Harris County Flood Control District to begin desilting project on Barker Reservoir watershed in spring 2020


The Harris County Flood Control District is moving forward to improve channels near the Barker Reservoir that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and other flooding events.

The district expects construction to start on the desilting of 22 linear miles of Mason Creek, Upper Buffalo Bayou and their tributaries in March, said Travis Sellers, the senior vice president of IDS Engineering Group, which crafted the construction plans and documents for the project.

He spoke at an Oct. 7 community engagement meeting held at Taylor High School, and about 50 people attended.

The removal of accumulated silt in the channels will take about one year, Sellers said. The project will restore the channels to their original design capacity; it will not widen or deepen the channels.

“We’re not changing the slope of the channel,” he said. “[Water in the channels] won’t move any faster; it won’t get in to the reservoir any faster [or]fill it up faster. It stays the same. The channel now has more storage capacity because we removed the sediment.”

Additionally, the project will repair erosion and slope failures on the channels, Sellers said. This part of the project is expected to begin after the desilting is completed, or about fall 2020. It will take about one year of construction to complete.

The project is part of the $2.5 billion Harris County flood bond program that voters approved in 2018, according to the HCFCD’s website. About $30 million has been allocated for the project, and there are no funding partners to share the cost.

The district is accepting comments from the public regarding the project. Residents can go online to submit their comment here.

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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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