Projects & Studies

North Canal Bypass Channel

Turbulence near the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo bayous in downtown Houston, along with a narrow channel and severe channel bends, restricts the flow of stormwater during heavy rainfall events. A North Canal Bypass Channel is being considered to help reduce the risk of flooding to downtown Houston and also – in combination with other future projects – to provide flood damage reduction benefits to areas farther upstream along both White Oak and Buffalo bayous. The concept envisions construction of a high-flow diversion channel between White Oak Bayou (HCFCD Unit E100-00-00) and Buffalo Bayou (HCFCD Unit W100-00-00), near their confluence in downtown Houston.

The Flood Control District is in the process of investigating the concept for flood damage reduction benefits, feasibility and cost. In coordination with Harris County and other governmental entities, the Flood Control District has acquired several pieces of property that preserve the opportunity for a future North Canal project and may also support other worthwhile county projects.

Design and construction phases are not yet fully funded. A final alignment (path) for the channel has not been selected.  Discussion of the North Canal Bypass Channel concept has taken place over many years, and has inspired various visions for the eventual project design. The concept is included, for example, in the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s 2002 report “Buffalo Bayou and Beyond.” It is also included in the vision plans of other groups supporting bayou restoration, downtown revitalization and economic development. If implementation is feasible, there will be opportunities for the Flood Control District to work with interested community members on design of the project.