Excavation and Removal Progress at Woodridge Village

Woodridge Village Excavation Slows

During September, Sprint Sand & Clay excavated another 5,698 cubic yards of material from Woodridge Village, down slightly from the previous month. However, that brought the total to date up to 150,724 cubic yards – a nice milestone.

Attempted development of the property contributed to the flooding of neighboring properties twice in 2019 during May and September.

Background of Project

Sprint’s excavation will create a sixth stormwater detention basin on the former Perry Homes property purchased by Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and the City of Houston in 2021.

Sprint began excavation in January of 2022 under an Excavation and Removal Contract (E&R). The E&R contract gives Sprint the right to remove up to 500,000 cubic yards of material for just $1,000. Sprint then makes its money back by selling the dirt at market rates.

Where Things Stand

To date, here’s where things stand in relation to possible goals:

Acre Feet of Stormwater Detention% of Atlas-14 Requirement% of Ultimate
Site Had When Purchased from Perry Homes27170%47%
Has as of 10/3/23364.494.6%62.8%
Atlas 14 Requires385100%66%
If Sprint Excavates All 500K Cubic Yards580150%100%
As of 10/3/23

The rate of excavation slowed in September compared to August. During August Sprint excavated 10,353 cubic yards – almost twice as much.

E&R contracts often fluctuate like this depending on home- and road-building activity nearby. Regardless, Sprint still exceeded its contract’s monthly minimum of 5,000 cubic yards.

Before/After Pictures For September

The first two photos below show the extent of excavation at the beginning and end of September.

Woodridge Village E&R activity
Looking NE from SW Corner. Beginning of September.
End of September 2023

I see no dramatic changes. They did, however, nibble away at the edges in the top left corner, where the tire tracks lead to. Here’s a closeup of that area.

NW limit of excavation as of September 30, 2023
Reverse angle looking SW. Notice removal of surface layer in the lower right.
Entry view, 9/30/23

Rain always slows construction activity and it may have played a role here. The pool of water above was one third this size at the start of the month.

5,698 cubic yards of material for September equals 3.5 acre feet. At that rate, the detention basin will not reach Atlas-14 requirements for another 5-6 months. It appears unlikely at this point that Sprint will meet Atlas-14 requirements by the end of the year – unless Sprint really sprints.

No Engineering Report Yet

At the start of the project, HCFCD planned to go beyond Atlas 14 to accommodate possible future increases in rainfall requirements and upstream growth. That would provide an extra margin of safety for people in the area.

HCFCD still has not released the final engineering report yet for Woodridge Village and Taylor Gully. So we don’t know yet how large this detention basin will be, i.e., beyond Atlas 14.

That final engineering report will also determine the final shape of the basin and its connectivity to other drainage on the site.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/3/23

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