Alternatives Analysis near Highlands Reservoir

Alternatives Analysis near Highlands Reservoir
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June 4, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a $450,000 agreement with an engineering firm for a detailed flood risk reduction alternatives analysis evaluating the feasibility of using Highlands Reservoir for pass-through detention during higher storm events in the Goose Creek Watershed 

November 13, 2018 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with an engineering firm to conduct this analysis. 

August 28, 2018 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized and initiated this project

Project description

This project will examine flood risk reduction options for the area near Highlands Reservoir, including HCFCD tributaries O119-00-00, O200-00-00 and other nearby tributaries. This advanced feasibility study builds on the previous work done for the Cedar Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Study completed in 2018, which evaluated the potential flood reduction improvements to the Highland Mobile Estates, a neighborhood with repeated flooding history evident by multiple flood claims. Harris County Flood Control District conducted the study to investigate the potential of using a portion of the Highlands Reservoir property to provide additional storage volume or potential conveyance capacity. The study's goal was to identify possible drainage improvements that could lower the surface elevation within the Flood Control District channels south of the Highland Mobile Estates neighborhood. The Flood Control District worked with the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) who owns and maintains the Highlands Reservoir. The Harris County Engineering Department engaged a consultant to complete a neighborhood drainage study that included a more detailed analysis of potential drainage improvements within the Highland Mobile Estates neighborhood, concurrently with the Flood Control District’s advanced feasibility study.

This project is one of several under 2018 HCFCD Bond Project F-39, which concerns Investigations of General Drainage Improvements on Spring Gully.

Feasibility Study Results

As part of the advanced feasibility study, data was collected revealing that the existing pipelines were found below the west fork of the watershed Goose Creek (O119-00-00) and Spring Gully (O200-00-00) channels south of Barbers Hill Road and running north-south along the western side of the Highlands Reservoir into Buff Gully in the San Jacinto River Watershed. The recommended alternative proposed for channel improvements is only to widen and not deepen Goose Creek and Spring Gully. Next, an existing conditions analysis of Goose Creek, Spring Gully and Buff Gully watersheds surrounding the Highland Reservoir was conducted to verify general drainage patterns, establish baseline water surface elevation, and better understand the underlying causes of exiting flooding. Based on existing model results and site visit observations, flooding within the Highland Mobile Estates neighborhood can be attributed to a lack of adequate local drainage infrastructure and high backwater elevations in the Flood Control District channels south of Barbers Hill Road.

Alternative Solutions

Based on the existing conditions analysis results, the Flood Control District and San Jacinto River Authority selected five alternatives that focused on reducing the water surface elevation. The different strategies included:

· Widening the existing channel to provide additional storage.

· Constructing a detention pond within the reservoir.

· Making improvements such as benched widening, new detention pond, and structure replacement along G103-04-00.

· Diverting flow to the G103-04-00 to gain deeper outfall depths via box culvert.

· Constructing a new storm sewer to convey runoff from Highland Mobile Estates neighborhood directly into G103-04-00.

Stage

This project is currently in the initial feasibility study stage. This stage of the project will begin investigations for right-of-way acquisition, environmental issues and further project funding allocation. Following this stage, a preliminary engineering stage will result in a Preliminary Engineering Report with a recommended project that can be taken to Harris County Commissioners Court for approval and then advanced to the DESIGN stage.

Location

The streams to be studied in this stage of the project are located near and around the Highlands Reservoir within the Spring Gully/Goose Creek watershed. The drainage solutions being examined are located within the areas just north and south of Barbers Hill Rd and just south and west of the Highlands Reservoir.

Bond Project Listing

Bond Project F-39 is a “Local Only” funded project, which means that there is no funding partner identified at this time and the project will be funded entirely from the 2018 Bond Program. The Bond Project List includes a total allocation for all stages and phases of this project of $500,000.

Bond Listing

List of 2018 Bond Projects


The Harris County Flood Control District has a significant number of flood damage reduction projects occurring all over Harris County as part of its on-going Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Operations and Maintenance, and the 2018 Bond Program. Click the Project ID on the Map to learn about projects’ details. Some early-stage projects are not highlighted on the map. The map will be updated when projects advance or when more information becomes available.

PROJECT LIFECYCLE

Every flood damage reduction project is unique. Yet each project begins and ends, with common and predictable milestones along the way. Whether a project moves forward – and how quickly – depends on many factors, including the availability of funding at each milestone, shifting community priorities for flood damage reduction, and other changing circumstances (such as the price of trees or concrete) from year to year.

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