Tag Archive for: KSA

KSA Replacing River Grove Boat-Launch Pier

The Kingwood Service Association pier at the River Grove Park Boat Launch has reached the end of its service life and is being replaced.

The pier, which had grown old, sustained damage during recent floods. The planks had so much give in them, that I often wondered if they would hold me.

It’s Finally Time

After Harvey, though, KSA had so much work to do in the park – removing sand, replacing pavement, fixing fields, restoring restrooms, and dredging in front of the boardwalk – that replacement of the pier just had to wait, according to Dee Price, KSA president.

Earlier this year, KSA had a professional engineer draw up specs and then it solicited bids. “The winning bid was affordable and the contractor is doing excellent work,” said Price.

I would second that from everything I saw today at the park. Both the wood and workmanship appear top notch. This will make an excellent addition to the park.

Pics of New Pier Under Construction

Driving new piles to extend the pier. The four poles stabilize the boat while the pile driver in the center does its work.
From this angle, you can more easily see how the pile driver slides forward and backward on rails to ensure alignment of supports.
From ground level, you can see how substantial the wood is.

Expected Completion Soon

Price says she expects the work to be done this week or next, depending on weather. The launch remains open in the meantime, but is blocked periodically for short periods by the pile driver as you see here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/2/2021

1526 Days after Hurricane Harvey

HCFCD Completes Removal of Another 10,000 Cubic Yards From Bens Branch

Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) contractors have completed removal of virtually another 10,000 cubic yards of sediment that had accumulated in Bens Branch between Rocky Woods Drive and Kingwood Drive. While a little cleanup work and equipment removal remains, we can call this job “well done.”

Scope of Work Completed

HCFCD widened and deepened half mile stretch of the creek/ditch. Flood Control also re-sloped the banks, straightened the flow lines, replaced backslope interceptor drains, restored the original conveyance of the ditch, and replanted grass.

Tens of Millions in Nearby Damages during Harvey

During Harvey, dozens of homes flooded along both sides of this channelized stream. So did Kingwood High School and the old H-E-B shopping center north of Kingwood Drive. The shopping center is still mostly vacant because of flood damage. And the Humble ISD spent $70 million to restore Kingwood High School which flooded to the second floor.

Approximately 1000 Truckloads of Sediment Removed

Given that your average dump truck holds about 10 cubic yards, contractors removed about a 1000 truckloads of sediment during this phase of the Bens Branch project.

While the truck traffic got intense at times, contractors finished months ahead of schedule. They originally scheduled completion for early July.

Before/After Photo Essay

The first photo below was taken in January before the start of the project. I shot the rest on April 16.

Bens Branch at Rocky Woods in January 2021 before start of clean-out project.
Bens Branch at Rocky Woods after completion of project on April 16, 2021. The greenish tinge on the slopes is hydro mulch. Hydro mulch is grass seed embedded in a gelatin which can be sprayed on the slopes. Nutrients in the gelatin help ensure that grass will begin to grow in the least amount of time possible, hopefully before heavy rains can erode the slopes.
In fact, new grass shoots are already poking out of this ground. This new drain at Laurel Garden replaces one that had collapsed and become almost totally blocked. The average service life of galvanized corrugated metal pipe is up to 40 years.
New entrance to drain behind maintenance road on side of ditch.
Note the warning. Waste dumped in these drains blocks them and contributes to neighborhood flooding. Even if waste does not block the drain, it can wind up in Lake Houston or Galveston Bay.
Looking back upstream toward the new drain at Laurel Garden.
This shot dramatizes the proximity of Kingwood High School to the ditch. Looking downstream. Notice Lake Houston in the background in the upper left.
Looking upstream from Town Center
Looking downstream from the middle of the Bens Branch project toward Town Center.
Only removal of the temporary crossing and three pieces of equipment (lower left) remain. Every building in the background flooded during Harvey.

No More Bens Branch Projects Scheduled At This Time

This was the fourth and final phase of Bens Branch restoration. Previous projects addressed Bens Branch from:

HCFCD says it has no plans at this time to address the portion from the Y to the West Fork near Kings Harbor.

No one can guarantee that this work will prevent a future flood, but it will certainly make one less likely.

Thanks to the women and men of HCFCD and their contractors who kept the Bens Branch project moving through the pandemic. And to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service which provided partial funding.

Thanks also to the Bear Branch Trail Association, Kingwood Service Association and Kings Forest CA. All helped provide access to the project area across their property.

