Here’s how Addicks, Barker reservoirs projects will be prioritized using Harris County’s new ‘worst-first’ criteria

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New “worst-first” criteria approved by Harris County commissioners Aug. 27 will determine when several flooding and drainage infrastructure projects in the Katy area will get started.

Commissioners approved a new set of guidelines for prioritizing the final 80 projects waiting to get underway out of the 239 originally authorized in the county’s $2.5 billion flood bond passed by voters in 2018.

In the new project rating system created by the Harris County Flood Control District, 25% of a project’s score comes from flood risk reduction. Another 20% comes from the project’s social vulnerability index, which is a metric devised by U.S. Centers for Disease Control that takes into account the ability of certain communities to recover from disasters. Factors include percentage of elderly residents, prevalence of limited English proficiency and number of households without a vehicle.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the guidelines are also meant to reduce the influence of cost-benefit ratios when dedicating local flood bond money, a metric often required for projects to receive federal funding and one critics said can keep lower-income communities from getting needed improvements.

“We really need to make sure that from today on …, the decisions we make in Harris County, as it pertains to flooding, are based on being smart—they are based on putting people first,” Hidalgo said.

Here is a list of projects in the Katy area and where they rank out of the total 80 remaining projects.

Quartile 1: Beginning construction September 2019 – April 2020

  • Addicks Reservoir: Design and construction of a bridge replacement for Greenhouse Road at South Mayde Creek. Rank: 10 (tie).
  • Addicks Reservoir: Right of way acquisition, design and construction of a Stormwater detention basin on South Mayde Creek near the Grand Parkway. Rank: 17.

Quartile 2: Beginning construction April 2020-November 2020.

  • No projects.

Quartile 3: Beginning construction November 2020-July 2021

  • Addicks Reservoir: Rehabilitation of challenges inside of Addicks Reservoir to restore channel conveyance capacity. Rank: 46 (tie).
  • Buffalo Bayou: Partnership project with Fort Bend County on right of way acquisition, design and construction of general drainage improvements along Clodine Ditch. Rank: 58 (tie).

Quartile 4: Beginning construction July 2021-March 2022

  • Barker Reservoir: Rehabilitation of channels inside of Barker Reservoir to restore channel conveyance capacity. Rank: 70.

Projects already underway

  • Addicks Reservoir: Right of way acquisition, design and construction of a stormwater detention basin on South Mayde Creek.
  • Addicks Reservoir: Right of way acquisition, design and construction of channel conveyance improvements and bypass channel for South Mayde Creek.
  • Addicks Reservoir: Corps of Engineers Section 216 study, Addicks and Barker Reservoirs.
  • Addicks Reservoir: Rehabilitation of channels upstream of Addicks Reservoir to restore channel conveyance capacity.
  • Barker Reservoir: Rehabilitation of approximately 20 miles of channels upstream of Barker Reservoir to restore channel conveyance capacity.

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Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education since 2013. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.
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