The city is planning to undertake a drainage study that will lead to the development of a master drainage plan in partnership with the Harris County Flood Control District and the Texas Department of Transportation.

Bellaire City Council gave permission to City Manager Paul Hofmann to enter into negotiations with the HCFCD and TxDOT at its March 18 meeting.

“This study will ultimately tell us what our options are for improving drainage within the city,” Bellaire Director of Public Works Michael Leech said. “The objective of having a study of this type is that it enables us to be eligible for a good deal of federal funding.”

The study is being led by Bellaire city staff and will cover a wide region of Houston in order to learn more about the effects of sheet flow, the movement of water above ground that can contribute to flooding in urban areas, and how to manage it. Part of the study is to determine the areas where sheet flow is created and most prevalent.

Once negotiations among the city of Bellaire, TxDOT and HCFCD are finalized, the study is projected to take seven months to complete, after which city staff will begin designing improvements to be implemented to the city’s drainage system to better deal with sheet flow.

The total cost of the initial sheet flow study is estimated at $702,000, with the city of Bellaire covering 18% of the study’s cost, TxDOT contributing 18.4% and the HCFCD contributing 63.6%.