Mistaken Reports of Dredging Near US59 Bridge; Where Things Really Stand

In the last two days, several people have reported dredging near the US59 Bridge. What they actually saw, however, was not a dredge; it was dredge pipe, booster pumps and other related equipment being positioned to pump spoils to Placement Area #2, the Eagle Mine just south of Kingwood College on Sorters Road.

Here’s where things stand a little more than two weeks since the launch of the first dredge on August 20, 2018.

Both the Army Corps and Council Member Dave Martin swear that the scope of the project has not changed. The original scope covered approximately 2.1 miles of the West Fork from River Grove Park to Chimichurri’s just east of the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge.

Illustration from US Army Corps’ contract plans for West Fork Dredging showing project scope.

Some confusion arose over that when the first dredge anchored WEST of the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge for almost two weeks. The dredge anchored near the overhead electrical lines in the middle of section C-102.

Last week, the Corps continued to position dredge pipe and booster pumps between the first dredge and the command site just south of Forest Cove. Additionally, Corps engineers scouted out the route upstream to Placement Area #2.

Army Corps personnel scouting area between Placement Area 2 and the command site last week.

This week, the Corps started pre-positioning pipe, booster pumps and other equipment up the West Fork between the Command Center and Placement Area #2. Below are several pictures taken this afternoon that show what’s happening where.

 This is the booster pump mistaken for the dredge. It is anchored between the railroad bridge and the northbound feeder lanes for US59.

Additional equipment started towing pipe up the West Fork past the confluence of Spring Creek, just west of USt59.

Dredge #1 also started to move farther downstream, closer to the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge.

Taken from West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge looking west, upstream.

Placement Area #1 started receiving sand and was already partially filled when photographed late afternoon Friday.

Placement Area #1 south of the river behind the apartments on Townsend is already receiving spoils.

This portion of the old sand pit has already filled back up with sediment. Notice the slight curvature of the surface. It’s higher on the right than on the left. Wading birds are already picking over the sand looking for a meal that may have been dredged up from the river.

At the opposite end of the pit, water drains out and back to the river after sediment has settled out.

Dredge #2 is scheduled to launch by October 15, according to Lt. Col. Mark Williford with the US Army Corps of Engineers. As of today, though, dredge #2 was still docked at the command site in its usual place.

Dredge #2 is still anchored at the command site as of Friday afternoon, 10/5/18 at 5pm.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/5/2018, with photographic help from Kevin Rehak.

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