The Harris County Flood Control District will be leading the Clear Creek Watershed project. The project is one of several funded by the HCFCD’s 2018 bond and will be done with the Army Corps of Engineers.
The flood control district’s leadership over the project is part of a partnership the district has with the Corps, which was approved at a June 4 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting.
Giving the flood control district the lead on the project will cause an expedited timeline, said Ian Hudson, a project manager in the HCFCD’s federal projects department.
“What we are hoping to do with the Harris County Flood Control District leading the project is do it faster with less cost,” Hudson said.
The project, which will consist of benching and in-line detention on a 15-mile stretch of the creek from Hwy. 288 to Dixie Farm Road, is slated to cost $300 million. The project is funded through the HCFCD’s 2018 bond as well as through federal dollars.
The flood control district is looking at a five-year timeline, with the project slated to begin in late 2019, Hudson said.
“We’re really excited to move this one forward. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here to do this project, and the Corps has committed funding to take it all the way to completion,” Hudson said. “We are very excited to get that all started this year.”
In leading the project, the flood control district will oversee design, construction and execution as it has done in the past with the Brays, White Oak and Hunting bayous projects. The difference this time is the Corps will be able to advance the funds to the flood control district before the work starts, rather than the district footing the bill and asking for reimbursement.
“We will be able to put a package of work together [and] give the Corps an estimate. … [The] Corps will [then] be able to give us that federal share and we can go do it,” Hudson said.
While this change could affect the project’s timeline, it will not affect the outcome of the project for Pearland or Friendswood residents, officials for both cities said.
“We will work with whomever is designated to lead. The project just needs to get started and completed in a quality manner as quickly as possible,” Pearland City Manager Clay Pearson said in an email. “The lead doesn’t change the outcome.”
The city of Friendswood is considering partially funding its own set of drainage projects in a potential November bond. This news does not affect the city’s plans for drainage projects in Friendswood, though the project will provide benefits to Friendswood, City Manager Morad Kabiri said.
“It is going to provide some benefit for the city in that there will be improvements upstream of Friendswood that will delay the speed at which water in Clear Creek arrives in Friendswood,” Kabiri said. “We still want to move forward with shelving and terracing.”