Sugar Land places Phase 3 of Sugar Creek drainage project on pause

The city of Sugar Land is delaying work on Phase 3 of its Sugar Creek drainage project while staff explores design alternatives.

Proposed work on the project along Longview Drive near Sugar Creek Country Club drew criticism from nearby Bendwood Drive residents who are worried about the project’s aesthetic affect on their properties.

City Council instructed staff at its Jan. 26 meeting to study an alternative design that installs underground pipes behind Bendwood Drive homes, connecting to two lakes. One lake would be built for the project.

Drainage Project Timeline“It’s kind of an elaborate concept,” Sugar Land senior engineer Shashi Kumar said.

The drainage project started in 2005, when a study of the Sugar Creek Watershed determined flood control mechanisms were needed, according to city documents. Phase 3 includes five components, among them the Longview Drive and country club work.

Phases 1 and 2 of the project—completed in 2009 and 2015, respectively—included a detention storage within the River Bend Country Club and improvements to drainage inlets and sewer outfalls.

The original design is for a new relief system along Longview Drive, with an outfall through the Sugar Creek Country Club golf course. An open drain system would run behind homes on Bendwood Drive before it transitions to an underground system, and the nearby lake would also be deepened.

“Bendwood residents feel that, although they seem to agree that this will solve the neighborhood drainage problem, they feel they’re having to make some compromises to solve the neighborhood drainage problems,” Kumar said at council’s Dec. 15 meeting.

The city budgeted $10,230,000 for the Longview Drive and golf course work, according to the 2016-20 Capital Improvement Plan. Kumar said the alternative could cost $1 million to $1.5 million more than the original design, which prompted concerns from council.

“We can’t put our city in the red, but I really want to take care of the homeowners, and we need to find a balance,” Council Member Amy Mitchell said to Kumar at the Jan. 26 meeting.

The original design is partially within Stafford city limits. City staff recommended it because it would guide water north to south and because the city had a working relationship with Sugar Creek Country Club to secure an easement for construction on the golf course.