Onward to other projects such as Woodridge Village Detention, Taylor Gully restoration, and Diversion Ditch expansion. More on those in future posts.

Posted by Bob Rehak on April 17, 2021

1328 Days since Hurricane Harvey

East End Park from the Air: A Wetlands Success Story

One of the most beautiful parts of Kingwood also helps protect the area from flooding: East End Park. If you’ve never seen it, you should. The park comprises 158 acres and contains about five miles of nature trails. With the help of boardwalks, the trails wind through wetlands that form the perimeter of the park.

Those wetlands help slow runoff during storms. And the park itself puts distance and elevation between the East Fork of the San Jacinto and the nearest homes.

Park Almost Became Another Subdivision During 1980s

The park was not always destined to become a park. Originally Friendswood Development wanted to build another subdivision where the park is now. As Friendswood cut streets in nearby Kings Point, they dumped the extra dirt in what is now the park’s giant meadow. That’s why it’s so much higher than surrounding wetlands.

These meadows comprise approximately 45 acres of tall grass, an abundant food source for migrating birds.
Looking south. The East Fork San Jacinto is on the left. Sand damage from Harvey and Imelda at Eagle Point is in the foreground. Birdhouses once 10-feet up on trees are now at ankle height.
Looking west from the north side of the park on the left. The East Fork (out of frame to the right) and Caney Creek converge at East End Park’s Eagle Point. Also to the right is the 5000-acre Lake Houston Nature Park.
Looking south again. The East Fork on the left empties into Lake Houston in background. Trails border the river within the trees.

But in 1988, the EPA issued a cease and desist order because they were jeopardizing the wetlands. Blocked from further development, Friendswood tried to turn a problem into an amenity that could add value to homebuyers. The company donated the land to the Kingwood Service Association to own and operate as a park for the benefit of all Kingwood residents.

Development as Nature Park in 2000s

Not much happened with the park for about a decade. Then KSA, with the help of volunteer groups, like the Boy Scouts, started building a small trail network, mostly on the north side of the park.

Around 2000, KSA debated the future of the remainder of the park. Should they turn it into more sports fields? Or keep it a nature park? The nature park faction won out. And for the next fifteen years, KSA slowly built new trails and improved old ones as money became available.

Birder’s Wonderland

The Lake Houston Nature Club has documented approximately 150 species of birds in the park, some threatened or endangered. In season, birders seem everywhere. Migrating birds munch on the abundant tall grass which seems to go to seed just in time for the migration.

In the park, I’ve spotted everything from painted buntings to majestic bald eagles. In fact, part of the park is named Eagle Point because of the frequent eagle sightings there.

Healing Power of Nature

Shortly after KSA put in the Eagle Point Trail, I encountered a man sitting in the same place on the river bank day after day. I asked him what his attraction was to that particular place. He said that it helped him heal. I asked if he wanted to explain that. He said he was undergoing treatment for cancer and the the beauty gave him the will to go on living. I suspect he’s not the only one who has found sustenance in nature there.

One often sees families walking with young children there. I also suspect kids learn to translate the love they feel from parents on such walks into a lifelong love of nature.

Living Lessons

Sadly both Harvey and Imelda completely inundated the park. Eagle Point became covered with 10-15 feet of sand which killed many of the trees there and filled in some of the wetlands. Regardless, the park remains a natural gem and a living lesson about the cycles of nature.

The pictures below show some of the natural beauty. To get to the park, take Kingwood Drive east until you run out of road. You can see the park entrance from the parking lot.

East End Park poster.
Sunrise over Lake Houston from Kingwood’s East End Park at Otter Point. By Dr. Charles Campbell.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/8/2020

1168 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 416 since Imelda

The Remarkable Restoration of River Grove Park After Harvey

Yesterday, Dee Price, Kingwood Service Association (KSA) President, gave a presentation about the restoration of River Grove Park after Hurricane Harvey to the Lake Houston Chamber’s BizCom meeting.

The storm deposited so much sand in this park, there were times when I doubted it could be restored. The park’s comeback is a remarkable tribute to a handful of dedicated volunteers and contractors (led by Dee Price and Bruce Casto), with big assists from the people of Kingwood, the Army Corps of Engineers and Kayden Industries.

Here are the slides and text from Price’s presentation to the BizCom meeting. The presentation also includes information about KSA, which newcomers may find helpful.

