C-03 Federal Flood Risk Management Project

C-03 Federal Flood Risk Management Project

Last Modified: 07/30/2020 04:03 PM

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Recent Actions

July 14, 2020 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the acquisition of one tract in support of this project.

June 6, 2020 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a $9,259,410 agreement for engineering services for owner’s advisor services using Design-Build project delivery in support of this project.

May 19, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved updates to project details in the 2018 Bond Program List. Update changes funding based on 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act signed February 2018; precinct information also corrected to reflect project area in Precinct 1 only. Additionally, a previously authorized acquisition of one tract was revised and a $900,000 agreement with an engineering firm for hydrologic and hydraulic analyses was authorized for this project.

April 28, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with an engineering firm in connection with hydraulic and hydrologic analyses for this project.

April 28, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the acquisition of one tract for this project.

February 11, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a $600,000 agreement with an engineering firm for owner’s advisor services using Design-Build project delivery in support of this project.

January 28, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with an engineering firm for owner’s advisor services in support of this project.

December 17, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court approved an additional $200,000 for engineering services in support of this project.

November 12, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with various political jurisdictions for agreements in support of collaborative efforts to implement the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management project and Clear Creek watershed bond projects.

September 10, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a $750,000 agreement with an engineering firm for owner's advisor services using the Design-Build project delivery method.

August 27, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with an engineering firm for owner's advisor services using the Design-Build project delivery method.

July 30, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized an additional $1.9 million for surveying services in support of this project.

June 4, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a Project Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in connection with this project.

June 4, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiation of interlocal agreements with Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 and Galveston County to share the non-federal costs and the operations and maintenance responsibilities of the project.

June 4, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized an agreement not to exceed $750,000 with an engineering firm for engineering services and hydraulic and hydrologic analyses in support of this project.

May 14, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with an engineering firm for hydrologic and hydraulic services in support of this project.

May 14, 2019 – Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the execution of a document certifying the Harris County Flood Control District’s financial ability to participate as a local sponsor of this project.

October 9, 2018  Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the County Judge to execute an agreement with a consultant for surveying services in support of this project.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project is a partnership project between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Harris County Flood Control District, Galveston County, Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 and the City of Pearland. As of the June 2019 Project Partnership Agreement between the Corps and the Flood Control District, the Flood Control District is the lead agency for this project, under a non-federal implementation pilot program authorized by Section 1043(b) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.

As with other Corps projects led by the Flood Control District under Section 211(f) of WRDA 1996, this pilot program allows local sponsors to carry out federal projects subject to certain federal requirements, with the Corps providing administration and oversight. The pilot program also allows the Corps to transfer the estimated federal share of eligible project costs to the local sponsor before costs are incurred. 

As the lead agency, the Flood Control District will manage, design, and build the project; buy land, easements, and rights-of-way; relocate utilities; adjust or replace bridges; and operate and maintain portions of the project within Harris County after construction is complete. The Flood Control District will enter separate interlocal agreements to share the non-federal costs and the operation and maintenance responsibilities of the project. 

The project was identified and recommended by a General Reevaluation Report (GRR) completed by the Corps in 2013. The GRR presents an alternative to the Clear Creek Federal Project that was previously being implemented by the Corps, Flood Control District, and Galveston County based on a 1986 agreement. The revised project that will be constructed includes:

  • 2nd Outlet Channel and Gates from Clear Creek to Galveston Bay (already complete)
  • 15.1 miles of channel conveyance improvements along Clear Creek from State Highway 288 to Dixie Farm Road
  • 2.4 miles of channel conveyance improvements along Turkey Creek from Dixie Farm Road to Clear Creek
  • 2.1 miles of channel conveyance improvements along Mary's Creek from Harkey Road to State Highway 35
  • 0.8 miles of channel conveyance improvements along Mud Gully from Sagerock Drive to Beamer Road
  • 500 acre-feet of in-line stormwater detention along Clear Creek.
  • Additional offline stormwater detention facilities
  • 17 bridge replacements or modifications
  • Environmental mitigation and enhancements

Once complete, the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project will help reduce the risk of flooding in the 1% (100-year) floodplain along Clear Creek. To supplement the benefits of the Federal Project, three stormwater detention basins are moving forward as locally-funded 2018 Bond Program projects along Clear Creek: the Dagg Stormwater Detention Basin, the Hughes Stormwater Detention Basin and the South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin.

