Much to residents’ approval, work will soon begin on a major flood mitigation project in League City’s Bay Ridge neighborhood.

On June 28, League City City Council unanimously approved the city beginning Phase 2 of the Bay Ridge flood mitigation project. The cost is $9.26 million—about a 50% increase from its original projected cost of about $6 million, officials said.

According to the city’s website, Phase 2 includes adding capacity to the neighborhood’s existing detention pond and adding a dedicated pump station.

The project is one of many in League City’s $73 million flood project bonds, which residents overwhelmingly approved in 2019. Mayor Pat Hallisey said the Bay Ridge project is the largest amount the city is spending on bond projects because it was hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey, which resulted in about 25% of properties in League City flooding.

Angie Steelman, budget and project management director for League City, said city officials are tracking project costs in real time to make sure they do not go over the $73 million bond amount. Inflation is raising project costs, but sales tax revenue is also larger for the same reason; the biggest reason larger price tags are affordable, however, is because of the grants the city has been able to secure, Steelman said.

Council Member Larry Millican asked if the city would have enough money in the $73 million bond if the remaining flood projects included in the bond also see cost increases of 50%.

Steelman said every time a project comes in over what was originally projected, city officials look at the program as a whole. If there’s a project ready for construction and it is outside what the city can use to make the rest of the projects work, City Council will get to make the final decision on how to proceed, she said.

Steelman pointed out a few projects actually came in under budget. Millican added the city has eliminated one project from the list, saving additional dollars.

After the motion passed, Bay Ridge neighbors thanked City Council for the decision.