Tag Archive for: U.S. Army Corps

Army Corps Extends Bid Deadline Again; Opening Now Expected June 22

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extended the bid deadline again for its West Fork Emergency Dredging Project. The new bid deadline is Friday, June 22, 2018.

Discussions with potential vendors caused the delay for the FEMA funded project as both vendors and the Corps tried to nail down the exact volume of sediment to be removed. The Corps emphasized that it is restoring a 2+ mile stretch of the West Fork to pre-Harvey conditions. The pre-Harvey requirement comes with FEMA dollars which can only be used to return an area to the condition it was in before the storm.

At River Grove Park, this sandbar blocks the drainage ditch that empties the western third of Kingwood. It grew a quarter mile in length and 12 feet in height during Hurricane Harvey. More than 650 homes flooded in areas north of this sandbar. The Corps’ emergency dredging project will start here and extend past the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge.

Projected Volume More than Doubles

Forecasted dredging material calculations increased from 748,000 to 1.8 million cubic yards of material that has shoaled. Shoaling is an area of shallow water, especially one that is a navigational hazard. In this case, shoals blocked the main channel of the San Jacinto as well as drainage ditches, such as the one at River Grove Park.

Completion Date Extended 90 Days to Accommodate Extra Volume

Because the volume of sediment to be removed has more than doubled, the Corps has also extended the completion date of the project from 180 to 270 days.

“We’ve encouraged bidders to submit questions and this allowed us to revise dredging quantities,” said Gary Stangeland, Interim Chief of Emergency Management at USACE Galveston District. “We were able to recalculate the volume of material needed and therefore extended the bid deadline and project finish date.”

Extending the project 90 days should allow the winning contractor enough additional time to remove the increased volume of materials.

The Corps’ contracting officers reposted the bid deadline date to a site used by vendors to receive notice on government opportunities. The site is accessible to the public at: Federal Business Opportunities website: https://www.fbo.gov

New Opening Date: Friday at 10 a.m.

“Our process is equitable and efficient as it allows for Corps’ Engineers to interact with vendors that will help us to restore the area to pre-Harvey conditions and help reduce future flooding risks,” said Jeff Neill, USACE Galveston District Contracting Chief, “We’ve publicly posted responses to bidders’ questions to www.projnet.org.”  Neill said bids will be opened on June 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., local time.

No New Placement Areas for Spoils Anticipated

The physical length of the emergency dredging did not change, just the estimates of the volume of materials within the original area of interest. No additional placement areas for the spoils should be needed, according to the Corps. Stangeland said the two placement areas already identified should be sufficient to store the recalculated increase in forecasted dredged material.

The opening was initially scheduled for May 29, 2018. Even with the delays, this project will be one of the first coming out of Hurricane Harvey that the Corps will complete.

Posted June 21, 2018, by Bob Rehak

296 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Mark Your Calendar: Meet U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Monday Night

On Monday, June 11, two representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will meet Kingwood residents to discuss dredging of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. The meeting, sponsored by the Lake Houston Area Grassroots Flood Prevention Initiative, will start at 6:30 PM at the Kingwood Community Center. The emergency dredging will be one of the first flood mitigation projects related to Hurricane Harvey to be implemented in the entire Houston area.

Some Details Known, Many Yet to be Revealed

The Corps finished survey work for the West Fork Dredging Project in April. Since then, Corps members have been busy evaluating their findings, determining project specifications, soliciting bids, and planning logistics. Initial estimates indicated they would move enough sand to fill the Astrodome two and a half times.

The Corps currently expects to open bids within a week of the Kingwood meeting and quickly make a selection. Bidders have been notified that they must start the project within five days. They must also staff the project so that they can finish within six months.

Bid documents indicate dredging will extend from River Grove Park to slightly past the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge. Residents have raised questions about additional dredging in other areas, including near Lake Houston and on the East Fork.

The Corps has identified two disposal sites for the sand. Both are existing sand pits. The first is south of the river and east of US59; the second is north of the river and west of US59. Details pertaining to mobilization, removal methods, and the extent of dredging have not yet been revealed. At the time of bidding, two removal alternatives were under consideration: mechanical and hydraulic dredging.

Meet Two Corps Representatives

Featured speakers include two representatives from the Corps who will present details of the project and field questions from residents. They are Eduardo Irigoyen, the Project Manager, and Michael Garske, a hydraulic engineer and certified floodplain manager. Both are with the Corps of Engineers’ Galveston District office.

Eduardo Irigoyen, Project Manager

Eduardo Irigoyen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager

Eduardo (Eddie) Irigoyen currently serves as the Emergency Dredging Project Program Manager for the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, which is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Irigoyen has served as a Project Manager within the Corps since May 2015. He has extensive experience within USACE ranging from programs to construction management, operations and maintenance.

