HCFCD to Begin Next Phase of Ben’s Branch Clean Out in October
Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and its contractors met today with representatives of Kings Forest, the Bear Branch Trail Association and Kingwood Service Association to discuss the next phase of the Ben’s Branch clean out. On the south, the project lies entirely within the Creekwood Nature Area between Kingwood High School and the old H-E-B shopping center. Rocky Woods Drive forms the northern extent of the project. This will extend northward the work already completed south of Kingwood Drive.
Maintenance Objective: Restore Conveyance
The objective: to restore conveyance of Ben’s Branch and reduce potential for flooding in Kings Forest, Bear Branch, the Kingwood High School, and Kingwood Town Center.
Sediment has restricted the flow of the channel gradually during the last three decades. It now contributes to flooding.
During Harvey, many homes on both sides of the stream flooded. Many also flooded again during Imelda.
Walking along the creek today, the first thing one notices is a craggy channel with sides that seem to have slumped into the stream. Flood control surveys, however, show that is not the case. The channel filled with sediment. Then the stream eroded down again through the accumulated sediment.
Continual cycles of deposition and erosion have clogged, deformed and narrowed the creek.
Approximately 15,000 Cubic Yards of Sediment To Be Removed
Getting the channel back to its original state will require removal of approximately 15,000 cubic yards of sediment. However, engineers have not yet determined the exact number.
The scope of work will include replacement of damaged drain pipes that carry water to the ditch.
The job is still in its planning stages. Actual dirt work should begin sometime in October.
Funded with Help from USDA NRCS
A grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will help HCFCD fund the project. Contractors will haul the excavated dirt to nearby TCEQ-approved landfill sites outside of the .02% annual chance (500-year) flood plain.
Downstream, the project will stop at Kingwood Drive. Note below how the channel under the Kingwood Drive bridge is virtually twice as large as the channel in the foreground.
When complete, this project should make the channel north of Kingwood Drive as wide as it is south of Kingwood Drive. It’s all about getting the channel back to its designed carrying capacity.
An exact timetable for the project is not yet available, but it will take several months.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/4/2020
1102 Days after Hurricane Harvey