Ben’s Branch Clean Out to Begin August 19

Good news! Jason Krahn with the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) has announced that the District will start restoring conveyance capacity to Bens Branch beginning August 19, 2019.  The contractor’s official start date is that Monday, but it will take several days to move equipment to the site. “So the citizens of Kingwood should see the contractor on site by midweek,” said Krahn.

Project Scope

The project will include removing and disposing of approximately 76,285 cubic yards of sediment accumulations. This will be a multi-step process. First, HCFCD’s contractor, Solid Bridge Construction, LLC, must remove the soil from the creek. Then the soil must drain and dry. Finally, dump trucks will remove the excavated material.

Scope of Ben’s Branch project outlined in red.

The project will extend from Kingwood Drive south to the library, then east under West Lake Houston Parkway to the YMCA, then south again to an area adjacent to Deerwood Country Club. It will stop 1800 feet from the river where the the ditch flattens out into a natural stream, near the Y canoe launch.

Sedimentation restricting the conveyance of Ben’s Branch between the library and West Lake Houston Parkway. Looking west from bridge.

The east/west portion of this project above became severely silted during Harvey, contributing to flooding in Kingwood Greens, Town Center, the Enclave, Kingwood Village Estates. A dozen seniors died in Kingwood Village Estates from injuries sustained during the evacuation or from the stress of seeing their homes destroyed when they returned.

City Portion of Ditch South of Y Not Included

The City of Houston reports that it has not yet secured maintenance easements from adjoining property owners south of the Y.

Most of the ditch adjoins property owned by the Clubs of Kingwood. Here’s what it looks like from a drone. My thanks to Jim Zura of Zura Productions for his time and expertise in securing this footage.

Ben’s Branch out of the YMCA looking toward Lake Houston. HCFCD project does NOT include this portion which is controlled by the City of Houston. Note the dredge operation in the distance at the end of this video. Drone footage courtesy of Jim Zura, Zura Productions.

For more information about the project, consult the Kingwood pages of the HCFCD website. The project ID is # G103-33-00-X004 – Bens Branch Conveyance Restoration.

Last month, HCFCD completed a clean out of the portion of Ben’s Branch near Northpark Drive and Woodland Hills Drive.

Nine Months to Complete

Krahn expects the lower portion of Ben’s Branch to take 9 months. Construction equipment will access the work area via the established access points from Kingwood Drive, Bens View, West Lake Houston Parkway, and Denmere. The contractor will use heavy construction equipment such as dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers. Motorists should stay on high alert for truck traffic when passing near construction access points. 

Expect Extra Traffic

The average commercial dump truck holds ten to fourteen cubic yards. So this project could result in 5,500 to more than 7,000 round-trips before its over.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/12/2019 with video from Jim Zura of Zura Productions

713 Days since Hurricane Harvey