The reported total at the end of November was 67,529 cubic yards. That means the total for December was 6,216 cubic yards, the most for any month since last July. Compare the previous totals below.
Excavation under E&R contracts varies depending on demand for fill dirt. Sprint’s contract with Harris County Flood Control District lets it take dirt basically for free and then sell the dirt on the open market to make its money.
According to HCFCD, E&R agreements provide an opportunity for making progress in advance of future basin construction. These agreements essentially provide a head start in the excavation process before the detention basin is designed and constructed. In these agreements, an excavation company agrees to remove soil from a basin site during an agreed upon time period for minimal compensation. This is a cost-effective way for the material to be removed and it also provides significant savings by minimizing trucking and disposal fees.
HCFCD expects that Sprint will excavate the full 500,000 cubic yards stipulated in their contract. That will expand the current stormwater detention capacity by 166%. The property only needed 40% more to meet Atlas-14 requirements. So this will provide a considerable margin of safety.
Other improvements include:
A concrete-lined, low-flow channel within the existing channel to expand conveyance from 350 feet downstream of Creek Manor Drive to 1500 feet downstream of Mills Branch Drive. The concrete portion would be four feet deep and 20 feet wide.
A new clear-span bridge at Rustling Elms to replace the current bridge over two culverts.
1955 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 1204 since Imelda
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/20230103-DJI_0594.jpg?fit=1200%2C799&ssl=17991200adminadmin2023-01-05 11:53:522023-01-05 11:58:00Woodridge Village Excavation Rate Ticks Up
Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) says that, as of 10/31/22, Sprint Sand and Clay has hauled off 66,094 cubic yards of dirt from Woodridge Village. That means, despite the slowing real estate market, that the company has exceeded its Excavation and Removal contract minimum within nine months of the first year.
Objective of Excavation
The objective of the contract: to get a head start on the removal of up to 500,000 cubic yards of dirt from what will eventually become the sixth stormwater detention basin on the Woodridge Village property. Woodridge forms the headwaters of Taylor Gully.
Community Meeting Will Reveal Findings of Engineering Study
HCFCD is now planning a community meeting to share the results with affected residents before the end of the year.
It’s not clear yet exactly:
How much additional detention Woodridge will need
How much channel widening Taylor Gully will need
Whether any bridges need to be replaced
How upstream improvements will affect residents farther downstream.
The preliminary engineering report should address all those questions.
Photos from September and October
In the meantime, a parade of dump trucks visits the Woodridge site most days to haul off dirt from where the sixth basin will go. The sixth basin could double stormwater detention capacity on the site – if Sprint excavates all 500,000 CY.
Sprint’s contract calls for them to remove a minimum of 60,000 cubic yards per year or 5,000 per month.
The September and October pictures below show how far Sprint has come in the last six weeks.
See pictures taken below from the reverse angle. The majority of the work now takes place at the far end.
Groundwater appears to be seeping into excavated areas.
HCFCD did not confirm WHY Sprint appears to be digging shallower. Amy Stone, a HCFCD spokesperson, did say however that the site contains multiple types of soil. The volume removed in a particular location may relate to demand for a particular type.
More news about the community meeting and study findings when it becomes available.
Posted by Bob Rehak on November 1, 2022
1890 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/20221031-DJI_0038.jpg?fit=1200%2C799&ssl=17991200adminadmin2022-11-01 13:00:172022-11-02 14:38:13Woodridge Village Excavation, Taylor Gully Updates
A new Woodridge Village Stormwater Detention Basin that could almost double detention capacity on the site continues to move forward slowly as housing starts slow. The trend at Woodridge seems consistent with other excavation and removal (E&R) contracts countywide.
Meanwhile, the first draft of a preliminary engineering study for the Woodridge site and Taylor Gully is complete and going through management review at Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD).
Status of E&R Contract on Woodridge Village Site
As of mid-September 2022, Sprint Sand and Clay had removed 57,785 cubic yards of dirt from a planned detention basin on the Woodridge Village property in Montgomery County. Sprint is working under an E&R contract with HCFCD. The contract calls for them to remove up to 500,000 cubic yards at a minimum of 60,000 cubic yards per year or 5,000 per month.
So the company, which began work in February, has virtually met its first year minimum after eight months. However, the rate has slowed somewhat in recent weeks as housing starts have slowed due to a rise in interest rates. In the last four weeks for which totals are available (8/22/22 – 9/18/22), Sprint has removed only 3,045 cubic yards. To date, that brings the total excavated to 12% of the contract max.
Under the terms of its HCFCD E&R contract, Sprint gets only $1,000 for removing up to 500,000 cubic yards, but has the right to resell all the dirt at market rates. That’s how it makes its profit.
Woodridge Vs. Countywide Data
To see whether Woodridge was an anomaly or part of a trend countywide, I asked HCFCD to show readers the bigger picture. Alan Black, Deputy Director of Engineering and Construction supplied the data below. The chart shows the trend in all HCFCD E&R contracts countywide going back 10 years.
All data is open to interpretation. But I see three main “regions” in the chart above.
The first is pre-flood bond – before August 2018. With the exception of a few blips, excavation remained below 5,000 cubic yards per month. That’s roughly equal to the average being removed from Woodridge Village each month.
The second is a huge spike that occurred after flood-bond approval. it peaked at almost 35,000 cubic yards per month as HCFCD readied engineering studies on more than 180 projects countywide.
Third, HCFCD had a sharp falloff at the start of the pandemic in January 2020. After things stabilized, we see a gradual rebuilding. It coincides with a housing boom and is followed by another gradual drop-off. The latter coincides with rising interest rates and falling housing starts.
Since then, HCFCD staff has reviewed it and asked IDCUS to take a closer look at some areas, said Stone. At this point, the revised draft is working its way up to HCFCD top management for final review and comment. HCFCD has started preparing a presentation for all those affected in the area and exploring the best dates for a community input session.
Assuming HCFCD management doesn’t ask IDCUS for more revisions, we should know recommendations and next steps this fall. Following a public comment period, more changes may need to be made to engineering plans before design and construction start.
Folks who flooded in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest as well as others farther downstream in Mills Branch and Woodstream Village eagerly await the findings. More news when it becomes available.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/30/2022
1859 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220930-DJI_0714.jpg?fit=1200%2C799&ssl=17991200adminadmin2022-09-30 18:09:322022-10-01 07:59:53New Woodridge Village Detention Basin About 12% Excavated, Engineering Study Almost Done