Austin Park and Chimneystone subdivisions will undergo drainage improvements to reduce the risk of home flooding and ponding during storms and natural disasters.

The gist

On Nov. 7, Sugar Land City Council approved a $13.9 million construction contract for drainage improvements in Austin Park and Chimneystone subdivisions.

In 2018, the city completed a drainage study of those areas post-Hurricane Harvey as those areas regularly experience excessive street ponding and flooding during major storm events, according to agenda documents.

The project scope of work includes the following items:
  • A large-capacity stormwater pipe will be added near the Acacia Drive storm sewer outfall.
  • Larger storm sewers will be installed along Acacia Drive.
  • A second stormwater sewer pipe will be constructed between the Acacia Drive storm sewer outfall and Austin Parkway.
  • A drainage channel will be installed between Austin Parkway and Thistlewood Drive.
In their own words

Council member Naushad Kermally inquired if the construction would affect students walking to the nearby Settlers Way Elementary School. Senior Project Manager Greg Nichols said the city had considered that during the project’s planning process.

“We’ll be coordinating with the residents if we need to shift sidewalks to the other side of the street just to make things safer for the kids,” Nichols said.

By the numbers

Drainage improvements for Austin Park and Chimneystone were included in the 2019 voter-approved $90.76 million general obligation bond program, which included $47 million for drainage improvements, according to agenda documents.

Additionally, Sugar Land obtained a 30-year zero-interest loan from the Texas Water Development Board for the design and construction. Based on current interest rates, the loan could save taxpayers as much as $7.6 million, according to a city news release.

Sugar Land held two public engagement meetings April 6, 2022, and Oct. 23, 2023, to gather community feedback about the project.

One more thing

The drainage improvement projects are expected to begin in December and be completed by fall 2026.