The Heights construction: Neighbors feel trapped after city of Houston rips up driveways, blocking homes along W. 24th Street

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — For some Houstonians, unexpected guests arrived days before Thanksgiving, completely catching them off guard.

Barrels, heavy equipment, and construction crews are not what neighbors living in The Heights expected this week.

“I woke up to jackhammers in front of our driveways,” Abby Douglas recalled. “I asked them to stop so we could get our cars out.”

Douglas raced to move her vehicle. If not, she wouldn’t know what she would’ve done.

“If my boyfriend didn’t get his truck out that Friday morning, and we didn’t stop the work, we would’ve had to Uber or call friends or something to get out because my car was completely stuck in the driveway,” Douglas said.

Douglas’ block is currently under a City of Houston construction project.

She told ABC13 that this summer, she received notice the project would take place in September and October. A public works spokesperson said contractors placed another tag last week.

Douglas said she never received the notice and even checked her cameras.

“It completely throws off your plans, your week, everything,” Douglas said. “You have to reorganize your entire day. Luckily, I work from home, but other people that leave to go to the office at 7 a.m. (and) they get back at 5 p.m., they’re like, ‘What do I do?'”

If you have issues on your street, public works said to refer to the tag crews are supposed to hang on your door. There are numbers on it you can call. You can also call 311.

The work on Douglas’ driveway is complete. A few days of inconvenience that she said didn’t need to be so rough.

“If we would’ve got a heads up, it still would’ve been an inconvenience, but at least we would’ve been about to get the cars out and park them somewhere else,” Douglas said.

Public Works said the new tags were placed on neighbors’ doors with two days’ notice. However, on public works’ Engage Houston website, it states if work is being done on your driveway, you’re supposed to receive at least three days notice.

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