Dee Price BizCom Presentation on River Grove Park

Good Morning. I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about the recovery of Kingwood’s River Grove Park from the impact of Hurricane Harvey. But first let me give you a brief overview of the Kingwood Service Association aka KSA.

KSA is a Texas non-profit corporation that was chartered in September 1976 by the Kingwood developer. Its stated purpose is to provide for community, civic, and social welfare in the Kingwood area and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the Kingwood area residents.

Carrying out this purpose has evolved over the years as Kingwood became part of the City of Houston.

Representing 32 community and commercial associations throughout Kingwood, KSA has continued to be a focal point in working community-wide issues that impact multiple villages in Kingwood.

KSA owns, operates, and maintains the five major parks in Kingwood. It also maintains the two major entries into Kingwood at Kingwood Drive and North Park Drive. KSA actually owns the entrance area on Kingwood Drive on which the ponds are located.

Like many areas in Kingwood, River Grove Park was heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey. A huge amount of sand was deposited in the park. In addition, many of the park facilities suffered a significant amount of damage. The pictures on the slide above illustrate the amount of damage suffered.

It took a significant amount of effort to recover from the damage caused by the hurricane. First, we had to remove 364 truckloads of sand. We had to drill a new well, pressure wash all of the park facilities, and repair the damage to the facilities. We also had to restore the sports fields closest to the river that had been inundated by sand deposits.

The final step of dredging the portion of the river along the park’s perimeter had to be put on hold until the US Army Corps of Engineers completed their project to dredge the San Jacinto River. The Corps removed the big sand bar formed during Harvey that was blocking access to the river from River Grove Park. This was a big help to KSA and very much appreciated.

Once the Corps was finished with their dredging project, KSA was able to proceed on its project to dredge the area along its boardwalk and boat ramp. The picture shows that a large amount of sand was deposited in the area by Harvey.

Since the dredging had been put on hold for 3 years, vegetation took hold on the sand and had to be removed before the dredging itself could begin.

Once the vegetation was removed the removal of the sand could proceed. Ultimately, the project removed 10,000 cubic yards of sand, dewatered the sand on-site using a dewatering machine, and then hauled off the sand to an approved location.

The project took 3 months to complete including working during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The boat ramp, which was closed in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, was re-opened in April 2020 and has been heavily used since that time.

The last slide is a picture of the park after the first stage of recovery had been completed and the park was re-opened in March 2018. That concludes my discussion. Thank you very much.

The spirit and tenacity of volunteers in Kingwood are one of the things that make this such a great place to live.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/7/2020 with thanks to Dee Price, KSA, the KSA Parks Committee, Bruce Casto, Kayden Industries, the Army Corps of Engineers and people of Kingwood

1074 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Houston Planning Commission defers approval of “Orchard Seeded Ranches”

In a meeting today, the Houston Planning Commission deferred automatic approval of the general plan for Orchard Seeded Ranches by taking the item off the consent agenda. The Commission then asked the developer to consult with the City Engineer; the Planning and Development Department; and Harris County Flood Control before bringing further requests back to the Commission.

Taking the item off today’s consent agenda should send a strong signal to the developer that rough waters lie ahead. Any proposal will likely be debated publicly when/if the developer returns.

History of Project

Last year, Romerica filed a permit application to build 5,000 condos and several high-rises up to 50 stories tall on 331 acres near the floodway of the San Jacinto West Fork. After a record number of people and groups filed protests with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Corps withdrew the application. But now the developer is back – with a different name – Orchard Seeded Ranches. However, Harris County Appraisal District indicates that the same people still own the land.

Location of Property

The property is identical to the property Romerica tried to develop as The Herons of Kingwood last year. The General Plan below was downloaded from the City of Houston’s PlatTracker website.

plat of orchard seeded ranches
General Plan of Orchard Seeded Ranches in Kingwood filed on 4/20/2020. For high-resolution, printable PDF, click here.

For orientation, the developed area in the middle is the Barrington. The line down the west side is Woodland Hills Drive. And the river at the bottom is the West Fork.

Filing a “general plan” like this is the first step in developing property. The developer has not yet submitted detailed plats showing construction details.

Virtually Entire Development in Floodway or Floodplain

About half of the Orchard Seeded Ranches lies in the floodway of the San Jacinto West Fork. FEMA defines floodways as the main current of a river during a flood. In the map below, that includes everything beneath the red line.

Purple area = Orchard Seeded Ranches. Red line = extent of floodway north of San Jacinto West Fork. Virtually half of subdivision would be in floodway.

