More Woodridge Village Excavation Started Today

In the afternoon of 1/27/22, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) contractor Sprint Sand & Clay began excavation of additional detention pond capacity on Woodridge Village. Woodridge is the former Perry Homes property implicated in the flooding of Elm Grove Village and North Kingwood Forest twice in 2019. Numerous factors contributed to the flooding. But insufficient detention pond capacity led the pack. The volume excavated by Perry contractors fell about 40% short of Atlas-14 requirements.

Initial Work Will Improve Access

The initial work will improve access to the site. Sprint says it hopes to begin excavation in earnest next week. By comparing the picture and map below, you can see that the task will be immense.

Looking NE at main portion of Woodridge Village Site as excavation of new detention pond begins. It will extend to the pond in the upper right.
Excavation off the green area above will more than double the detention pond capacity on the Woodridge Village Site.

History of Project and Contract Details

In February last year, HCFCD purchased Woodridge Village with the intention of creating additional detention pond capacity. Fast forward to November 2021. HCFCD and Sprint signed an E&R contract. E&R stands for Excavation and Removal. Under the terms of their contract, Sprint Sand & Clay will excavate material as needed.

HCFCD will pay Sprint just $1000 to excavate 500,000 cubic yards. Sprint then has the right to resell the dirt to developers, contractors and road builders at market rates and pocket the profit.

Taxpayers generally like E&R contracts, but anxious homeowners may worry about the “as needed” clause. That can slow work down if market demand falters. Nevertheless, Sprint has an obligation to remove at least 5,000 cubic yards a month. That’s enough to fill 500 dump trucks. In total, they’ll fill 50,000 before the job is done.

Covid Delayed Start

The project could have started in December, but Covid-related absences slowed the contractor. This afternoon, however, the contractor began a) clearing an access road for trucks into the site and b) clearing space for a construction trailer near the excavation. The contractor hopes to begin excavation in earnest next week. But again, they make no guarantees on that point.

Pictures Taken 1/27/22

Regardless, signs of progress are welcome. Here are pictures taken of the project just hours into it.

Sprint began by clearing a two-lane road for their trucks opposite the entrance to the Northpark Recreation Area on Woodland Hills Drive. The company plans to work around the high school’s schedule (upper right).
The company began by clearing an area near the entrance to the largest portion of the site.
Dirt from the initial excavation is being stockpiled near the Woodland Hills entrance opposite Kingwood Park High School for the moment.

The contractor appears to be shuttling dirt from the excavation area toward the entrance. It’s not immediately clear whether that dirt will be used to build up a construction road or hauled offsite.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/27/2022

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