HCFCD Lower Ben’s Branch Clean-out Project Nears Final Stretch

The project to remove approximately 76,285 cubic yards of sediment from the lower reaches of Ben’s Branch in Kingwood is nearing its goal.

High-Priority Ben’s Branch Project Began Last August

This was a high priority project for Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) not just because of the sedimentation, but because of the destruction it helped cause during Hurricane Harvey.

  • 12 seniors from Kingwood Village Estates died either as a result injuries sustained during evacuation, or the stress of losing everything they owned.
  • Every home in the Enclave flooded: 283 out of 283.
  • All homes in Kingwood Greens flooded: 225 out of 225.
  • More than half the homes in Fosters Mill flooded: 346 out of 549.
  • The Kingwood Country Club flooded.
  • The Deerwood Club flooded.
  • 100% of the businesses in Kingwood Town Center flooded.
  • 100% of the businesses in Kings Harbor flooded.
  • Kingwood High School flooded to the second floor.
  • Kingwood’s library flooded.
Scope of project starts at red line on Kingwood Drive and curls south to the YMCA, where oval intersects West Lake Houston Parkway and blue line.
Construction crews today were working on both sides of the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge just above the Y.

The Ben’s Branch cleanup began last August, but suffered a setback during Tropical Storm Imelda. Much of the sediment that had been piled on the sides of the channel washed back into it during the storm.

Crews Making Up for Lost Time Since Imelda

Since then, however, Flood Control crews have been making up for lost time. Construction weather has been almost ideal. I took all the photos below on the afternoon of 1/7/2020.

Contractor pulls sediment from Ben’s Branch under the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge.
Just west of the WLHP Bridge, adjacent to Kingwood Greens in the background, another excavator was pulling sediment from Ben’s Branch and pushing it closer to shore…
…where yet another excavator was loading dump trucks. Contractors will remove an estimated 7,000 loads from the stream.
On the East side of the WLHP bridge, two more excavators tag-teamed more sediment. While one worked the shoreline…
Another broke up clumps of sediment and pulled it from the stream.
The current downstream extent of work is just north of the YMCA. That bend in Ben’s Branch behind the excavator is the final bend in the project.

For More Information

HCFCD expected the Ben’s Branch project to take 9 months. That would put completion in April. At the current rate, the contractor should make that date and perhaps beat it.

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.

All Kingwood residents will breath easier when HCFCD finishes Ben’s Branch.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/7/2020

861 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 110 since Imelda