The rate of excavation for another stormwater detention basin on the Woodridge Village property picked up 47% in the last five weeks. That’s compared to the weekly average since Sprint Sand and Clay began excavating last year under the terms of its Excavation and Removal (E&R) contract with Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD).
- The current weekly rate is the highest since last July.
- As of:
- January 30, 2023, Sprint had excavated 80,360 cubic yards (CY)
- March 6, 2023, Sprint has excavated 93,023 CY, according to HCFCD.
- Dividing the difference by five weeks, yields an average of 2,532.6 CY per week.
- The weekly average since the start of excavation 54 weeks ago equals 1722.7 CY.
- So, the February/early March data is an increase of more than 800 cubic yards per week compared to the long-term average, a 47% increase.
Demand for dirt under E&R contracts varies with housing starts and road construction. Housing starts have slowed greatly in recent months as interest rates have increased to cool inflation. It’s not clear yet whether the increased rate of excavation represents a temporary blip or the beginning of a turnaround in the market for dirt.
Then and Now Photos
Here’s the extent of excavation on the new pond as of January 24, 2023.
Here’s how the new basin looks today from approximately the same location – much longer!
Increased Rate is Welcome News
The increase in the excavation rate is welcome news for residents who flooded twice in 2019, thanks in large part to Woodridge Village construction practices. Perry Homes left the aborted development about 40% short of Atlas-14 requirements. Since then HCFCD and the City of Houston bought the site and are working on ways to reduce flood risk.
E&R contracts give HCFCD a low-cost head start on mitigation as engineers finalize plans. Knowing that they will need additional stormwater detention capacity, HCFCD established a flexible contract with Sprint for only $1,000. It lets Sprint remove up 500,000 CY and sell the dirt at market rates. This virtually eliminates a major construction cost and provides major savings to taxpayers.
Sprint is obligated to remove a minimum average of 5,000 CY per month and must place the dirt outside of the 100-year floodplain. The contract lasts three years.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/6/2023
2015 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 1264 since Imelda
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