Tag Archive for: concrete

Woodridge Village Plans Being Set in Concrete…Before Case Goes to Trial

Just three months ago, on May 7th, water poured out of Woodridge Village and into the streets and homes of Elm Grove. More than 200 flooded homeowners are suing the developer and contractor for negligence. Meanwhile, before the case has even gone to trial, contractors are pouring concrete. Let’s hope the drainage plans do the job. Because they are literally setting those plans in “stone,” so to speak. Here’s what’s happening north of the MoCo border.

Woodridge plans 5 detention ponds, 3 in the northern and 2 in the southern section. The two in the southern section are now at total depth. However, excavation still has not started on the three northern ponds, despite ideal construction weather.

Elevation Raised Compared to Elm Grove

Looking east along the southern border with the detention pond S1 out of frame on the left and the culvert that leads to Taylor Gully in the upper left. Village Springs in Elm Grove can be seen through the trees on the right.

The new development has been built up about four feet above Elm Grove and Woodland Hills Villages. It gives the hood a split level look.

At the top of that hill, along the perimeter, the contractor bulldozed a v-shaped notch. That’s called a backslope interceptor swale. The swale or depression collects rainwater that would otherwise drain straight into detention ponds. In theory it provides additional storage for rainwater. It also reduces the potential for erosion along the banks of the pond. That’s because water collects in the swale and drains through a pipe into the detention pond.

S2 detention pond above Village Springs in Elm Grove. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller. Miller says that the pond looks 3 feet below the mouth to the culvert on Taylor Gully. So it will hold water constantly.

Detention Pond S1 Now Lined with Concrete

Contractors have also begun lining detention pond S1 with concrete. That should reduce erosion. It will also accelerate runoff.

Woodridge Village Detention Pond S1 which is north of Woodland Hills Village. The ditch has reached its total depth and is now being lined with concrete. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.

Roads Going In

Contractors have also poured the main road through the southern part of the subdivision. It is within feet of connecting to Woodland Hills Drive on one end. It will soon cross Taylor Gulley about in the middle of the subdivision and eventually connect to the northern half of the development.

Looking east from Woodland Hills in front of Kingwood Park High School.

It looks like this from the opposite direction.

Looking southwest toward Woodland Hills from the northern side of the southern section of Woodridge. Main road in distance will soon cross Taylor Gully. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.

In Other News

Jeff Miller says it appears that the contractor has nuked all of the trees separating the northern and souther section. Says Jeff Miller who supplied many of these pictures, “As Peter Townseand of the Who sang, ‘I can see for miles and miles.’” The song now applies to the view from Elm Grove looking north. There’s little to see but brush piles.

Nothing but brush piles for miles and miles. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller

Risky Business: No More Detention Ponds Heading into Peak Hurricane Season

Contractors have not yet started excavation on any of the detention ponds for the northern section: N1, N2, or N3. That’s a risky strategy given months of ideal construction weather behind us and the peak of hurricane season fast approaching. Those Perry Homes subsidiaries are definitely connoisseurs of edge work.

Peak of hurricane season is less than a month away. This is when things usually start to heat up.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/16/2019 with thanks to Jeff Miller

717 Days since Hurricane Harvey

How fast are we replacing forests and wetlands with concrete?

We all know that concrete is impervious and that it increases both the amount and speed of runoff, which contributes to flooding. But how fast are we losing wetlands, forest and prairie to development? Does anyone really know? The folks at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands have attempted to quantify the answer.

You can see their findings in a presentation called Houston-Galveston & Southeast Texas Land Cover Change. This interactive presentation/tool allows you to zoom into individual watersheds or examine data regionally.

“Green infrastructure such as forests, prairies, and wetlands,” they say, “can capture and slow the release of rainfall. When preserved and integrated with engineered retention systems, this can help alleviate runoff issues.”

Concrete Details from Montgomery and Northern Harris Counties

The presentation consists of a series of interactive maps that lets you explore the world immediately around you. It begins with measurements of the extent of “imperviousness.” Then it goes into a series of maps that show the rate of change in the amount of upland forests, wetlands and developed areas over the last 20 years throughout the region and state. Below, some examples from the Lake Houston/Montgomery County Area.

In 2001, the Lake Houston Area was 10-20% impervious. Most of Montgomery County was less than 10. Compare this to…

By 2011, imperviousness in the Lake Houston area had not changed much. But look at the large finger extending up into Montgomery County along the San Jacinto West Fork.

This map shows the loss of wetlands between 1996 and 2010. The deep orange color shows the greatest loss of wetlands. Note the dramatic changes upstream of Lake Houston along the West Fork, Spring Creek and Cypress Creek. The East Fork, Peach Creek and Caney Creek watersheds show loss also.

This map shows loss of forests upstream of Lake Houston between 1996 and 2010. Again, the deep orange color shows the greatest loss. Note the similar pattern to loss of wetlands. According to the US Forest Service, a single large tree can soak up 100 gallons of water a day.

HARC ends with a discussion of future development by showing the Montgomery County Thoroughfare Plan (circa 2016) and how it would impact important eco-systems.

The Montgomery County Thoroughfare Plan as of 2016. The orange areas show planned additions. Note the density of additions in the Spring, Porter, New Caney and Splendora areas.

Montgomery County is the second fastest growing county in the region (3% per year) after Fort Bend County (3.1%).

Unchecked Upstream Development can Cause Downstream Flooding

HARC’s data underscores the need for a regional approach to watershed development and the strict enforcement of flood plain regulations. We need look no farther than the west side of Houston, in areas like Meyerland and Bellaire, to see the impact of encroachment on flood plains.

Posted by Bob Rehak on November 11, 2018

439 Days since Hurricane Harvey