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Aldine-Westfield Detention Basin Phase 2 Construction Starting Along Greens Bayou

In April this year, I posted about Harris County Flood Control District’s (HCFCD) completion of the Aldine-Westfield Detention Basin Phase 1 along Greens Bayou. Now construction of Phase 2 is starting. It’s currently in the clearing phase.

The basin sits east of Aldine-Westfield Road at Beltway 8 North just south of Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Aldine Westfield Basin layout
Aldine-Westfield Basin location

Photos from April and October

Here’s how that looks from the air.

Looking NE from over Beltway 8 and Aldine-Westfield Road in a helicopter in May. Phase 1 in foreground had just been completed. Red rectangle indicates approximate location of Phase 2 which had not yet started. Note airport in background and Greens Bayou in foreground.

I didn’t have a helicopter this morning and I wasn’t able to safely launch a drone because of air traffic. However, I did manage to grab some ground-level shots from the entrance to the Phase 2 construction site on Aldine-Westfield road.

Photo taken on 10/15/2021 from Aldine-Westfield Road shows that clearing of Phase 2 has begun. The site is currently in the clearing phase.

The photo above was actually stitched together from seven shots in Photoshop. In person, the area cleared looks much larger than it does above. Here’s another shot of the area taken from the air back in April that better shows its size.

Photo of Phase 2 area (right) taken in April this near. Note the pipeline corridor (left of center) that bisects the property.

About HCFCD’s Excavation and Removal Program

HCFCD has owned both portions of this site for years. They have been part of the District’s Excavation & Removal Program since 2005. The program lets contractors take and use dirt from the site for other projects outside of the floodplain – at no cost to the District or taxpayers.

Now, however, the Aldine-Westfield project is kicking into higher gear thanks to 2018 flood-bond dollars.

Details About Aldine Westfield Project

This two-phase stormwater detention basin will reduce the risk of flooding in the mid-reach stretch of Greens Bayou by taking in excess stormwater during heavy rain events and then releasing it slowly back to the channel when the threat of flooding has passed.

Phase 1 holds approximately 667 acre-feet of stormwater and Phase II will hold another 600 acre-feet. Two 5’x4′ reinforced concrete boxes will connect the two phases and outfalls into Greens Bayou.

Together, the two basins will have enough capacity to hold a foot of rain falling over 2 square miles.

Phase 1 cost $7.4 million and Phase 2 will cost $12.2 million, for a total of almost $20 million.

Part of Larger Greens Bayou Plan

The Aldine Westfield Stormwater Detention Basin is part of a comprehensive flood risk reduction plan for the mid-reach stretch of Greens Bayou. That plan includes construction of 11 miles of channel conveyance improvements and four stormwater detention basins:

This presentation, created a little more than a year ago, describes how the improvements discussed above will work in conjunction with several other subdivision and bayou drainage improvements.

The subdivision drainage improvements will be handled by the Harris County Engineering Department. They include increasing the capacity of storm sewers and curb inlets, repairing outfall pipes, and reconstructing roadside ditches. In the Humble area, subdivisions scheduled for the improvements include Fountainview Sections 1 & 2, Humble Road Place, and Parkland Estates. These subdivisions are just south of Beltway 8 near US59.

Areas Removed from 10- and 25-Year Floodplains

This community presentation from 2019 explains more about the benefits. It includes the two maps below.

The light blue shows areas that will be REMOVED from the 10-year floodplain. The dark blue shows areas that will remain in it.
Likewise, light blue represents areas REMOVED from the 25-year floodplain.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/15/2021

1508 days since Hurricane Harvey and 757 since Imelda