Commissioners Approve Excavation Contract for Regional Detention Pond on Taylor Gully

In yesterday’s Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Spring Sand & Clay LLC for excavation of a regional detention pond on Taylor Gully in Montgomery County at the Woodridge Village site.

Preliminary Engineering Began in Early July

Earlier this year, Harris County purchased Woodridge Village from Perry Homes for this purpose. Currently, engineers are examining several Taylor Gully alternatives.

Woodridge Village
Looking north across Woodridge Village toward Porter from over the Harris/Montgomery County line. The abandoned development currently has five detention ponds that will hold about 60% of the rain in an Atlas-14 100-year storm.

Currently, Idcus, Inc., an engineering company, has been contracted to look at:

  1. Whether existing detention and proposed channel improvements would suffice to mitigate flooding
  2. Whether expanding existing detention would eliminate the need for channel improvements
  3. A combination of the two scenarios above – determining the amount of additional detention and channel improvements necessary to ensure no adverse impact all the way to Lake Houston.
  4. Out-of-the-box alternatives that ensure no adverse impact while maximizing flood mitigation and minimizing construction costs.

The Idcus contract calls for the company to deliver channel and basin layouts for Taylor Gully no later than 300 days from the notice to proceed, which presumably was given in early July. However, excavation could start much sooner than that. (See below.)

Pieces of Puzzle Falling into Place

The no-cost contract with Sprint lets them set their own timetable as long as they complete improvements within three years. Sprint’s timetable will be driven by the company’s ability to sell the material they excavate; that forms their compensation.

The next step is for Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) to provide a grading plan to the contractor. While that will not happen tomorrow, the good news is that it won’t require waiting 300 days.

HCFCD can start excavating the retention pond before plans are finalized. After all, it’s not a problem if a detention pond holds more than the minimum required. It’s only a problem if it holds less. Engineers and contractors can adjust plans if necessary after excavation starts. This approach should minimize flood risk for worried Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest residents.

All the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/21/2021

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