks Board announced. A key artery for walkers and joggers, the bridge spans over the bayou at I-10 near Studemont Street. Out of use since it was significantly damaged by a fire in August 2020, the bridge reopens after repairs began in March.

This reopening is actually ahead of schedule, as the bridge was set to open this summer, as CultureMap previously reported. It provides a pivotal outlet for those who use the M-K-T Trail, which connects The Heights to Sawyer Yards and the Washington Avenue Corridor area.

To celebrate the reopening, a ribbon cutting scheduled for 10 am Friday with U.S. House Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston City Council Member Abbie Kamin and other city officials, per Community Impact

An average of nearly 1,200 people used the 100-year-old bridge each day before it was closed, per the Leader News’s Adam Zuvanich. As the Houston Chronicle reported, the bridge was closed in August 2020 after a fire damaged part of the supports. Repair work started June 2021; it was then that crews discovered additional damage that was previously hidden beneath the bridge's infrastructure.

Neighborhood associations, bike advocates, and citizens have pressured the board to expedite repairs, which require plan approval from the city and Harris County Flood Control District.

This comes at pivotal time for the MKT area: In September, the City of Houston announced a crucial trail connector that will address a missing link between the MKT Trail and White Oak Bayou Greenway in The Heights. This 850-foot trail connection is one of the last critical pieces needed for these two hike-and-bike trail systems.