HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a summary of its work plan for studies and construction projects related improving flood protection in the future The funding comes from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was passed and signed into law on February 9 of this year.
“The Harris County Flood Control District is pleased to report that many of our requests are included in the posted work plan,” said a statement issued on Friday.
The federal government will pay $3 million for a study led by the Army Corps of engineers, which will evaluate the existing Addicks and Barker reservoirs and recommend operational changes and/or physical projects to improve the effectiveness of the reservoirs in reducing flood risks upstream and downstream.
The federal government will also pay $3 million for a county-wide drainage study to look at Harris County’s drainage infrastructure as a system, identifying potential inadequacies and potential improvements to the overall system.
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Also included is federal funding to complete ongoing construction of four active federal flood risk reduction projects that the Flood Control District is currently working on with the Corps. These construction projects include:
*$75 million for the Brays Bayou Federal Project, consisting of around 21 miles of channel improvements, 11,400 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume, and 30 bridge replacements or modifications
*$295,165,000 for the Clear Creek Federal Project, which includes 15 miles of channel improvements and around 1,400 acre-feet of additional stormwater detention volume in several basins
*$65 million for the Hunting Bayou Federal Project, which calls for around 4 miles of channel improvements, 1,000 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume, and 17 bridge replacements or modifications
*$45 million for the White Oak Bayou Federal Project, consisting of over 15 miles of channel improvements and almost 3,000 acre-feet of stormwater detention volume.
It’s still not clear exactly when the funind will be released, but the fact that these investigations and projects were specifically named and have targeted funding is “very positive news,” said Russ Poppe, Executive Director of the Flood Control District.
“The Corp’s work plan announcement is great news for us as we have been advocating for project funding of these critical projects for many years,” Poppe said. “This secured funding will allow us to complete these projects in a much shorter timeframe – as compared to the uncertainty of annual appropriations – and will reduce flood risks for thousands of Harris County residents.”
The work plan also includes short-term funding for repairs to damaged drainage infrastructure, and while several projects within Harris County are listed, exact dollar amounts have not yet been allocated.
The Flood Control District greatly appreciates the Texas Congressional Delegation for passing and funding the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 in response to Hurricane Harvey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for selecting to complete these critical flood risk reduction projects in Harris County.
Congressman Pete Olson of Fort Bend County is pleased with the Corps work plan too.
“The Houston region was devastated by Hurricane Harvey last August,” Rep. Pete Olson said. “In addition to the recovery work that has already been done, one of my top priorities is to secure critical funds to prevent future flood damage. Projects like Clear Creek will prevent thousands of homes from potential future flooding. I thank the Army Corps for recognizing the importance of these projects to the Houston region. I also thank my Houston colleagues for their unwavering support during the process to secure these funds, I’m glad we can finally begin work on these critical projects to keep folks safe and prevent future flooding damage.”