Ben's Branch Video Keyframe from Josh Alberson

Getaway During Lockdown: Cruise Down Ben’s Branch in Josh Alberson’s Jet Boat

When I saw this meme, it made me realize that people feel walls closing in on them from the virus lockdown.

So take a quick getaway. Cruise down Ben’s Branch with Josh Alberson in his jet boat. Jetboats have a very shallow draft, so they can get into areas too shallow for propeller-driven boats.

First Video Shows HCFCD Excavation Work Up Close

Josh sent in two videos. One shows the area where Harris County flood control is currently excavating the last of almost 80,000 cubic yards of sediment. In this video, Josh’s boat moves slowly so as not to create wakes that endanger workers.

As he moves under the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge, you can see an excavator stacking wet soil on the shore where it will drain before trucks haul it away.

Video courtesy of Josh Alberson

Said Beth Walters of Harris County Flood Control, “The material placed along the south bank of Ben’s Branch is drying out. It will be disposed of offsite. The south bank of the bayou will remain in the same location. This is a maintenance project to restore the channel.”

Second Video: High Speed to Lake Houston

The second video is more exciting. It makes you want to go out and buy a jet boat and explore the river and its tributaries.

As Josh moves past the YMCA and approaches the Deerwood Club, he pulls the throttles out all the way to Lake Houston.

Says Josh, “The Mouth Bar really extends all the way to shore. From the visible island to the park in the Cove, it is all only 2 ft or so deep. While Ben’s Branch may be up to 6 ft deep, it dumps out into a 2 ft deep flat.”

Video courtesy of Josh Alberson

But that’s City property and another project for another day.

Plans for Area South of Kingwood Drive

These videos do not show Ben’s Branch immediately south of Kingwood Drive to the Kingwood Library. Many readers ask about the aesthetics of that reach. Even though the construction has moved past that area, it still looks ragged.

Said Walters, “The contractor will be required to dress up the site so that turf grass establishment can occur. Contractors typically dress up the site and complete all final grading just before moving off site. Once dressed, HCFCD’s vegetation team will place turf grass placed upon it. The final condition of the entire project site will be as it was before, with turf grass on all of the earthen berms and banks.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/8/2020 with thanks to Josh Alberson, Beth Walters and HCFCD

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