People often ask, “What happened to all that sand they took out of the river?” During the Army Corps Emergency West Fork San Jacinto Dredging Project in 2018 and 2019, they pumped approximately 2.3 million cubic yards of sand upriver to two “placement areas.”
Placement Area 1
The first placement area: an active sand mine south of the Kingwood College between Sorters-McClellan Road and the West Fork. Note all the sand in the picture below. This sand mine was for sale, but the dredging spoils gave it new life. From here, sand goes to new construction projects across north Houston and southeast Montgomery County.
Placement Area 2
The second placement area: an old pit on Townsend behind some flooded apartments in Humble.
Placement Area 3: Berry Madden’s Property
Placement Area 3 is Berry Madden’s property south of the West Fork but north of FM1960. The water below is a back channel of the West Fork. Here, the spoils are being barged in from the mouth bar. The barges offload in the center left and the spoils are trucked inland. Should the dredgers shift over from mechanical to hydraulic dredging, this property can accommodate that.
A Look at Mechanical Dredging
Currently, DRC is mechanically dredging the West Fork Mouth Bar. In hydraulic dredging, sand is pumped upstream continuously via pipeline. In mechanical, excavators scoop sand onto a barge, which shuttles it to a placement area as the pictures below show.
Posted by Bob Rehak with photos from Josh Alberson and Rachel Taylor on February 2, 2020
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