Projects & Studies
WHAT'S NEW? On March 27, 2018, Harris County Commissioners Court authorized negotiations with BGE Inc. to provide engineering services for additional channel improvements as part of the Hunting Bayou Federal Flood Risk Management Project, from U.S. 59 to the Homestead Stormwater Detention Basin outfall into Hunting Bayou. Construction began in August 2017 on the final phase of the Homestead basin, and the third phase of improvements to Hunting Bayou, from Homestead basin to Liberty Road. The two projects currently under construction, which work together to reduce flooding risks in the watershed, are expected to be complete in mid-2018.
Project Hunting (The Hunting Bayou Federal Flood Risk Management Project), is a $165 million flood damage reduction project under construction along Hunting Bayou from U.S. 59 to downstream of North Wayside Drive. Current and future project elements include:
- Excavating a stormwater detention basin on a 75-acre site near the northeast corner of Homestead Road and Loop 610
- Widening and deepening about 4 miles of Hunting Bayou
- Replacing or modifying approximately 20 bridges
When this project is complete, most neighborhoods near the bayou will see water surface elevation reductions of 3-4 feet for the 1 percent (100-year) flooding event. The number of homes and businesses subject to the 1 percent (100-year) flooding event would drop from 5,100 to 650, and all homes and businesses will benefit from the reduced frequency and depth of flooding.
On December 16, 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Harris County Flood Control District entered into a Project Partnership Agreement for the Hunting Bayou Federal Flood Risk Management Project. The agreement allows the Flood Control District to qualify for federal reimbursements for certain types of eligible work completed on Hunting Bayou. While federal funding is not certain, Project Hunting has a chance to receive funding -- if it is approved by the federal government. Whatever federal funding is received will be used to build additional segments of Project Hunting.
(Click on the map to see a larger version)
Construction began in August 2017 on the final phase of excavation for the stormwater detention basin formally identified as H500-01-00 and commonly referred to as the Homestead Stormwater Detention Basin. Approximately 784,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed during this phase. Construction was completed in 2015 on the $5.7 million second phase, in which approximately 648,000 cubic yards of soil were removed. The completed first phase removed 265,000 cubic yards of soil at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.
During the May 2015 Memorial Day rainfall event, the basin held more than 180 million gallons of stormwater that might otherwise have flooded homes and businesses. When all phases are complete, the Homestead basin will provide approximately 1,000 acre-feet of stormwater storage capacity, meaning that it will be able to hold approximately 326 million gallons of stormwater.
CHANNEL WIDENING STATUS
Project Hunting plans call for increasing the size of Hunting Bayou, with the ultimate, improved channel generally remaining in its earthen, grass-lined state. There are isolated circumstances where concrete lining will be used to ensure stability of existing structures and bridges.
Construction began in August 2017 on widening and deepening the 4,700-foot section of the channel between Homestead basin and Liberty Road. This project also will include replacing the pedestrian bridge located between Dabney Street and Loop 610 near Harris County Precinct 1's Hutcheson Park.
In 2017, the Flood Control District completed a portion of the channel between the North Loop 610 East Freeway feeder road near North George Street to Lockwood Drive, and from Hoffman Street to Dabney Street. This project included excavating and removing approximately 109,325 cubic yards of soil to create gently sloped terraces, or benches, within the channel that vary in width from approximately 40 to 140 feet. In 2014, the Flood Control District completed a project to widen the section of Hunting Bayou between Lockwood Drive and Hoffman Street, along the north side of Minden Street. That work involved excavating and removing approximately 39,000 cubic yards of soil along a 1,000-foot section of Hunting Bayou to create a bench that varies in width from approximately 30 to 330 feet. During periods of heavy rain, these benches provide additional capacity for holding excess stormwater.
Benching is an interim phase of the ultimate Project Hunting construction plan, allowing for immediate additional stormwater storage capacity in the channel. As future excavation progresses, the area will offer varied opportunities for recreational uses, including hike-and-bike trails.
The Flood Control District has:
- Contributed $868,000 toward lengthening a Union Pacific Railroad bridge downstream of Liberty Road to accommodate a wider Hunting Bayou.
- Entered into an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and contributed $2 million toward lengthening bridges on Loop 610 over Hunting Bayou.