HOUSTON – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District (USACE Galveston) switched the flow of water at Addicks Dam to new outlet control structures, constructed as part of a $75 million contract awarded to Granite Construction Company to improve and modernize Addicks and Barker Dams. USACE Galveston had already cut over to new outlet control structures at Barker Dam on February 14. The new structures have been under construction since 2015 and will replace the originals built in the 1940s. Completion of the entire contract is expected in summer 2020.
"These new outlet control structures incorporate modern dam design features and 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. Now that the switch to the new outlet structure has occurred, USACE engineers will increase monitoring and inspection to further verify performance and operability."
Constructed in the 1940s, both reservoirs are normally kept dry so that their entire capacity can be used 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.
In 1880, the Corps of Engineers established Galveston District as its first office in Texas, tasked with overseeing river and harbor improvements in the state. Today, the District’s main missions include navigation, flood risk management, regulatory oversight, emergency management, and ecosystem restoration.
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Release no. 20-031