floodwater detention basin

Progress Report New Woodridge Village Floodwater Detention Basin

A new floodwater detention basin that will ultimately more than double the capacity of Woodridge Village is expanding slowly but steadily. To date, 33,159 cubic yards have been excavated! The pictures below show progress since the start of work in late January.

Photos showing Progress

Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) announced the project on 11/24/2021. Excavation started on 1/27/22.

beginning of Woodridge Village excavation
First truckloads of of excavated material leave the southwest corner of the site on 1/27/22. Looking SW.
Wider shot taken on same day looking NE looking in opposite direction. The new basin will eventually expand to cover most of the area within the road, tree-line on the left, and the ditch that bisects the property from left to right.
Photo taken on 2/14/22 shows the excavation expanding. Looking SW.
Four days later. 2/18/22. Looking SW toward entrance.
Another three days later, on 2/21/22.
3/22/22 after a 2.26 inch rain.
3/28/22. Looking NE.
4/17/22. Looking SW.
Basin will ultimately expand to green boundary.

About Vendor’s Contract

The stormwater detention basin still has a long way to go before it reaches its ultimate size. HCFCD is excavating it under the terms of an E&R (Excavation and Removal) contract with Sprint Sand and Clay.

Sprint has agreed to remove up to 500,000 Cubic Yards of dirt for only $1,000. However, it has the right to sell the dirt at market rates to make a profit. But the dirt can only elevate structures outside of current floodplains.

Three Months Into Contract, Beating the Minimums

When Perry Homes finished its planned floodwater detention basins, it had enough capacity to hold a hundred year rain as defined by pre-Atlas-14 standards. But capacity fell 40% short of Atlas-14 requirements.

The addition of the new detention basin should take capacity well beyond Atlas-14 requirements and create a safety margin that accommodates additional upstream development.

Excavation under an E&R contract can have ups and downs. When construction booms, excavation moves along quickly. But when construction slows, excavation can, too. However, the contract does have minimum excavation requirement of 10,000 cubic yards per month written into it.

At 36,000 cubic yards after roughly 2.5 months, Sprint exceeds the minimum. But if that rate continues, it could take another four years to reach 500,000 cubic yards.

At some point, the county may choose to step in and pay market rates for excavation to speed things up. But until then, every truckload hauled out of Woodridge Village by Sprint will reduce the ultimate cost.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/18/2022

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