Virtually all of the purple area above the red line lies in the floodplain. FEMA defines a floodplain as “storage” for water during a flood. That means water covers the land without moving rapidly.

I created the map above by combining the area to be developed with the FEMA flood map below.

From FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer. Orchard Seeded Ranches is in middle. Virtually the entire project lies in floodway (crosshatched) or 100-year floodplain (aqua).

Wetlands Issues Also Abound

Every part of the proposed development contains wetlands to some extent.

Note how the areas around the Barrington and River Grove Park are filled with wetlands (green areas). From US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Mapper.
Active bald eagle nest on Kingwood Country Club Property adjacent to Romerica's planned high rise marina.
Active bald eagle nest adjacent to development. Photo courtesy of Emily Murphy.

US Fish and Wildlife documented another eagle’s nest on the developer’s property. And the Balcom family, which lives near the western edge of the developer’s property, regularly photographs eagles from their balcony.

What’s in a Name

The name sounds as if the development would be lower density than the 50-story high-rises previously planned. But you never know. In the development business, names often have more evocative than literal significance. Look at the Houston Heights. Bridgeland (on the prairie). Mount Houston. You get the idea.

Community Considerations

Whatever the development is, when and if the developer returns to the Planning Commission, we should not forget that:

High water during Harvey at Balcom house on River Bend reached the second story.

A Less Risky, Less Costly Alternative

All of these factors will increase the risk and cost of any development.

Light pole near River Bend in North Shore as Harvey receded. Note the "wet marks" several feet up on pole. Photo by Jim Balcom.
Light pole near River Bend in North Shore as Harvey receded. Note the “wet marks” several feet up on pole. Photo by Jim Balcom.

The safest, sanest course for the developer – before putting more money at risk –would be to meet with community representatives about:

  • Purchasing this land
  • Putting a conservation easement on it
  • Letting it revert to nature and turning it into park land

Harris County Flood Control District has $175 million allocated in the flood bond for partnership projects with “Municipalities, Authorities, and Other Districts in Harris County.” See item Z100-00-00-MUNI.

That money could help purchase such property and turn it into green space forever. KSA, the Lake Houston Chamber, civic leaders and residents should get behind that idea. Judging by the response to Romerica’s last offering, it’s clear that residents would much rather see this area turned into parks than see the San Jacinto turn it into blight.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/30/2020

975 Days after Hurricane Harvey

River Grove Boat Launch Reopens

The River Grove Park boat launch has finally reopened. Hurricane Harvey sanded it in two and half years ago.

These were among the first boaters at River Grove after the opening. Further downstream, the river was crowded with personal watercraft.
Jet skis near Romerica property downstream from River Grove.
South of Kingwood Country Club, I spotted four more boats.

Here’s the history of the project to reopen River Grove.

Remember, River Grove is restricted to people with KSA stickers. River Grove is a private, not a public park. It’s restricted to Kingwood residents whose villages belong to KSA.

Hope you enjoy the great outdoors. The reopening of the boat launch has been a long time coming.

Just remember to be careful. There’s plenty of room for you and your boat out there on Lake Houston to practice social distancing…as you see in these photos.

Also remember that barges and dredges are still moving up and down the river. They can’t maneuver like you. So keep your distance.

Barges offloading spoils from mouth bar directly across river from River Grove Park.

Safety first, last and always.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/22/2020

967 Days after Hurricane Harvey

River Grove Dredging Completion Delayed at Least 2 Weeks

Dredging of the River Grove Park boat launch and lagoon have been set back at least two weeks. Originally, KSA estimated that the job could finish as early as the end of March. According to KSA President Dee Price, that was an estimate from the contractor, Kayden Industries, not a contract requirement.

Lower Lake Level Required Even Smaller Dredge

According to Price, Kayden ran into a problem when the City unexpectedly lowered the level of Lake Houston about two feet. “The reduction in the water level grounded the dredging barge that they were using,” said Price. “To keep moving forward, they removed the first dredge and brought in a smaller one.”

Original dredge now sidelined. Sand stockpile in parking lot is being removed by truck to a location in Humble out of the floodplain.
New dredge is even smaller than last one but can operate in shallower water.
About one third of the lagoon in front of the boardwalk remains. Note how vegetation is already regrowing on exposed sediment.
This afternoon, the new dredge operated by the discharge pipe.
The dredge pumps water and sediment into this giant machine that resembles an oil field “shaker.” It separates solids from liquids. The solids drop out. They are then carried to the edge of the boat dock where they dry further before being hauled off.
Water minus sediment over a certain size is then returned to the river.

