At its November meeting, the Kingwood Service Association (KSA) Parks Committee voted to dredge the boardwalk and boat ramp areas of River Grove Park. The work, when done, will finally restore the park to full function.
Harvey Nearly Destroyed Park
Hurricane Harvey nearly destroyed River Grove Park. Thanks to KSA, the park has made a remarkable comeback. Harvey deposited sand five feet high in the parking lot. It left a wall of sand 12 feet high and a quarter mile long that blocked the drainage ditch that runs through the park and empties the western third of Kingwood. In the process, it also blocked the park’s boat ramp, only one on the West Fork. Finally, the storm deposited sand in the lagoon by the boardwalk and across the southern end of the soccer fields.
By the time the park is fully restored, repairs will have taken more than two and a half years.
Boat Ramp After Harvey
The Army Corps spent weeks opening up the drainage ditch that contains the boat ramp. Contractors dredged a 250-foot wide opening in the bar. Here’s how that area looked then and now from a satellite and helicopter.
Sand Bar After Dredging
Even though boats can get by the sand bar now, they can’t get in and out of the water. Sediment remains around the ramp area and must be dredged. The Corps dredge was too big to maneuver in the tight space around the dock.
The Corps asked KSA not to open its boat docks in the name of safety while dredgers were still working the West Fork. Now, with dredging done and all the dredge pipe removed, KSA can work on reopening the dock.
Lagoon Also Filled with Sediment
The lagoon opposite the boardwalk filled with sediment during Harvey, too. Here’s what it looked like two weeks after Harvey.
Since then, vegetation has grown on the sand.
Timetable for Dredging
KSA is now applying for a permit to remove the sediment from both the boat dock and boardwalk areas. KSA will use mechanical rather than hydraulic dredges.
The Association has already located a placement area for the spoils far from the river and any flood plain.
If permitted, removal of the sediment around the dock and boardwalk would begin in January.
Removal should take 6-8 weeks. Sediment will be placed on the parking lot to drain and dry. Then it will be trucked to the placement area in Humble.
The park could be fully functional again as early as March next year.
Public Soccer Fields Now Available
While working to prepare this project, KSA also restored the soccer fields which had been covered with sand several feet thick. All fields are now playable and KSA has designated two as public fields.
All in all, it’s been a remarkable comeback for a park that Harvey all but destroyed.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/19/2019, with grateful thanks to Dee Price and KSA
812 Days since Hurricane Harvey