The city of Friendswood is making headway on six upcoming flood drainage projects, two of which are focusing on building detention basins in the city.
One of the projects is the FM 1959 detention basin near the border of Friendswood and Pearland; the basin will be built on the Harris County side of Clear Creek by Dixie Farm Road Park. The city has no set timeline for this project at the time, Friendswood Director of Engineering Jildardo Arias said in an email.
“Preliminary modeling shows that there will be flood-risk reduction benefits for Friendswood,” Arias said of the project.
The detention basin would reduce the risk of flooding for Friendswood as well as provide recreational opportunities, according to documents presented by Arias at the Sept. 13 Friendswood City Council meeting.
Arias said the project is estimated to cost approximately $30 million to $36 million, with the city of Friendswood, Harris County Flood Control District, Galveston County, Galveston County Consolidated Drainage District and Brazoria County Drainage District No. 4 set to help fund the project. To go forth, the city needs formal agreements from all parties.
Meanwhile, the Forest Bend Park detention basin project, estimated to cost $3.5 million, is nearing the end of its engineering phase. Once engineering is complete, construction is set to take about a year, Arias said.
Located along FM 528 in Forest Bend Park, the 53-acre-foot pond will act as floodplain storage for the area. The project will also construct concrete trails with solar lighting for the park.
Other flood projects
The city is also making headway on four other projects that aim to mitigate future flooding in alternative ways, such as home buyouts and repairs.
Construction on the $1.5 million Clear Creek utility relocation project is set to start by November, with a late summer 2022 completion date. The project, located by the Polly Ranch subdivision’s park, will relocate three utility lines by a public bridge that have been at risk for flooding damage, according to Arias. The bridge will also be demolished.
Finally, five Frenchman’s Creek townhomes prone to flooding are set to be demolished to make way for a new greenspace. The properties, located at Moss Point Drive in the Polly Ranch subdivision, are still being appraised, with no estimated cost or timeline yet, Arias said.
“The Frenchman’s Creek townhomes incurred repetitive losses from past flooding events and were inundated during Hurricane Harvey,” he said.
The Forest Bend Park detention basin, the Clear Creek utility relocation and the Frenchman’s Creek townhome project are all funded by Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Texas General Land Office, Arias said.
The city is still in the process of purchasing lots in the Deepwood and Imperial Estates areas—both are still at different stages of development. Deepwood is an area close to Clear Creek that has flooded repeatedly, and the city is seeking to purchase 18 lots there, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
“We are in the process of engaging a design engineer for that [Deepwood] project. It’s going to be on our next City Council agenda to approve a contract with a design consultant for that,” Arias said.
The city also finished the flood control aspect of the Imperial Estates project this past summer but is still completing some construction details, according to Arias. The city plans to terrace the areas in Imperial Estates that have been prone to flooding in the past, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. The city has paid $5.5 million for the project, with GCCDD contributing $6.5 million, Arias said.
In addition to these projects, the city is also in the process of applying for two grants with the Texas Department of Emergency Management to fund the city of Friendswood's master drainage plan for $750,000 and an elevated generator for station No. 22. Both grant applications are due on Nov. 5, Arias said at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.
Friendswood City Council will next meet at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.