An alternate weekend

Bridging the pedestrian divide: Memorial Drive closing for feet-friendly build

Bridging the pedestrian divide: Memorial Drive closing for feet-friendly build

News_Memorial Drive_closed
If you live or work near Memorial Dr., you may've passed these signs and wondered what was going on. Photo by Fayza A. Elmostehi

If Memorial Drive is your main squeeze when it comes to thoroughfares in this town, you'd better find yourself a backup route this weekend.

Starting at midnight on Friday (which means 12 a.m. Saturday) and cruising through midnight on Sunday (12 a.m. Monday), Memorial Drive between Waugh and Bagby will be off-limits to you and any other traffic with feet, wheels, horses or buggies.

While we sympathize with the collective groan we just heard from you, dear reader, the reason for the closure should put a little spring in your step.

Real, live construction of the fabled Rosemont Bridge — an on-foot-friendly path uniting both banks of the Buffalo Bayou over Memorial Drive — is what will keep you off one of Houston's main arteries this Saturday and Sunday.

It's one small step for man, but one giant leap for pedestrian-kind. But we know — you'll miss swimming across the bayou to get from shore to shore.

So, if you can't drive on it, what will be zooming around on Memorial Drive this weekend?

By the time you wake up Saturday morning, big trucks will have dropped off three 30,000-40,000-pound beams (which, in case you were wondering, is equivalent to the weight of about three adult male elephants).

And by the time your Jura-Capresso churns out your morning cup of Joe, those three monster beams will be dangling from a 300-ton crane. In the process of hanging the beams to become a bridge, of course.

Yeah, you probably wouldn't want to be driving underneath those things anyway.

Luckily, this city is plenty big, and we've got drive arounds. Give Allen Parkway and Washington Avenue a little bit of your rubber-to-the-road love while you're waiting for Memorial to be driveable once again.

And, come Monday morning, be ready to marvel at the pedestrian progress our city is making in literal leaps and bounds.