The Harris County Flood Control District and one of its federal partners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District (USACE), signed a new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) for the design and construction of the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project. The $295 million project will substantially reduce flood risks for a large portion of the Clear Creek Watershed in Harris, Brazoria and Galveston counties.
(From left to right) Shakhar Misir, project manager, USACE; Gary Zika, Federal Projects Department manager, HCFCD; Russ Poppe, executive director, HCFCD; Col. Lars Zetterstrom, commander, USACE; Ian Hudson, project manager, HCFCD; and Byron Williams, chief of Project Management Division, USACE. Photo courtesy of: Breeana Harris/USACE
The PPA, approved by Harris County Commissioners Court on June 4, 2019 and jointly signed thereafter, allows construction of the long-awaited project to begin later this year. The project includes approximately 15 miles of conveyance improvements and 500 acre-feet of in-line detention along Clear Creek between Dixie Farm Road and State Highway 288. In addition, more than five miles of conveyance improvements will be made along three tributaries of Clear Creek: Turkey Creek, Mud Gully and Mary's Creek. Design and construction will take approximately five years to complete.
Clear Creek is one of four major flood damage reduction projects in Harris County funded to completion by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018), a supplemental appropriations package passed by Congress in response to natural disasters across the United States in 2017. USACE has allocated approximately $187 million of its BBA 2018 funds to cost-share the project with the Flood Control District.
"We are proud of the continued collaboration among Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties and our district's staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure the Clear Creek Bayou Flood Risk Management Project is completed," said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, commander of the USACE Galveston District. "The signing of the Project Partnership Agreement June 6, 2019, is a momentous step in this project being constructed and I am confident that this project, once completed, will bring flood risk reduction benefits to the communities along Clear Creek both adjacent to and downstream of the areas being improved.”
The Flood Control District is leading the design and construction of the project under a non-federal implementation pilot program originally authorized by Congress in 2014. Clear Creek will be the first USACE project in the United States to be implemented from start to finish under this program. Unlike reimbursement-based local-lead authorities, the pilot program allows the Flood Control District to receive the federal share of eligible costs in advance increments as the project is designed and built. The Flood Control District will work closely with its co-sponsors, Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 and Galveston County, to enter separate agreements that share the project's local match and maintenance responsibilities.
“After years of repeated flooding, this project will bring some overdue relief to families in the Clear Creek watershed," said Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis. "Innovative approaches like this one are vital to moving Harris County closer to its goal of transforming flood vulnerable watersheds like Clear Creek into stronger, more resilient communities."
"The Flood Control District is excited to move this project forward with the support of the Corps and deliver much-needed relief to a watershed with a long history of flooding, and that was among the hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey," said Russ Poppe, executive director of the Flood Control District. "We also look forward to collaborating with our local partners, Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 and Galveston County, to deliver a successful project."
ABOUT CLEAR CREEK WATERSHED
The Clear Creek Watershed is located in southern Harris County. The watershed encompasses portions of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties; 16 cities including Houston, Brookside Village, Pearland, Friendswood, League City, Pasadena, the Clear Lake Area communities; and five drainage/flood control districts. Clear Creek flows from west to east through Clear Lake and into Galveston Bay. Armand Bayou is the largest tributary of Clear Creek and is a separate watershed. The Clear Creek Watershed covers approximately 197 square miles. The major tributaries of Clear Creek are Cedar Gully, Cowart Creek, Magnolia Bayou, Mary's Creek, Mud Gully and Turkey Creek. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the Harris County portion of the Clear Creek Watershed is 164,172.
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.
Representatives from the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and the United States Corps of Engineers Galveston District (USACE) enter into a Project Partnership Agreement for the design and construction of the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project. The $295 million project will substantially reduce flood risks for a large portion of the Clear Creek Watershed in Harris, Brazoria and Galveston counties. (From left to right) Shakhar Misir, project manager, USACE; Gary Zika, Federal Projects Department manager, HCFCD; Russ Poppe, executive director, HCFCD; Col. Lars Zetterstrom, commander, USACE; Ian Hudson, project manager, HCFCD; and Byron Williams, chief of Project Management Division, USACE. Photo courtesy of: Breeana Harris/USACE