Maintenance and Construction Work Beginning on Bens Branch

Here’s some much needed good news regarding Bens Branch. One small maintenance project began last week and an even bigger one should kick off within the next two weeks. Bens Branch cuts diagonally through Kingwood and drains a major portion of the community.

Bens Branch Between North Park and St. Martha Started Last Week

Last week, Harris County Flood Control crews began excavating Bens Branch from North Park to below the old St. Martha’s church. In recent years, the creek had become badly silted and overgrown with vegetation. When the May 7th rains hit, several local businesses flooded including the St. Martha Catholic School and Kids in Action. County maintenance should soon restore normal conveyance through this area. These photos taken last Friday by Thomas Blailock, a Bear Branch resident, show how badly the creek had become constricted.

Photo of Bens Branch taken from Woodland Hills Bridge on Friday, 6/28/2019. Kids in Action is in background. St. Martha is out of frame on the right. Courtesy of Thomas Blailock.
Another photo courtesy of Thomas Blailock showing how badly Bens Branch was constricted in this area.
Note how shallow the ditch has become. Only the bottom tread of the excavator was visible in this standing water.

Bens Branch South of Kingwood Drive Starts Next Month

For the last two months, Harris County Flood Control has also been compiling specs, soliciting vendors and receiving bids for the excavation of Bens Branch between Kingwood Drive and about 1000 feet north of the West Fork San Jacinto River. That area has also become badly silted.

Scope of new Bens Branch excavation project
Bens Branch at West Lake Houston Parkway immediately south of Amegy Bank.

Excavation of approximately 80,000 cubic yards of sediment should begin in July and last for several months. Prepare for dump trucks on the road for the next few months. It will be inconvenient and dirty, but that’s the price of restoring the conveyance of the creek.

This portion of Bens Branch contributed to the flooding of Town Center, The Enclave, Kingwood Village Estates, Kingwood Greens, the YMCA and Kings Harbor and five apartment complexes. Twelve people in Kingwood Village Estates died as a result of injuring sustained during the evacuation or the stress of losing their homes when they returned.

Jason Krahn, the project manager at Harris County Flood Control said last Friday that, “A recommendation to award Project ID # G103-33-00-X004 – Conveyance Restoration on Bens Branch to Solid Bridge Construction, LLC, has been made, and that recommendation to award is scheduled to be on the Harris County Commissioners Court (HCCC) Agenda for HCCC approval of the recommendation to award on July 9, 2019.”  

Once the award has been officially voted on and approved by the Commissioners Court, the Harris County Purchasing Agent’s office will work to obtain the executed contract, and the necessary bonds from the  Contractor so that the project can move forward to construction.  Expect to see about 40 dump trucks per day (8600 loads in total) on the streets of Kingwood.

Money for both of these projects does not come out of the flood bond. It comes from the Harris County Flood Control District Maintenance Budget.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/30/19

670 Days since Hurricane Harvey