Federal funding breathes life into Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project

Published Feb. 24, 2015

GALVESTON, Texas (Feb. 24, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District and Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) will start work on the Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project in north Harris County this year due to $8 million in start-up funding allocated in the federal fiscal year 2015 budget for the Corps’ Civil Works program.

"The Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project includes approximately 3.7 miles of channel conveyance improvements from Cutten Road to Veterans Memorial Drive and approximately 108 acres of stormwater detention storage," said Shakhar Misir, USACE Galveston District project manager for the Greens Bayou project. 

The Corps is the lead agency on the $55 million Greens Bayou project and expects to start construction later this year on the first phase of excavation of the stormwater detention basin located adjacent to Greens Bayou near Antoine Road and the Sam Houston Tollway.  West Greens Drive bisects the basin, dividing it into two parts, but it will function as a single flood damage reduction feature. Stormwater detention basins help to reduce flooding damages by safely storing excess stormwater during heavy rain events and slowly releasing it back into the bayou as water levels recede.

Misir said the Corps is preparing to enter into a Project Partnership Agreement with the Flood Control District for the estimated four- to five-year project construction period. That estimated schedule is contingent on funding by both the federal government and the HCFCD.

Under a Project Partnership Agreement, the district will manage, design and build the project; and after construction is completed, will plant grass on disturbed areas of the bottom and sides of the channel and native trees where appropriate along the bayou's banks and on earthen benches constructed in the channel. Trees and grasses will be planted in and around the basin, with wetland plants placed in low areas as part of the landscaping. These features will create wildlife, water quality and recreation opportunity benefits. The HCFCD will buy land, easements and rights-of-way; relocate utilities and then operate and maintain the project after construction. The cost share will be approximately 75 percent federal and 25 percent local.

HCFCD Executive Director Michael D. Talbott said this project is prime example of what happens when the Corps and flood control district partner to reduce flooding risks. 

"The Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project will bring much needed relief for nearby homes and businesses that have suffered flooding," said Talbott. "The district's strong partnership with the Corps allows us to leverage local tax dollars to achieve significant results."
Talbott thanked the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works for recognizing the need and for this important project, and for its commitment to the Harris County region.  He said the HCFCD would continue to work with its governing body, Harris County Commissioners Court, to allocate local funding needed to keep the project moving.

Grass Roots Efforts Reap Results
Supportive efforts by the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition, which was formed out of a need to reduce flooding impacts in the 212-square-mile Greens Bayou watershed, played an important role in the Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project moving forward. In 2009, the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition launched a strategic advocacy effort to help secure federal funding for the federal project.

"The approval of funding for the federal project is the culmination of many years of hard work," said Mike Castro, Chair of the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition's Public Policy Committee and a coalition board member. "The project demonstrates what can be accomplished when community volunteers, government stakeholders and concerned citizens focus their combined efforts on a worthy endeavor. The project will have a demonstrable positive impact on the quality of life for residents who live within the Greens Bayou watershed."

Regional Projects Complement the Federal Project
Since 1986, the HCFCD has acquired several regional stormwater detention basin sites in the Greens Bayou watershed, totaling 2,200 acres. To date, one basin has been completed and excavation has started on several others. The HCFCD will complete two more basins in the next few years with matching grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The first is being excavated on Greens Bayou near Kuykendahl Road and Ella Boulevard and the second on a section of the bayou located just east of Interstate 45 and north of Greens Road.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight. To learn more about the Corps Galveston District, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil.

The Harris County Flood Control District provides flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the HCFCD accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more at www.hcfcd.org.

The Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition seeks to benefit the economy and enhance the quality of life for the more than 500,000 residents in the Greens Bayou watershed through flood mitigation, parks and trails development, and economic development. For more information visit www.greensbayou.org

For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.

Release no. 15-011