The city of Sugar Land aims to secure millions of dollars in funding to support erosion control near the Brazos River.

The overview

On Jan. 16, Sugar Land City Council voted to approve a $28 million grant application to the Texas Water Development Board to support the Brazos River Riverbank Erosion Mitigation Project.

Ongoing erosion along the Brazos River in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County threatens over 700,000 county residents and poses an estimated $8 billion risk in economic and infrastructural repercussions, according to agenda documents.

In response to erosion events following flooding in 2015, 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Sugar Land and Fort Bend County officials commissioned two studies to begin tackling the problem, City Engineer Jessie Li said in a news release.

"These studies concluded that in less than 30 years if mitigation efforts are not implemented, continuing erosion of the riverbank might cause loss of human life while threatening residences; city and county infrastructure; roads; levees; parks; and hurricane evacuation routes on farm to market roads, state highways and interstate highway bridges,” Li said.

The action taken

During the 88th Texas Legislature, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, played a key role in securing $28 million through the TWDB’s Grant Projects program in the state budget, according to a news release.

The funding will be combined with an additional $42 million dedicated from the Texas General Land Office for erosion projects focusing on Sugar Land Memorial Park and Hwy. 59 bridge improvements over the Brazos River, according to a news release.

Next steps

The TWDB is expected to consider the grant application, and upon approval, the $28 million grant will become available for the Brazos River Riverbank Erosion Mitigation Project, according to a news release.