Update on Ben’s Branch and Other Drainage Repair Projects from Flood Control District

In March of this year, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) announced a project to excavate more than a mile of Ben’s Branch in Kingwood. HCFCD expects to remove approximately 8,600 dump-truck loads of sediment that clog the creek between Kingwood Drive and the San Jacinto River.

Bens Branch cuts diagonally through the heart of Kingwood. Project area circled.

Current Conditions on Ben’s Branch

During Harvey, hundreds of homes and businesses flooded near the creek. It contributed to flooding in Kings Forest, Town Center, The Enclave, Kings Harbor, and Kingwood Greens. The project area affects all of those subdivisions, plus Kingwood Village Estates where 12 seniors died, either as a result of injuries sustained during evacuation or the subsequent stress of losing their homes.

Harris County Surveying Crew in Ben’s Branch just west of West Lake Houston Parkway and south of the Kingwood Library.
More sediment buildups just east of West Lake Houston Parkway on Ben’s Branch, south of the Enclave and north of the YMCA.

Next Steps for Ben’s Branch

Since the announcement of the project to restore conveyance on Ben’s Branch, HCFCD has been busy negotiating access rights to the stream. The District has also finalized construction plans and bidding specs. According to Beth Walters, a flood control district employee who lives in Kingwood, here’s what to expect next and when.

“We plan to advertise the project five times,” says Walters, “to attract bidders. Ads will appear through June 15.” She also said HCFCD held a mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties.

Eleven potential bidders attended. “Hopefully, we’ll get some good unit prices,” said Jason Brock, the manager of HCFCD’s maintenance engineering department.

Project Award by July 9, Construction to Start Immediately

HCFCD expects to open bids on June 17th and award the project at the commissioner’s court meeting on July 9. Mark your calendars!

The winning bidder will have 250 calendar days, per the contract, to finish the job. That means the project should be finished by next February or March.

Status of Other Kingwood Projects

Yesterday, Commissioners Court approved a Kingwood Area Drainage Assessment Plan. The objectives of the plan are to:

  • Dermine the current conveyance of all creeks and ditches in the Kingwood area
  • Measure that against current and projected needs
  • Make recommendations for improvements.

But first, HCFCD must select a consultant. The project should kick off this summer after consultant selection.

In the meantime, HCFCD is repairing damage due to Harvey at several locations.

1. Project ID G103-38-00-X020 consists of repairs at three (3) locations along G103-38-00:

a.    Site 5416 consists of slope failure repair, including excavation of sloughed materials, disposal of unsuitable materials, and rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 1900 feet north of Walnut Ln.

b.    Site 5680 consists of erosion repair and pipe replacement including reestablishing channel toelines, and rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 250 feet south of Walnut Ln.

c.    Site 5682 consists of erosion repair including excavation of sloughed material, reestablishing channel toelines, and rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 500 feet northwest of Deer Ridge Estates Blvd.

2. Project ID G103-38-01-X010 consists of repairs at one (1) location along G103-38-01:

a.    Site 3228 consists of slope erosion repair including rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 70 feet west of Chestnut Ridge Rd.

3. Project ID G103-41-00-X008 consists of repairs at two (2) locations along G103-41-00:

a.    Site 5622 consists of slope erosion repair including lishing channel toelines, excavation of soils to reestablish channel width, and rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 1350 feet south of Kingwood Dr.

b.    Site 5622A consists of channel scour and slope repair including filling scouring with a well graded mix, reestablishment of channel toelines, and rebuilding side slopes. The Site is located approximately 1600 feet south of Kingwood Dr. 

Helpful HCFCD Links

This page on the HCFCD web site explains their numbering system.

Some of these repairs may already be complete. This interactive map shows the status of active projects.

You can read more about the Harvey Repair Program here: https://www.hcfcd.org/press-room/current-news/2018/04/hcfcd-begins-drive-on-84-million-hurricane-repair-program/

For more specific information about Flood Control projects in the Kingwood area, including vegetation management, click here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on June 5, 2019

645 Days after Hurricane Harvey