Desilting Operations

De-silting operations in the Katy area.

WEST HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - The Harris County Flood Control District is continuing efforts to remove accumulated sediment in channels that drain to the Addicks Reservoir with a $5.9 million major maintenance project.

On January 7, 2020, Harris County Commissioners Court awarded the construction contract to low bidder Lecon Inc. for round of work, which will remove an estimated 180,000 cubic yards of sediment from portions of South Mayde Creek, Langham Creek, Horsepen Creek and various tributaries. This represents more than 20,000 dump truck loads of sediment planned for removal.

Preliminary fieldwork began in early February with surveying on South Mayde Creek near Greenhouse Road. Construction is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2021.

The current work is part of a larger program to investigate and repair all channels for which the Flood Control District has property rights that flow into Addicks and Barker federal reservoirs.

Funded by a voter approved 2018 bond, this maintenance program also included a $13.3 million pilot project on Langham, Bear and Horsepen creeks that began in 2018 and is nearing completion. That pilot project removed an estimated 574,000 cubic yards of sediment and also made priority repairs after Hurricane Harvey.

The latest construction sites include:

  • South Mayde Creek, from 2,095 feet upstream (west) of North Fry Road to Greenhouse Road, and a tributary of South Mayde Creek, from Morton Road to the confluence with South Mayde Creek
  • Langham Creek, from 31 feet upstream (west) of Autumn Hills Lane to 500 feet downstream (east) of State Highway 6
  • Horsepen Creek, from Mill Run Drive to Trail Side Drive

The goal of the overall de-silting program is to assess and repair impacts from recent flood events on channels that carry stormwater into the Addicks and Barker federal reservoirs from surrounding neighborhoods. The reservoirs are owned, operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Part of the Flood Control District's overall maintenance efforts, this program follows the Tax Day 2016 and Harvey 2017 storms, which sent record levels of sediment-laden stormwater through the channels leading into the federal reservoirs. Deposited sediment can block stormwater outfalls and reduce the capacity of channels to transport stormwater.

A construction contract for a second package of Addicks watershed maintenance sites on South Mayde, Bear, Horsepen and other Langham Creek tributaries is expected to be awarded in Winter 2020 and under construction in Spring 2020.

Similar work in the Barker Reservoir is expected to be under construction by Fall 2020. Any necessary repairs to channels in the Addicks and Barker watersheds are expected to follow sediment removal in Winter 2021.

Over the next three years, this program will assess all open channels in the Addicks watershed downstream of the Grand Parkway, removing sediment and making repairs as needed. A similar assessment will also address open channels in the Barker watershed within Harris County and downstream of the Grand Parkway.

Rainfall within the 138-square-mile Addicks watershed drains along 159 miles of open waterways, including Langham Creek and its major tributaries. Rainfall within the 126-square-mile Barker Reservoir drains along Mason Creek and Upper Buffalo Bayou and their tributaries.

Addicks and Barker reservoirs were built in west Harris County by the Corps after the disastrous floods of 1929 and 1935. They are designed to temporarily hold back stormwater and prevent damage along Buffalo Bayou, downtown Houston and the Port of Houston.

Updates on the de-silting program are available on the Flood Control District website, www.hcfcd.org. Members of the public with questions or comments may call the Flood Control District's Project and Study Information Line at 346-286-4040.

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