Tag Archive for: long-range dredging plan

February East Fork Mouth Bar Dredging Update

Since last month, dredgers have removed one island and have started on another in the massive complex of sand bars laid down during Harvey and Imelda on the San Jacinto East Fork where it meets Lake Houston.

Current Location

Another island in the San Jacinto East Fork Mouth Bar complex.
Another island in the San Jacinto East Fork Mouth Bar complex is being dredged away. Photo taken on Sunday afternoon, 2/20/22. Looking downstream toward Lake Houston.

The sand bar already eliminated was toward the top and left side of the frame above. It stretched almost 2000 feet.

Now dredgers are focusing on the giant bar in the middle above.

Mouth Bar Complex in 2020 Before Start of Dredging

The shot below, taken from the opposite direction, helps put things in perspective.

East Fork Mouth Bar
Looking upstream at the East Fork Mouth Bar complex in March 2020 before dredging. The bar dredgers already eliminated is the bright white one in the foreground. Now they’re working on the one farther upriver and to the left.

More Current Shots Taken Today

East Fork Mouth Bar Complex
Looking NE at dredging in the East Fork Mouth Bar Complex. It looks like they may have started here and moved elsewhere for some reason. Photo taken 2/20/22.
This shot more than the others, gives one a feeling for the immensity of the task.

Long Range Dredging Plan

The City of Houston’s purchasing website does not indicate whether the City has yet awarded the project to develop a long range dredging plan. Last month, the purchasing agent for the City, Bridget Cormier, stated that “The City has not yet made a decision, nor a recommendation for award yet.” She explained, “We are still in the evaluation phase and have requested additional information from suppliers that moved forward in the process.” 

It took three months just for contractors to dredge their way through the Royal Shores channel to get to East Fork (July, August, September 2021). East Fork dredging started in October last year. Spoils are currently being ferried back to land south of the West Fork, opposite River Grove Park. There it dries before TexDoT hauls it away for use in roadbuilding.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/20/2022

1636 Days since Hurricane Harvey

City of Houston Posts Request for Qualifications to Develop Long-Range Dredging Plan

On August 20, 2021, four-years after Harvey inundated Humble/Kingwood and 20 months after the City of Houston started dredging the San Jacinto West Fork mouth bar, the City finally posted a request for qualifications to develop a long-range dredging plan for the Lake Houston Area.

The plan will cover the entire Lake Houston Area including: publicly owned canals, inlets, and coves; the West Fork up to I-69, and the East Fork to the confluence with Caney Creek. The City wants the plan finished within two years.

Plan Scope

Scope of the long-range dredging plan includes:

Developing a digital terrain model that updates Texas Water Development Board models developed in 2011 and 2018 to reflect dredging activity that has taken place since then.

  • Verifying where and how quickly sediment accumulates.
  • Determining ownership of private canals and legal obstacles associated with dredging them.
  • Identifying disposal sites for the dredging spoils.
  • Investigating costs for both mechanical and hydraulic dredging through both private and public entities.
  • Exploring options for future funding of maintenance dredging.

Evaluation Criteria

Firms will be evaluated on:

  • Responsiveness of their submissions to the criteria outlined.
  • Technical competence, which is a composite of:
    • Firm Qualifications
    • Expertise, experience and qualifications of key personnel
    • Project approach to meeting deliverables, managing risk, and managing work
    • Proposed plan and strategy for meeting project schedules
    • Success with similar projects in the past
    • Participation by Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises
    • Financial stability

Extra brownie points go to local businesses.

lf you own or work for a firm that might be interested in responding, here is the complete list of requirements for applicants and forms required for filing.

Progress of Current Dredging

Since my last update three weeks ago, dredgers has moved into the channel south of Royal Shores that connects the East and West Forks of the San Jacinto.

Dredgers have finally entered the channel between the West and East Forks of the San Jacinto on their way to the East Fork. Photo taken 8/28/2021
Since my last update on August 6, 2021, the dredging has moved another 600 feet into the channel connecting the East and West Forks south of Royal Shores.

Four Years Ago Tonight

The current rate of dredging is consistent with the rate observed on August 6, about 200 feet per week. At this rate, it will take another two months until contractors even reach the East Fork. And at least another two years before we get a long-range dredging plan. That will be six years after Harvey.

It was around noon on August 28, 2017, that the SJRA began releasing 79,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) from Lake Conroe. All that water arrived in the Kingwood area in the wee hours of August 29 on top of another 160,000 CFS from other sources. Along the way it swept through sand mines and deposited sediment at the mouth of the West Fork that has taken four years and more than $114 million so far to dredge.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/28/2021

1460 Days (four years) since Hurricane Harvey