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Construction is Complete on Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin

June 12, 2013
Picture of the Stormwater Detention Basin Workers plant specialized wetlands plants in water quality enhancement ponds at the recently completed Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin along Halls Bayou in central Harris County.

Map of detention basin site The Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin will reduce flooding risks and damages for homes and businesses along Halls Bayou.

Construction is complete on the new Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin, a partnership project between the City of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District. The basin is designed to reduce flooding risks and damages for homes and businesses along Halls Bayou in central Harris County.

Located on a 68-acre site near Jensen Drive and US 59 and bisected by Halls Bayou, the new basin will hold approximately 167 million gallons of stormwater. Basins like Bretshire reduce flooding risks and damages by safely holding excess stormwater during periods of heavy rain, and slowly releasing that stormwater back to the bayou as water levels drop. The basin also serves to improve the quality of urban stormwater that flows through it.

The Flood Control District funded design of the facility on property it currently owns. The City of Houston funded and managed the basin’s construction, with help from a federal disaster recovery grant for up to $6 million. Now formally identified as HCFCD Unit P518-04-00, the Bretshire basin will be mowed and maintained by the Flood Control District as part of its county-wide infrastructure network.

The Bretshire basin site is located adjacent to and connects three parks – Harris County Precinct 2’s Mary Withers Park and Bretshire Park to the north, and the City of Houston’s Shady Lane Park to the south. The north side of the basin also adjoins a segment of the Halls Bayou Hike and Bike Trail, which continues north to the city’s 500-acre Keith-Wiess Park.

The City of Houston recently announced plans to redevelop Shady Lane Park, with help from a state parks and wildlife grant. The city will match the $220,000 grant to create a $440,000 funding source for park improvements. These will include a new playground and playground site, a play hill area and seating plaza, connections to the existing trail, native plant landscaping and shade trees, and the demolition and site preparation of the old and obsolete playground for future parking expansion.

The Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin receives stormwater from adjacent neighborhoods and routes it through a series of water quality enhancement ponds connected by what will be tree-lined corridors. The constructed wetlands have been planted with specialized vegetation, such as pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) and softstem bulrush (Scirpus validus), propagated at a wetlands nursery at the Flood Control District’s Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank. These plants help filter out and transform pollutants in the stormwater as it flows through the ponds and into Halls Bayou. Basin wetlands also reduce mowing maintenance costs, provide aquatic and wildlife habitat, expand recreational opportunities, and add aesthetic appeal. These wetlands are maintained under the Flood Control District’s sensitive habitat maintenance program.

After turf is established at the basin to protect side slopes from erosion, the Flood Control District also plans to plant trees, which reduce maintenance costs and improve water quality.

Sprint Sand & Clay LLC was the construction contractor for the $4.7 million Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin project. The basin was built on the site where several flood-prone homes had been purchased and demolished by the Flood Control District as part of this capital project. All former residents were relocated out of the floodplain.

The Bretshire basin project is the second recently constructed Flood Control District project along Halls Bayou to reduce flood risks and damages. In 2008, the Flood Control District completed a stormwater detention basin on a 112-acre site that is part of Keith-Wiess Park on Aldine-Westfield Road. That basin can store 300 million gallons of stormwater. A Texas Parks and Wildlife grant funded installation of a fishing pier and wetlands boardwalk within the basin, along with hike-and-bike trails, soccer fields and a playground within the park.

The Flood Control District also has started design of the 93-acre Hall Park Stormwater Detention Basin site located along Halls Bayou downstream of US 59 near Langley Street.


About Halls Bayou

The largest tributary of Greens Bayou, Halls Bayou is located in north central Harris County and flows through the City of Houston and unincorporated areas of Harris County. The 20-mile bayou flows east from a point just west of Veterans-Memorial Drive to its confluence at Greens Bayou east of US 59 at Brock Park. During Tropical Storm Allison, an estimated 13,000 residences flooded in the Halls Bayou watershed. The Flood Control District is currently working on a study that will identify additional flood damage reduction projects for the watershed.


About the Harris County Flood Control District

The Harris County Flood Control District provides flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more about the Flood Control District, visit www.hcfcd.org.





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