HOUSTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District is set to switch water flow to the new outlet control structures on Feb. 14 at Barker Dam, with Addicks Dam scheduled to switch in March. The new outlet control structures have been under construction since 2015 and will replace the original outlet control structures built in the 1940s.
“These new outlet control structures incorporate modern dam design features and will provide a more robust, resilient structure that is the keystone to flood risk management on Buffalo Bayou,” said Andrew Weber, USACE Galveston District project manager. “This is an important milestone in the construction project and is a critical activity prior to the demolition and abandonment of the existing structures.”
According to Weber, once the switch to the new outlet structure occurs, USACE engineers will increase monitoring and inspection to further verify performance and operability of the new outlet control structures. This work is part of a $75 million contract awarded to Granite Construction Company to replace the outlet control structures and install cutoff walls at both Addicks and Barker Dams. The estimated contract completion date is summer 2020.
Constructed in the 1940s, both reservoirs are normally kept dry to preserve their overall capacity to impound storm water and reduce flood levels in Buffalo Bayou. When a rain event occurs, the gates on both dams are closed to reduce flooding below the reservoirs. When the downstream runoff has receded to non-damaging stages, reservoir operations resume, the gates are opened, and water is released.
The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.
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Release no. 20-003