New Flood Control Projects Take Shape

The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) recently began construction on a $13.3 million maintenance project that includes removing sediment and making priority repairs on a portion of Horsepen Creek, located in Precinct 4 in the Addicks Reservoir watershed. Construction began in mid-March on Horsepen Creek and is expected to take several months to complete.

Future project sites include Langham Creek, Bear Creek, and a Langham Creek tributary east of Bear Creek Village.

The project is part of a larger effort to investigate the condition and capacity of all HCFCD channels that flow into Addicks and Barker reservoirs. The goal of this investigation is to assess and repair impacts from recent flood events on channels that carry stormwater into the federal reservoirs from surrounding neighborhoods. The reservoirs are owned, operated, and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Part of the Flood Control District’s overall maintenance program, this project follows the Tax Day 2016 and Hurricane Harvey storms, which sent record levels of sediment through the channels leading into the federal reservoirs. Deposited sediment can impede stormwater outfalls and reduce the capacity of channels to carry stormwater. The contract calls for removal of approximately half a million cubic yards of sediment.

Recent storm events also caused severe erosion in many areas. More than $5 million of the pilot project is for 86,037 tons of rip rap and granular fill to repair damaged banks along Horsepen Creek, Bear Creek, and the other channels in the pilot project.

Addicks and Barker reservoirs, built in west Harris County by the Corps, are designed to temporarily hold back stormwater and prevent damages along Buffalo Bayou, downtown Houston, and the Port of Houston.

Rainfall within the 138-square-mile Addicks Reservoir watershed drains along 159 miles of open waterways, including Langham Creek and its major tributaries, such as South Mayde Creek (U101-00-00), Bear Creek (U102-00-00), and Horsepen Creek (U106-00-00).