June 1

Projects & Studies

UPDATE: Construction began June 18 on the second of four project sites: Bear Creek (HCFCD Unit U102-00-00). Construction began March 19 and is progressing on the Horsepen Creek (HCFCD Unit U106-00-00) project site. The Langham Creek (HCFCD Unit U100-00-00) project site is in design. The Flood Control District continues to work on preliminary details regarding construction access in connection with the U107-00-00 project site.

INVESTIGATION OF DE-SILTING, REPAIRING CHANNELS THAT DRAIN INTO ADDICKS AND BARKER RESERVOIRS

The Harris County Flood Control District has begun a major investigation of the current condition and capacity of all channels for which it has property rights that flow into Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

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The goal of this project is to assess and repair impacts from recent flood events on channels that carry stormwater into the federal reservoirs. The project is limited to channels within Harris County and for which the Flood Control District has property rights. 

The work effort begins with a pilot project to remove sediment from four channels near Addicks Reservoir and to restore them to their design capacity, if found to be required. On January 30, 2018, Harris County Commissioners Court awarded a $13.32 million construction contract to Lecon Inc. for this pilot project. The four channels are:

  • Horsepen Creek, formally identified as HCFCD Unit U106-00-00, from near Hamstead Park Drive to the reservoir;
  • Bear Creek, HCFCD Unit U102-00-00, from Greenhouse Road to just inside the reservoir;
  • HCFCD Unit U107-00-00, a Langham Creek tributary on the west side of the reservoir, near Hidden Springs Drive, and
  • Langham Creek, HCFCD Unit U100-00-00, from State Highway 6 to the reservoir.

On November 14, 2017, Harris County Commissioners Court authorized construction bidding for the pilot project. IDS Engineering Group Inc. and HR Green Inc. provided engineering services. Results of the pilot project will be used to guide procedures and develop the budget for a wider effort in the Addicks Reservoir and Barker Reservoir watersheds.  A goal of this effort is to determine a cost per mile of channel de-silted and repaired.  This cost data will be used to plan the work and budget on the other 29 channels. 

Part of the Flood Control District’s overall maintenance program, the study follows the Tax Day 2016 and Hurricane Harvey storms, which sent record levels of sediment-laden stormwater through the channels leading into the reservoirs, and caused severe erosion in some areas. Deposited sediment can impede stormwater outfalls and reduce the capacity of channels to carry stormwater.

Addicks and Barker reservoirs were built in west Harris County by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after disastrous floods of 1929 and 1935. They are designed to temporarily hold back stormwater and prevent damages along Buffalo Bayou, downtown Houston and the Port of Houston. Both reservoirs provide substantial storage capacity.

The Corps owns, operates and maintains the reservoirs, including the operation of outlet facilities that control discharges from the reservoirs into Buffalo Bayou. Most Flood Control District easements end at the limits of the federal-owned land.

Rainfall within the 138-square-mile Addicks Reservoir watershed drains along 159 miles of open waterways, including Langham Creek and its major tributaries, such as South Mayde Creek (U101-00-00), Bear Creek (U102-00-00) and Horsepen Creek (U106-00-00).

Rainfall within the 126-square-mile Barker Reservoir watershed drains along 47 miles of open streams, including Mason Creek (T101-00-00) and Upper Buffalo Bayou (T100-00-00).