C-39 North Canal

C-39 North Canal

Recent Actions

June 28, 2022 – Harris County Commissioners Court approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Houston and a Flood Control District contribution of $20 million in support of this project.

December 3, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court initiated a partnership project with the City of Houston for the planning, design and construction of the North Canal.


The North Canal is a flood mitigation and partnership project among the City of Houston (lead agency), the Flood Control District, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ 5). The North Canal project has been under consideration for many years and is expected to play an integral role in reducing flooding to the central business district and areas west of downtown, upstream along White Oak and Buffalo bayous.

The North Canal project consists of three components:

  • a high flow diversion channel
  • an overflow channel east of downtown
  • and bridge and channel improvements along Yale Street and Heights Boulevard

In fall of 2019, the City of Houston received a $46 million Hazard Mitigation Grant from FEMA to help fund the North Canal flood mitigation project. The North Canal project is expected to cost $131 million in total. The required local share funding for the federal grant is being sourced as $25 million from the Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ 5) and $20 million each from the City of Houston, the Flood Control District and the Texas Department of Transportation. The Flood Control District’s contribution will come from bond funds from the 2018 Bond Program in which the North Canal project had received an abundance of community support.

The Flood Control District and the City of Houston are working to finalize an interlocal agreement. The grant funding calls for completion of the first phase of the project by May 2023. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2027.

The City of Houston has selected the design consultant, HDR Engineering, Inc, and issued a Notice to Proceed for City of Houston Phase I Preliminary Design. The preliminary engineering phase will conduct various studies and perform analysis to then produce a recommended project. The Preliminary Engineering Report is expected to be complete in early 2022. Final Design will then follow, finalizing design elements and producing final construction drawings, necessary permits, and addressing preparation for real estate acquisition and or easements.


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.