Contractor Will Finish Job With Smaller Dredge

“The water level is back up now,” said Price. “Kayden thinks they can finish the job using the smaller dredge, but it will take a little longer.”

With the corona virus restrictions, there is now very little activity at the park. Reminder: children should NOT use the playground equipment to help restrict the spread of the virus. Soccer leagues have also been affected. Only a handful of people were using the park this afternoon.

After Dredging

The sand pile is still blocking the boat launch. It and Kayden’s equipment will be removed from the park when dredging completes in a couple more weeks.

At that point, KSA intends to repair the asphalt damage from the heavy equipment. KSA will also replace the speed bumps with speed humps to accommodate boat trailers. All that could take till May.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/27/2020

941 Days after Hurricane Harvey

New Aerial Photos of River Grove Park Show Extent of Dredging Project

Since Hurricane Harvey, KSA has worked diligently to restore the damage to River Grove Park. It has been a massive job. Harvey filled in the lagoon in front of the boardwalk; left five feet of sand in the parking lot, disc golf course, and playing fields; and deposited a sand bar more than a quarter mile long and 12 feet high in front of the boat dock.

River Grove Waterfront on 9/14/2017, two weeks after Harvey. Lagoon filled in, five feet of sand filled the parking lot, and a 1400-foot, 12-foot-high sandbar blocked off the drainage ditch that empties the western third of Kingwood.

Army Corps Restored River Access

The Army Corps cut a channel through the sand bar that blocked the drainage ditch that empties the western third of Kingwood. That was a huge sigh of relief for a large part of Kingwood. But much work remained to restore the park itself. Among the last items on the agenda: restoring the lagoon and boat ramp access.

Dredging of Boat Dock Area and Lagoon

In late February 2020, KSA contractor Kayden Industries removed a 50-foot strip of vegetation that had grown up on sandbars in the lagoon. Then last week, they began dredging.

It’s hard to capture the scope of dredging operations from the ground – especially with access restricted for safety reasons. But last week, I did a flyover and captured these pics from a helicopter.

Looking west toward the River Grove Boat Ramp and Lagoon. Photo taken March 5, 2020. The dredge started by the boat dock and is working upstream now in the lagoon. Note the dewatering plant in the parking lot and the growing pile of spoils waiting for removal on the right.

In the photo above, you can see the 50-foot strip where Kayden removed vegetation. That will be the limit of dredging. KSA plans to remove 4-5 feet of sand from this area. The area still covered with grasses will remain wetlands. It will provide cover, habitat and food for birds and other species. That should help make River Grove a destination for birders again.

Harvey deposited sand several feet deep on the peninsula that defines the River Grove lagoon. That unfortunately killed many of the trees there. The wetlands remaining in the lagoon are now more important than ever. Eagles nest in the trees in the upper right of this photo on Romerica property.
The dredge started in the area in front of the boat dock and is working its way upstream in the lagoon. Water from the dredge goes through a floating pipe to a dewatering plant in the parking lot. Water is then returned to the lake in a closed-loop process.

A Bit of the Oil Field Comes to River Grove

The dewatering plant separates sand and sediment from the water before returning the water to the river. This is the same type of equipment used in oilfields to separate drilling cuttings from drilling mud, before recycling the mud.

Expected Finish By End of March

KSA expects the dredging project to finish by the end of March, weather permitting. However, the boat ramp may not open immediately. The heavy equipment has damaged the asphalt in the parking lot. Repairs and restriping may take a few weeks more.

Originally, KSA expected to remove 10,000 cubic yards of sediment. The contractor now predicts they will remove 11,000 to12,000 cubic yards to complete the scope of work.

Other Park Improvements

The good news: When all of this is done, River Grove Park should be back and better than ever. During repairs, KSA decided to:

  • Convert several of the soccer fields from “league fields” to “public fields.” Residents have long requested that change.
  • Change the speed bumps to milder speed humps in the traffic circle. Boaters have long requested that.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/9/2020

923 Days since Hurricane Harvey

River Grove Dredging Operation Moves to Next Phase

During the first phase of River Grove dredging, the contractor, Kayden, removed vegetation from the area to be dredged adjacent to the boardwalk (see photo below).

River Grove Boat Ramp and Lagoon on 2/13/2020 before dredging operation started. Looking south.

