The Harris County Flood Control District (Flood Control District) has joined its federal partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in signing amendments to one Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and two Project Partnership Agreements (PPAs) for the design and construction of on-going federal flood risk reduction projects along Brays Bayou, Hunting Bayou and White Oak Bayou.
These amendments, approved by Harris County Commissioners Court on December 18, 2018, will allow USACE to use funds provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) to reimburse the Flood Control District for the federal share and the local share of eligible costs incurred after February 2018 to complete the three partnership projects. At this time, $185 million of BBA 2018 funds have been allocated and will be available for future reimbursements to the Flood Control District at full federal expense on these three projects. Reimbursements for the completion of remaining work are anticipated to total approximately $75 million for Brays Bayou, $65 million for Hunting Bayou, and $45 million for White Oak Bayou. These reimbursements at full federal expense will provide a savings to the Flood Control District of approximately $90 million that would have been otherwise required as local match.
Remaining work that is eligible for reimbursement under the Brays Bayou PCA amendment includes a portion of on-going channel modifications upstream of South Rice Avenue, three on-going bridge replacements or modifications, and eight future bridge replacements or modifications spread across the length of the project.
Remaining work that is eligible for reimbursement under the Hunting Bayou PPA amendment includes approximately 2.4 miles of channel modifications (including modifications under bridges) upstream of the Homestead Stormwater Detention Basin, modifications to three railroad bridges at the Englewood Railroad Yard, and approximately one-half mile of channel modifications downstream of Liberty Road.
Remaining work that is eligible for reimbursement under the White Oak Bayou PPA amendment includes 15.4 miles of channel modifications from Cole Creek to FM 1960 and the excavation of additional storage volume in stormwater detention basin E500-01-00 at Fairbanks North Houston Road.
The Flood Control District will be responsible for operating, maintaining, repairing and rehabilitating the projects after construction.
“By amending our agreements with USACE for these critical partnership projects, we now have a vehicle through which the federal funding announced earlier this year can be used for the benefit of our citizens,” said Russ Poppe, Executive Director of the Flood Control District.
“The signing of these agreements allows us to complete three critical projects in Harris County to greater assist with managing flood risks post Hurricane Harvey and continue the great work afforded to us by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018," said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, District Commander, USACE Galveston District.
Harris County Flood Control District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives sign amendments to federal project agreements. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
ABOUT BRAYS BAYOU
The Brays Bayou watershed is located in southwest Harris County and portions of Fort Bend County and drains parts of the cities of Houston, Missouri City, Stafford, Bellaire, West University, Southside Place and the Meadows. The bayou flows eastward from Fort Bend County to its confluence with the Houston Ship Channel. This heavily urbanized watershed covers approximately 127 square miles and includes three primary streams: Brays Bayou, Keegans Bayou and Willow Waterhole Bayou. There are about 121 miles of open streams within the watershed, including the primary streams and tributary channels. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the Harris County portion of the Brays Bayou watershed is 717,198.
ABOUT HUNTING BAYOU
The Hunting Bayou watershed is located in central Harris County within the city limits of Houston, Galena Park and Jacinto City. Rainfall within the 31 square miles of the watershed drains to the primary waterway, Hunting Bayou (HCFCD Unit H100-00-00). The bayou flows southeast from its headwaters just east of the Hardy Toll Road to its confluence with the Houston Ship Channel near the City of Galena Park. There are 45 miles of open waterways in the watershed, including Hunting Bayou and its major tributaries, such as Turkey Run Gully (HCFCD Unit H102-00-00) and Schramm Gully (HCFCD Unit H112-
00-00). Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the Hunting Bayou watershed is 75,908. The watershed is highly urbanized with a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial developments. The largest open area is the City of Houston’s Herman Brown Park, which covers approximately 550 acres in the Hunting Bayou watershed and provides recreational amenities and environmental habitat.
ABOUT WHITE OAK BAYOU
The White Oak Bayou watershed stretches from central to northwest Harris County and includes the City of Jersey Village and portions of the City of Houston. Rainfall within the 111 square miles of the White Oak Bayou watershed drains to the primary waterway, White Oak Bayou (HCFCD Unit E100-00-00). The bayou flows southeast from its headwaters northwest of FM 1960 to its confluence with Buffalo Bayou (HCFCD Unit W100-00-00) in downtown Houston. There are 146 miles of open waterways in the watershed, including White Oak Bayou and its major tributaries, such as Little White Oak Bayou (HCFCD Unit E101-00-00), Brickhouse Gully (HCFCD Unit E115-00-00), Cole Creek (HCFCD Unit E117-00-00) and Vogel Creek (HCFCD Unit E121-00-00). Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the White Oak Bayou watershed is 433,250. Development in the White Oak Bayou watershed has progressed rapidly and is expected to continue.
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.