His current duties include managing the planning, scope, development, design, construction, and direction of several projects along the Texas Gulf coast.

Irigoyen is a native of Brownsville, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Brownsville in 2004.

Michael Garske, Hydraulic Engineer

Michael Garske, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologist

Michael Garske has served as a Hydraulic Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager for USACE since September 2014.

As one of the District’s lead hydraulic modeling engineers, he’s produced inundation mapping for White Oak, Brays, and Buffalo Bayou projects, helping local officials make accurate flood mitigation decisions.

He provided critical emergency modeling data during the Tax Day, Memorial Day and Harvey floods. He has also helped design dredging templates, ecosystem mitigation banks, and water storage systems; and demonstrated their effects on flood levels.

Garske grew up in Clear Lake. In 2014, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Systems Engineering and an Associate of Arts degree in Maritime Administration from Texas A&M University-Galveston.

Boating Safety Measures During Project

Boaters need to be aware of dredging activities. Ultimately, the project will restore navigation on the river to pre-Harvey conditions and allow the boat launch at River Grove Park to reopen. However, until completion of the project, boaters need to avoid work sites and dredging lines for their own safety.

Agenda Including Other Speakers

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Kingwood Community Center 4102 Rustic Woods and last until 8. It will include:

  • Mark Micheletti, one of the two new SJRA board members from Kingwood, giving updates about SJRA flood mitigation projects.
  • Bill Fowler, co-chair of the Lake Houston Area Grassroots Flood Prevention Initiative and a real-estate tax expert, will talk about revised valuations from the Harris County Appraisal District.
  • Bob Rehak, host of ReduceFlooding.com, (or a representative from Harris County Flood Control) will give a brief overview of the upcoming Harris County flood bond.
  • Irigoyen and Garske will make brief presentations and take questions from the audience. Please attend and show the Corps your appreciation for their hard work and long hours on this project.
  • A representative from FEMA will also be there to answer questions about how communities can extend projects like dredging over the long term.

The meeting is free and open to the public, so please plan to attend.

Do Not Confuse This with Flood Bond Meeting

Please note: there has been some confusion between this meeting and the Harris County Flood Bond meeting because of their dates. The County Flood bond meeting, originally scheduled for June 14, is being rescheduled for July so that County Judge Ed Emmett can attend. A new day for that meeting has not yet been determined. The meeting with the Army Corps will happen as planned on Monday evening, June 11.

Posted June 8, 2018 by Bob Rehak

Thanks to Dianne Lansden and Jacque Havelka for Planning this Meeting

283 Days since Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Pre-Bid Meeting for Emergency Dredging of San Jacinto River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted a notice of what appears to be a pre-bid meeting on April 26, 2018, for Emergency Dredging of the San Jacinto River. They are inviting potential vendors to an “Industry Day” in which vendors will learn about project and government requirements. The government, in turn, will learn about industry capabilities.
“Excessive debris from Hurricane Harvey is exacerbating and impeding the free flow of water down this portion of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.”
The project calls for dredging eight miles of the river from Interstate 69 all the way to Lake Houston. That will come as a relief to many Lake Houston Area residents. Some early announcements had the project stopping at the West Lake Houston Parkway bridge. The meeting between USACE and interested industry participants will be held online on April 26, 2018, at 10 a.m. Central Time. The Army Corps notice states in part:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston District, is requesting input from industry and others parties for an upcoming Emergency Dredging project. The Government has a requirement to dredge and remove shoal material within the West Fork of the San Jacinto River from Interstate 69 to the confluence of Lake Houston. Dredging limits, production rates, completion time and liquidated damages will be determined by the H&H modeling. Excessive debris from Hurricane Harvey is exacerbating and impeding the free flow of water down this portion of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.”

“The purpose of this Industry Day is for planning purposes and improve the understanding of the Government requirements and industry capabilities, thereby allowing potential offerors to judge whether or how they can satisfy the Government’s requirements, and enhancing the Government’s ability to obtain construction services, at reasonable prices, and increase efficiency.”

Interested vendors can sign up to attend the meeting at the link above. ReduceFlooding.com will follow this project closely. Next steps include formulation of specifications, bidding, award of bid, and mobilization before actual dredging begins. However, the entire process is being expedited under the governor’s emergency proclamation.

Posted April 20, 2018, 234 Days Since Hurricane Harvey

Video Shows Highlights from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Survey

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted a video on YouTube that contains highlights of the sedimentation survey that they conducted last week between the U.S. 59 bridge and the West Lake Houston Parkway bridge on the San Jacinto River.

This short video references some trouble spots they found and gives a good description of how “shoaling” can slow down water and back it up. Check the video out. The full results of the U.S. Army Corps survey should be available sometime this week.

The Army Corps has taken over the lead role for this project. Harris County Flood Control will play a supporting role.

Posted April 16, 2018, 230 days since Hurricane Harvey