SUBMERGED VEHICLE REMOVAL PROJECT
In August 2017, the Harris County Flood Control District completed a project, jointly funded by Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman and the City of Houston, which removed a total of 70 submerged vehicles from multiple sites on Brays and Sims bayous.
An initial 2016 pilot phase of the Submerged Vehicle Removal Project removed 20 vehicles from Brays and Sims bayous for a project cost of $49,500. It was followed in mid-2017 with an expanded $218,255 project that was able to remove an additional 50 vehicles, all from Brays Bayou. Both projects were managed by the Flood Control District in close cooperation with the Houston Police Department (HPD).
Before the project began, more than 100 submerged vehicles were suspected to be at the bottom of lower Sims and Brays bayous, raising public concerns about criminal activity and environmental issues. Most of the vehicles removed during the expanded project had been reported stolen, with the newest being a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro reported stolen in 2014. The oldest vehicles included a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass and a 1982 Cadillac Fleetwood, reported stolen in 1995. A total of 17 vehicles were so deteriorated they could not be identified.
The contractor for the expanded project, Port Arthur-based commercial diving and marine construction company Huffman Contractors LLC, was able to remove a total of 50 vehicles before reaching the budgeted limit. Several vehicles were filled with sediment, which required extensive underwater jetting, and multiple vehicles broke apart during removal, which required longer dive times and multiple tows, resulting in overall higher removal costs.