Federal Project Overview

Description

Federal Project Overview Map

From Spring 2020 Federal Briefing

Federal Project Cross-Section Map

From Spring 2020 Federal Briefing

Information on project right-of-way acquisition

To build projects, which include widening and deepening bayous and their tributaries and constructing large stormwater detention basins, the District often needs to acquire additional land for right-of-way, which could include homes, businesses, churches and other structures.

Project Status

The Mud Gully portion of the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management project is in final design and is expected to go out for public bid late Summer 2020. More details regarding this project can be found on the Mud Gully project page.

The remainder of the federal project is in preliminary engineering including a drainage analysis and conceptual plan update, with construction expected to begin in 2023.

Information regarding upcoming Flood Control District community meetings can be found on the 2018 Bond Program Community Engagement and Public Meetings page.

Project cost and Funding

Current total cost for the Clear Creek project is estimated at approximately $337.4 million. $295 million. The estimated cost share $166.4 million federal (49%) and $171 million local (51%).

The project is one of four partnership projects between the Flood Control District and the Corps that were funded to completion by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The Corps has allocated a maximum amount of $187 million in federal funds to complete the project.

Environmental Benefits

Over the years, as a result of the extensive public outreach efforts and studies, and in partnership with the Harris County Flood Control District, Brazoria Drainage District 4 and Galveston County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers incorporated multiple environmental components into the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project that preserve and enhance the environmental function of the riparian corridor. These components will improve the floodplain forest and wetland habitat, which are crucial to the overall health of the Clear Creek watershed. Once the Clear Creek Federal Flood Risk Management Project is complete, the Flood Control District will be responsible for maintaining the project areas for 35 years.

Public benefits include:

  • Bird and wildlife observation opportunities.
  • Educational opportunities.
  • Improved water quality to Clear Creek due to enhancements in wetlands and riparian corridor vegetation.
  • Possibility for project partners to make recreational enhancements along Clear Creek through improvement of existing nature trails and construction of new trails. For example, as part of the City of Pearland’s Trail Master Plan, the City is coordinating with the Flood Control District to construct trails along the Clear Creek corridor.

Environmental considerations and enhancements include:

  • Avoidance of impacts to coastal prairies and tidal marsh habitats. Approximately 40.6 acres of the 41.5 acres of wetlands under the project will be avoided, restored or preserved. Wetland vegetation planting will incorporate sustainable practices by utilizing a local wetland nursery.
  • Improvement in the function of adjacent remnant oxbow channels that provide important habitat refuge and wetland vegetation. The term “oxbow” describes a curved bend in a creek or river that becomes cut off from the channel due to natural erosion or manmade channel improvements. This cut off forms an independent body of water, typically resembling a “U-shape” when observed in an aerial photo. As an example, Figures 1 and 2 show a distinctive, representative oxbow lake feature that formed adjacent to the Brazos River over a 25-year span from 1995 to 2020. The existing oxbows along Clear Creek were cut off by previous manmade channel improvements, but they will be restored to function more like natural oxbows.
  • Native tree planting throughout the corridor, obtained from local tree nurseries.
  • Rehabilitation and/or enhancement of 278 acres of existing floodplain forest.
  • Removal and management of invasive species that impair the success of habitat enhancement and restoration.

Figure 1. Aerial view of a 1995 bend in the Brazos River

Figure 2. Aerial view of the same oxbow after a 25-year period.
Note the main channel course alteration and separation of the previous bend.

Figure 3. Sample cross section of proposed improvements on Clear Creek.

History

The original 1986 Clear Creek Federal project called for more than 14 miles of channel conveyance improvements from Clear Lake to the Brazoria County line near Dixie Farm Road. Eleven bridge replacements or modifications were planned, and eight have been completed.

A mile-long Second Outlet Channel from Clear Lake to Galveston Bay was also part of the plan, and its construction was completed in 1997 and was turned over to the Flood Control District to operate and maintain in 1998. The Second Outlet includes a large gated control structure that is opened during certain flooding conditions to allow flood waters to drain from Clear Lake to Galveston Bay, which in turn allows Clear Creek to drain sooner. During non-flooding conditions or "normal" conditions, the gates are closed to maintain a pre-project salinity level and environmental conditions in Clear Lake.

In June 1999, in response to community opposition to the Federal Project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Corps initiated a General Reevaluation Study to evaluate various alternatives. Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 joined the Flood Control District and Galveston County as local sponsors for the Corps reevaluation study. Up-to-date data and computer models were used, and public involvement continued through the reevaluation process.

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.