East fork Mouth Bar Dredging

Dredgers Still Nibbling Away at East Fork Mouth Bar

Mechanical dredging is sloooooooooow. Two months after my last dredging update, contractors are still working on the same portion of the East Fork Mouth Bar complex just north of the entrance to Luce Bayou. The sand bar is question is one of many in the area that popped up after Harvey and Imelda.

Pictures Taken on 1/28/22

I took the first three images below this morning.

Looking East across the San Jacinto East Fork from Kingwood toward Luce Bayou in upper right. North is to the left. Photo taken on 1/28/22.
Dredgers are now working on a small island just upstream from Luce. But there’s a lot of work yet to do. Photo taken on 1/28/22.

The San Jacinto East Fork Mouth Bar grew more than 4,000 feet in length during Harvey and Imelda. River depth was reduced to 3 feet, according to boaters. That reduced conveyance of the river and contributed to flooding of homes on both sides.

This damage map shows that almost 1300 homes flooded in the East Fork watershed during Harvey. However, it’s not clear how far upstream any backwater effect extended from the East Fork mouth bar.

Looking south, downstream toward Lake Houston and the FM1960 causeway. Photo taken on 1/28/22.

Earlier Images

Compare the photo above taken today to the one below taken two months ago.

Comparable shot taken on 11/30/21, two months ago.

Since November, dredgers have eliminated the remainder of the bar in the distance and reduced the size of the one in the foreground.

See a satellite image of the full bar below before dredging started.

Contractors have removed sediment from the area outlined in red since dredging began in October 2021.

It took three months just for contractors to dredge their way through the Royal Shores channel to get to East Fork (July, August, September 2021). East Fork dredging started in October last year. Removing sediment from the area in red above has taken four months. But it’s only a small portion of the work that needs to be done as you can see in the second image above that looks upstream.

Naturally, residents are asking, “How much more does the City intend to do?” The answer to that question is still unsettled.

Vendor for Long-Range Dredging Plan Still Not Decided

In August of last year, the City of Houston started searching for a consultant to develop a long-range dredging plan for Lake Houston. The timetable in the Request for Qualifications (Page 4) stated that the City hoped to select a vendor by November, approve the contract in December, and start work in January.

The project attracted a lot of attention. Thirteen companies expressed interest. And eleven signed up for a pre-bid conference. However, the purchasing agent for the City, Bridget Cormier, stated that “The City has not yet made a decision, nor a recommendation for award yet.” She explained, “We are still in the evaluation phase and have requested additional information from suppliers that moved forward in the process.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/28/2022

1613 Days since Hurricane Harvey