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.