Cotswold: A Walking Place

Cotswold2000 SOQ cover page 96pixTom’s role began with his being selected as the construction manager while an employee of an engineering consultant. After the first project he joined the Management District as the Director of Construction.

The Cotswold Program was in three phases for a total of nine separately bid and built adjacent projects where as many as three contracts were underway at one time while the next was being designed and another bid. Phase 1 included three projects in the front door of the soon to be opened Minute Maid Baseball Park. The race to complete the streets and the stadium was a tie as they were both
complete for opening day.Cotswold-Prairie-300p

The project was in the historical north end of downtown Houston–the original street layout and buildings from Houston’s earliest days. The improvements began with replacement of the publicly owned underground utilities–some of which was still the original installation. In some cases the pavement was replaced but in most blocks the locations Cotswold Mapwhere the sub-grade failed was repaired, the old asphalt milled and a new 2″ asphalt surface placed. In all blocks the sidewalks were replaced along with decorative street lights, many trees and new curb and gutter.

One of the primary purposes of the project was to make the streets feel safe and inviting for pedestrians. One of the daily challenges was finding the right combination of grades, slopes and spacing that provided pathways that met the ADA requirements between the old doorways and the street.

A major effort, when funds allowed, was the removal of overhead utilities. Removal of decades of
old poles and wires was done along with replacing the old main line with new poles and a consolidation. All together we minimized the OH litter. This type of work also requires coordination and contracting with numerous telecommunication companies who have fiber optic cables on the poles.

A significant part of the streetscape was the addition of art and fountains. In some cases the art was included in the fountains.