On August 28, 2023, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) published two lists of projects that it will advertise in the next year. The first contains upcoming HCFCD projects going out for construction bids. The second contains requests for qualifications and proposals (RFQs and RFPs) for engineering designs and studies.
Of the 50 total projects on the two lists, only one pertains to the Lake Houston Area, a request for qualifications (RFQ) on the Kingwood Diversion Ditch design.
Another is for Barrett Station Drainage Improvements, but Barrett Station is about 5 miles south of the Lake Houston dam near Highway 90 and FM2100.
In fact, only one construction project out of 24 even pertains to Precinct 3, a TC Jester stormwater detention basin.
Construction Projects Going Out for Bid
Virtually all projects on both lists pertain to precincts led by Democratic commissioners. Given how long it takes to get projects into construction, it could take years before the Kingwood Diversion Ditch project moves into construction.
It normally takes 3-4 months from the time HCFCD advertises a construction project before a shovel goes in the ground.
Engineering/Design Studies Being Advertised
From the time an engineering study goes out for bid, it normally takes 12-18 months until shovels turn, but the time can vary widely depending on the nature of the project. Here’s the most recent list of engineering jobs being advertised.
For printable lists of both types of projects in PDF format, click here.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey also pointed out that he hopes to move forward with several Lake Houston Area drainage projects using his own budget, not HCFCD’s. So the picture isn’t quite as bleak as the lists above make it look. However, his team is not yet ready to talk about those projects.
What About Taylor Gully/Woodridge Village?
The Taylor Gully and Woodridge Village engineering project(s) were previously advertised. “HCFCD awarded design to Halff based on qualifications,” said HCFCD spokesperson Beth Walters. “This effort will include both Taylor Gully and Woodridge, as the channel conveyance improvements on Taylor Gully cannot be constructed without having the appropriate stormwater mitigation in place first.”
Walters added, “We are currently negotiating scope items with Halff (the normal first step of the process once the consultant has been selected).”
After design completion, HCFCD will advertise for construction. Construction does not show up on these lists because it will be more than 12 months out.
Lake Houston Gates Being Handled by City of Houston
The City of Houston is handling the Lake Houston Gates project. So, it wouldn’t show up on the HCFCD lists either.
Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin had this to say about the status of the gates project. “We are presently in ‘final design’ on the eleven gate structure, in the earthen embankment area, east of the existing Lake Houston Spillway Dam.”
“Estimated start of construction, pending permits, environmental studies, etc. will be 2025 Q1 or Q2,” said Martin. “Our money from the 2023 State legislative session should arrive by December 2023. We also have money from the 2021 state legislature which they will allow us to reappropriate from dredging to the gates if necessary.”
Martin also pointed to two dredging projects handled by the City. Canal dredging in Huffman is already underway. And “Within the next 2-3 weeks, we will start a FEMA funded project, south of the West Fork mouth bar, near Atascocita Shores,”said Martin. “This will remove approximately one million additional yards of sediment.”
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/6/2023
2199 Days since Hurricane Harvey