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December 13, 2018 11:16:47 AM CST

UPDATE: Buffalo Speedway Bridge Temporarily Reopened Over Brays Bayou

The Harris County Flood Control District has temporarily reopened the bridge over Brays Bayou at Buffalo Speedway. The Flood Control District began coordinated construction November 19 to modify or replace three existing bridges over Brays Bayou with new higher, wider and/or longer spans that will improve the conveyance of stormwater along Brays Bayou in south central Harris County.

The bridge at Buffalo Speedway is expected to remain open while issues involving utility lines attached to the bridge are addressed. There will be a two-week notification period, with public notice and detour signs in the construction area, before the bridge is again closed for construction.

Construction on the bridge project officially began November 19 with the closure of both the Buffalo Speedway and Ardmore Street bridges, in keeping with traffic plans for the projects. Since then, however, the Flood Control District determined that it could safely keep both bridges open at least through the holiday period.

The Buffalo Speedway, Ardmore Street and Stella Link Road bridges will be the 18th, 19th and 20th bridge modifications constructed by the Flood Control District as part of $480 million Project Brays, a cooperative effort between the Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Project Brays, which has been under construction since 1994, includes the widening of 21 miles of Brays Bayou in 13 separate channel modification project segments, the modification of 32 bridges, and the construction of four stormwater detention basins with a combined capacity of 3.5 billion gallons. (A new bridge over Brays Bayou at Forest Hill Boulevard has been under construction since July 2018. The final segment of channel modifications as part of Project Brays, between Loop 610 and Fondren Road in the Meyerland area, also has been under construction since the summer of 2018.)

Residents and motorists are encouraged to remain alert to changing conditions, and to pay attention to all posted lane closure and detour signs.

When Project Brays is complete, it is expected to provide a 1 percent (100-year) level of flood protection upstream (west) of the Sam Houston Tollway. In areas downstream (east) of the tollway, Project Brays will reduce the number structures at risk from a 1 percent (100-year) flood from 16,800 to 1,800.