Harris County Commissioners posted their agenda for next Tuesday and it has three Kingwood flood-mitigation projects on it.
- Preliminary engineering and final design services for improvements to:
- Taylor Gully
- Kingwood Diversion Ditch
- Purchase of Woodridge Village to build a stormwater detention basin in Montgomery County.
In case you plan to watch the meeting, all three items fall under Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD). Unless commissioners take items out of order, HCFCD projects usually come second on the agenda after Engineering. Below: exact text of each agenda item.
Agenda Item Text
Recommendation that the Harris County Flood Control District be authorized to negotiate an agreement for engineering services with IDCUS Inc. to provide preliminary engineering and final design services for improvements to Taylor Gully on HCFCD Unit G103-80-03.1. (San Jacinto River Watershed, Bond ID F-14, Project ID G103-80-03.1-E001, Precinct 4).
Recommendation that the Harris County Flood Control District be authorized to negotiate an agreement for engineering services with Neel-Schaffer, Inc. to provide preliminary engineering and final design services for improvements to the Kingwood Diversion Channel on HCFCD Unit G103-38-00. (San Jacinto River Watershed, Bond ID F-14, Project ID G103-38-00-E001, Precinct 4).
Recommendation that the Harris County Flood Control (District) be given authorization to decree that this District project serve a public purpose and public necessity require that the Harris County Real Property Division be directed to acquire two (2) fee simple tracts for the public project known as Woodridge Village Stormwater Detention Basin on behalf of the District, for the purpose of stormwater detention, in Montgomery County.
Woodridge Village Plan
If purchased from Perry Homes, HCFCD will swap part of Woodridge Village – the northern 77 acres of the 268 total – with the City of Houston. The City wants to build a wastewater treatment plant there and has negotiated with the County to swap land elsewhere in the City that HCFCD can use to reduce the cost of flood mitigation projects. The land reportedly includes parcels along Halls and Greens Bayous. This swap represents a win/win that helps protect more people throughout the City and County.
Scope of Engineering Studies Still Unclear
Contracts for the engineering studies have not yet been negotiated. However, we do have clues in the Kingwood Area Drainage Assessment final report about what these projects might include. Last October, HCFCD talked about:
- Widening and deepening Taylor Gully to increase conveyance and/or building the detention pond in Woodridge Village, which empties into Taylor Gully. So Woodridge and Taylor Gully are related; what happens with one will affect the other.
- Widening the Kingwood Diversion Ditch all the way from St. Martha’s Catholic Church at the county line to the San Jacinto West Fork. The Diversion Ditch project also included building a detention pond to ensure no adverse downstream impacts. Finally, the Drainage Assessment recommended splitting the ditch near Deer Ridge Park. The split would convey part of the floodwaters straight to the West Fork instead of routing all through River Grove Park via a circuitous route that takes them under Woodland Hills Drive which has washed out in the past.
No Recommendations Certain Yet
Nothing is certain yet. Commissioners Court deferred the Woodridge Village purchase five times last year – in April, May, July, August and September.
And as for the engineering work, a close reading of the text above shows that HCFCD has not yet negotiated contracts. HCFCD simply wants permission to negotiate the agreements. “Once we receive authorization to negotiate the agreements from Commissioners Court, we can meet with the consultants and develop the scope, schedule, and budget,” said Matt Zeve, Deputy Executive Director of HCFCD.
Regardless, this is good news and welcome progress for flood-weary Kingwood residents still struggling with recovery. These projects put us three steps closer to solutions.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/5/2021
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