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July 06, 2018 2:25:42 PM CST

Harris County Flood Control District Responds to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Harvey Recovery Work Plan

On July 5, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a summary of their work plan for studies and construction projects related to funding provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was passed and signed into law on February 9 of this year. The Harris County Flood Control District is pleased to report that many of our requests are included in the posted work plan.

Studies, which are at full federal expense, include:

  • $3 million for the Section 216 Study led by the Corps, which will evaluate the existing Addicks and Barker reservoirs and recommend operational changes and/or physical projects to improve the effectiveness of the reservoirs in reducing flood risks upstream and downstream; and
  • $3 million for a county-wide drainage study to look at Harris County’s drainage infrastructure as a system, identifying potential inadequacies and potential improvements to the overall system.

Also included is federal funding to complete ongoing construction of four active federal flood risk reduction projects that the Flood Control District is currently working on with the Corps. These construction projects include:

  • $75 million for the Brays Bayou Federal Project, consisting of around 21 miles of channel improvements, 11,400 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume, and 30 bridge replacements or modifications;
  • $295,165,000 for the Clear Creek Federal Project, which includes 15 miles of channel improvements and around 1,400 acre-feet of additional stormwater detention volume in several basins;
  • $65 million for the Hunting Bayou Federal Project, which calls for around 4 miles of channel improvements, 1,000 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume, and 17 bridge replacements or modifications; and
  • $45 million for the White Oak Bayou Federal Project, consisting of over 15 miles of channel improvements and almost 3,000 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume.

The timing of the release of funding and important procedural details still need to be addressed in the near future, but the fact that these investigations and projects were specifically named and have targeted funding is “very positive news,” said Russ Poppe, Executive Director of the Flood Control District.

“The Corp’s work plan announcement is great news for us as we have been advocating for project funding of these critical projects for many years,” Poppe said. “This secured funding will allow us to complete these projects in a much shorter timeframe – as compared to the uncertainty of annual appropriations – and will reduce flood risks for thousands of Harris County residents.”

The work plan also includes short-term funding for repairs to damaged drainage infrastructure, and while several projects within Harris County are listed, exact dollar amounts have not yet been allocated. 

The Flood Control District greatly appreciates the Texas Congressional Delegation for passing and funding the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 in response to Hurricane Harvey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for selecting to complete these critical flood risk reduction projects in Harris County.