Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated 36 projects were paused by Harris County commissioners on Feb. 21. The correct total is 33, and an updated breakdown of paused projects per precinct is included below.

Harris County commissioners voted Feb. 21 to pause dozens of road and bridge drainage projects due to a $277 million funding gap for the Bridge Subdivision Drainage program, which is a part of the Harris County Flood Control District's 2018 bond program.

Projects under the Bridge Subdivision Drainage Program target reducing flood risk for more than 45,000 homes across Harris County, as previously reported by Community Impact. The 33 projects commissioners opted to pause on Feb. 21 can be resumed once funding is obtained, according to county officials. These projects are estimated to cost a total of about $303 million to complete, according to meeting agenda documents.

“Pausing the projects is not doing away with the projects,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said.

When the HCFCD’s $2.5 billion flood bond was approved in 2018, the 96 projects comprising the Bridge Subdivision Drainage program were expected to cost about $460 million. Now, with cost increases due to inflation and supply chain issues, the same projects are expected to cost about $832 million, according to County Engineer Milton Rahman; the county has about $556 million in funding ready.

“We do have a group of projects that [are] on hold for various reasons, whether the partner is not willing to partner up at this time or those projects [do not] have a lot of value,” Rahman said.

Under the Bridge Subdivision Drainage program, 13 projects are almost completed, 13 are under construction, and 14 are set to begin construction within 90 days, Rahman said. The remaining projects are in the early design process. Commissioners unanimously voted Feb. 21 to fund the 26 projects that are under construction or nearly completed.

To potentially provide more funding to the road and bridge drainage projects, commissioners also approved a motion allowing county departments to review Harris County Toll Road Authority surplus revenue. Part of the funding that will be determined for HCFCD use will be divided among the four commissioner precincts based on the federal government’s Social Vulnerability Index metric.

“To me, it's of fundamental importance, especially when we have such a funding gap to make sure we're making data-driven decisions and addressing the need,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones said.

Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are home to four, seven, 20 and two projects that were paused, respectively, according to a spokesperson from Precinct 3.

Also at the Feb. 21 meeting, commissioners directed the HCFCD and the community services department to collaborate on submitting project information to the Texas General Land Office for a $750 million grant.

If the county’s application is approved, the Community Development Block-Mitigation grant would be used to fund disaster recovery and mitigation projects related to Hurricane Harvey’s impact.

Hannah Brol contributed to this report.