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.”
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.
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
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200327-RJR_0438.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=18001200adminadmin2020-03-27 18:39:572020-03-27 18:40:07River Grove Dredging Completion Delayed at Least 2 Weeks
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Bit of the Oil Field Comes to River Grove
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
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200306-RJR_9605.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=18001200adminadmin2020-03-09 15:54:072020-03-09 15:57:09New Aerial Photos of River Grove Park Show Extent of Dredging Project
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).
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.”
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.
Kayden then pumps the water back into the river.
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.
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
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200304-RJR_8795.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=18001200adminadmin2020-03-04 16:56:292020-03-05 09:27:23River Grove Dredging Operation Moves to Next Phase