“Our growing Lake Houston community creates challenges, and that’s a good thing,” Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital CEO Heath Rushing told the Lake Houston Chamber’s Kingwood BizCom audience Aug. 4 at Kingwood High School.
A dramatic new hospital “front” will improve visibility from Interstate 69, while a five-story replacement patient tower will be completed in 2018 on the McKay Drive side of the Humble campus, Rushing said.
“We begin tomorrow when we meet with the engineers and construction people,” said Rushing. Bulldozers and cranes will appear within five months.
The Kingwood Convenient Care Center at W. Lake Houston Parkway and Kingwood Drive is expected to open in late spring of 2017, Rushing said.
The growing community has created challenges and opportunities as well for Kingwood Pines Hospital, Kingwood Medical Center, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority.
Brooke Martin told BizCom attendees that Kingwood Pines Hospital continues to offer crisis inpatient and outpatient services for psychiatric and substance abuse and soon will offer an adolescent psychiatric day program.
The Pediatric Emergency Center at Kingwood Medical Center, according to CEO Melinda Stephenson, has expanded its hours, 8 a.m.-midnight, and is actively seeking pediatric specialists, “…so that Lake Houston residents won’t have to make that drive to the Medical Center.”
At least 120 new restaurants and stores will be coming to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport over the next year, according to Jarrett Simmons with the Houston Airport System (HAS). Among the names mentioned were Breakfast Club, Cadillac Bar, Café Adobe, Tony’s and Pink Pizza.
“Unfortunately, you’ll still need a boarding pass to enjoy these restaurants,” Simmons said.
HAS will be spending more than $4.5 billion on improvements over the next 10 years, including remodeling Terminal A; building two new concourses in Terminal B; testing a new, more efficient restroom design; opening another economy parking lot, testing an innovative automated checkpoint system that has been successful in Europe; and modifying egress for a quicker exit in the U.S. Customs and Border Protections area.
“Our goal is to successfully compete with the great international airports you find in Hong Kong and Beijing,” Simmons said.
The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority is moving quickly to complete engineering and design work as well as environmental studies on the Northpark Drive improvement project.
“We want all our ducks in a row so we’re ready to submit our proposal to the federal government,” Authority Chair Stan Sarman told the BizCom crowd.
The Authority, based on a recent mobility study, recommends six lanes from Interstate 69 to Woodland Hills Drive that includes getting rid of the ditch, creating an overpass over the railroad tracks and Loop 494, adding two-lane service roads by the overpass, and landscaping.
“An improved Northpark would serve as an evacuation route and would facilitate getting emergency and fire vehicles safely over Loop 494,” Sarman said, “and, because we’ll raise the road, we’ll avoid the flooding of Northpark that happened earlier this year.”
Bryan Brown, one of the planners for the Northpark improvements, also listed three of 11 intersections improvements beginning next year:
-Hamblen Road at Forest Cove Drive – add left turn lane.
-Kings Crossing Drive at W. Lake Houston Parkway – add right turn lane and other options.
-Northpark Drive and W. Lake Houston Parkway – add right turn lanes.
The next Kingwood BizCom will be Thursday, Dec. 1, at Kingwood Park High School. To register or learn more about all the BizComs, visit lakehouston.org.