They completed vegation removal last week. They also completed cleaning silt out from under the boardwalk without impacting its stability or support. This week, they’re back with a tiny dredge and a giant mobile dewatering plant.

The Little Dredge That Could

The dredge was selected because it could maneuver in the tight spaces adjacent to the River Grove Boardwalk. It’s 12 feet wide and 51 feet long. The first word that came to mind when I saw it was “cute.” The second thing that came to mind was the child’s story “The Little Engine that Could.” As it sat there chugging away at sand and silt, I thought I could hear the John Deer, 6-cylinder, 13.5 liter diesel engine chanting, “I think I can, I think I can.”

Kayden Dredge. The IMS Model 7012 HP Versa-Dredge specs.

Dewatering Plant Processes Sand for Removal, Returns Water To River

The giant dewatering plant operates much like shakers used in oil field drilling work. Water and sediment are pumped up from the lagoon by the dredge. They enter one side of the dewatering plant. There, they are pumped through centrifuges, then across a series of screens that vibrate. Water falls through the screens into a tank below. Sand accumulates on the screens until they dump it down chutes. From there, a front end loader scoops up the dirt and piles it up until trucks haul it away.

Video of dewatering plant in operation courtesy of Josh Alberson.
Front end loader removes dirt from dewatering plant and piles it up for removal from River Grove.

Kayden then pumps the water back into the river.

Water returned to river after sediment removed. Photo courtesy of Josh Alberson.

Dredge Designed for Tight Spaces

River Grove dredging will not move nearly as fast as the dredging that Great Lakes and Callan were doing, but it seems to work well for the location. A major concern is overly aggressive dredging that could undermine the supports for the boardwalk and boat ramp. Another word that comes to mind is “precise.” Think about the difference between a van and an 18 wheeler. The major issue here is fitting in small spaces.

KSA intends to dredge only 50 feet from the boardwalk instead of all the way over to the trees. This shows the area where vegetation was removed earlier. Dredging will take place within this space.

How It All Works Together

Here’s a contractor animation that shows how everything works together. And here are the specs of the equipment. It could conceivably be used for dredging other channel inlets around the lake such as the one at Walden.

Despite the size of the equipment at River Grove, the operation itself is far more compact than previous dredging operations. This could form a model for the dredging of inlets around the lake, like the one at Walden. However, County Engineer John Blount emphasizes that no decisions have been made in that regard yet.

The Safety Moment

If you take your kids to River Grove to see this operation, make sure you stay behind the yellow tape for your own safety.

Also, until the operation is complete in another month or so, remember that traffic at River Grove will be two-way. Just be aware.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/4/2020 with photos and video from Josh Alberson

918 Days after Hurricane Harvey

River Grove Dredging Begins

River Grove dredging has finally begun. Silt and sand deposited by Hurricane Harvey 2.5 years ago is being removed from two areas: the boat launch and boardwalk. KSA obtained a final permit from the City of Houston and equipment arrived yesterday.

Boardwalk First Priority

As you can see from these pictures, the contractor wasted no time. Equipment has already started removing silt from in front of the boardwalk.

Mechanical dredging equipment excavates area near boardwalk.
Additional equipment is being staged from the parking lot.
Contractors closed off the parking lot adjacent to the boat launch for public safety.
Contractors have already started removing the top layer of vegetation adjacent to the boardwalk that sprouted since Harvey.

Pictures From Immediately After Harvey

A huge sandbar deposited by Hurricane Harvey blocked the Kingwood Diversion Ditch which drains the western third of Kingwood. Note sand covering the parking lot. It was 5 feet deep in places. Taken 9/14/2017.

The Army Corps dredged a channel through the sandbar above to allow the ditch to empty into the river. However, the Corps’ equipment was too big to maneuver safely near the boat launch. That created the need for a second dredging program with more precise equipment.

The lagoon in front of the boardwalk was badly silted in. Taken 9/14/2017.

Pictures Taken February 2020 Before Start of Dredging

Photo taken 2/13/2020 shows how vegetation grew up on silt in lagoon.
Aerial photo of boat launch area taken on 1/20/2020 shows that Army Corps opened up the drainage channel to the river. However, the area near the boat launch remains too shallow for most boats to launch safely.

Dredging and cleanup should take about 6 weeks. Completion will make eager boaters and park visitors very happy. River Grove has long been one of the most popular parks in Kingwood.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/18/2020

903 Days after Hurricane Harvey