Projects & Studies

Halls Bayou

Drainage Area Watershed Population Open Stream Miles Primary Streams
45 Sq. Miles 160,100 20.2 miles for the Halls mainstem Halls Bayou

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Halls Bayou is a tributary of Greens Bayou in north central Harris County. Flooding along Halls Bayou is a persistent hazard for area residents, businesses and property owners, with flooding documented 14 times since 1989. Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 is the storm of record for the watershed, with more than 13,000 homes flooded. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, an estimated 11,830 homes flooded along Halls Bayou.

Reducing flooding risks in the Halls Bayou watershed is a priority for the Harris County Flood Control District. The Bond Program approved by voters in 2018 includes more than $110 million for the Halls Bayou watershed, which has the potential to leverage more than $346 million in total project value, depending on federal funding approval.

Ongoing and recently completed projects in the watershed include:

  • Ongoing $8.1 million major maintenance project that began in 2017 to remove sediment and make erosion repairs in east Harris County, including several Halls Bayou tributaries.
    > Learn more about this maintenance project
  • Ongoing countywide repairs to drainage infrastructure damaged during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, including several Halls Bayou watershed tributaries.
    >Learn more about Harvey repairs
  • Ongoing Excavation of unnamed Stormwater Detention Basin, HCFCD Unit P518-10-00; Hopper Stormwater Detention Basin, HCFCD Unit P518-14-00; and related channel conveyance improvements to Tributary P118-14-00 – Bond Project C-35
    > Learn more about Bond Project C-35
  • Excavation of Stormwater Detention Basin, HCFCD Unit P518-21-00, and related channel conveyance improvements to Tributary P118-21-00 – Bond Project C-25
    > Learn more about Bond Project C-25

Halls Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Implementation Plan

In addition to ongoing projects, the Flood Control District is taking a watershed-wide approach to planning for this area. The Halls Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Implementation Plan is a current effort that builds upon an earlier Halls Bayou Vision Plan for reducing flooding risks in the Halls Bayou watershed. Also known as Halls Ahead and created with extensive community input between 2012 and 2013, the Vision Plan outlined an ambitious $1.7 billion in channel improvements across more than 20 miles of open channels, plus stormwater detention basins. The recommended channel improvements included the Halls Bayou main stem (HCFCD Unit P118-00-00) and notable tributaries, strategically combined with more than 10,000 acre-feet of additional stormwater detention storage.

The Halls Bayou implementation plan will prioritize and organize projects proposed for the watershed into a series of recommended phases that could be accomplished by the Flood Control District – over time and now with new funding from the 2018 Bond Program. Each project included in the recommended phases is designed to improve the level of protection from riverine flooding for structures within the watershed, while also providing environmental benefits where possible.

In addition, this effort will result in a more detailed feasibility plan for those projects identified for inclusion under Phase 1. For the initial project included in Phase 1, the project team will develop cost estimates and recommendations for acquiring right-of-way, relocating utilities, mitigating for environmental impacts, permitting and construction.

Potential projects include widening and deepening of channels, excavation of stormwater detention basins, and bridge modifications, as well as non-structural projects such as voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties. Channel modifications could include construction of grass-lined sections, retaining walls, concrete lining, enclosure with box culverts, and natural stable channel design. Projects designs would take into account competing community interests and trade-offs including aesthetics, the need for right-of-way acquisition, environmental enhancement, recreational opportunities, and budgetary constraints.

Several individual flood risk reduction projects are currently active as identified in the implementation plan. All are in the Development/Pre-engineering Stage of the project lifecycle. (Alternatives Analysis studies analyze existing conditions of the stream and propose viable alternatives to provide flood risk mitigation. These types of projects are a prerequisite to commissioning a Pre-Engineering Report, in which more detailed project design takes place.)

> Learn about the Project Lifecycle

A phased approach for the Halls Bayou Vision Plan will facilitate annual budget planning and securing of funds, early identification of potential funding partnerships, and will allow time for right-of-way acquisition.

Other major projects in the watershed:

  • Stormwater Detention Basin at the City of Houston’s Keith-Wiess Park, HCFCD Unit P518-02-00

> Enlarge map

> Active Construction Projects in Harris County (Interactive Map)

About Halls Bayou and its Watershed

Halls Bayou, a tributary of Greens Bayou, is located in north central Harris County. Approximately 20 miles in length, Halls Bayou collects stormwater from the Veterans Memorial Drive area, flowing east until it joins Greens Bayou at the City of Houston’s Brock Park. The watershed includes 37 tributaries of more than 1 mile – most with floodplains that have not been studied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and so are not included on flood insurance rate maps, also known as floodplain maps. The Halls Bayou watershed, as a sub-watershed of Greens Bayou, is not counted as one of Harris County's 22 watersheds.

The watershed comprises approximately 45 square miles, mostly developed with a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses. The population of the watershed is approximately 160,100, based on the 2010 Census.

Since May 2000, the Flood Control District has participated in approximately 273 voluntary buyouts in the Halls Bayou watershed that were largely funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency grants.  Many of these structures flooded repeatedly and the buyouts allowed residents to move to a safer location on higher ground. Two areas where buyouts were performed have been converted to large regional stormwater detention basins: Bretshire and Hall Park.

> Learn more about our buyout program

The Flood Control District oversees more than 2,500 miles of bayous and creeks throughout Harris County and routinely performs maintenance projects to repair channels and stormwater detention basins that have experienced erosion, slope failure and sediment buildup. The Flood Control District has invested more than $3 million in maintenance projects along Halls Bayou and its tributaries over the past 15 years, including de-silt and slope repair projects.

> Learn more about the mowing schedule for the Halls Bayou watershed