HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT STARTS CONSTRUCTION
ON BUFFALO BAYOU RESTORATION PROJECT
The Harris County Flood Control District has launched construction on a 7-phase, $5 million project that will restore a two-mile section of Buffalo Bayou from Sabine Street near Interstate 45 west to Shepherd Drive.
The first phase of the Flood Control District’s Channel Conveyance Restoration at Buffalo Bayou Park project started Aug. 6 on the section of Buffalo Bayou located directly north of the Houston Police Officers Memorial on Memorial Drive west of Sabine.
The District is realigning this section of the channel to lengthen the bayou’s meander and creating a bankfull bench on the inside bend of the bayou near the Houston Police Officers Memorial. A bankfull bench is a flat or shallowly sloped zone above the bayou’s bankfull level that slows high-velocity flows during periods when water levels are above the bankfull level, and is designed to capture sediment, stabilize the bayou banks and reduce erosion.
The channel realignment work requires that the District’s contractor create a diversion ditch to move stormwater away from the construction area so that crews can perform excavation work in dry soil conditions. The diversion channel can create a dangerous, swift current that can put health and safety at risk.
During all construction phases, park visitors, canoeists and kayakers are advised to be alert, to respect the flagmen, construction signs and construction fences, and to abide by temporary trail and bayou closures.
The Flood Control District is preparing and will install several additional advance warning signs that advise canoeists and kayakers of their pending approach to the construction area and diversion channel at the section of Buffalo Bayou located directly north of the Houston Police Officers Memorial on Memorial Drive west of Sabine.
Safety Alert: Canoeists and kayakers coming from upstream of the project area are required to pull out at the Montrose Street Bridge - the last viable exit before entering the construction zone. The Flood Control District strongly urges all canoeists and kayakers to avoid the construction area because the diversion channel creates a dangerous, swift current that can put their health and safety at risk.
There will be windows of time – varying from one hour to one day – when the trail on the north bank near Glenwood Cemetery will be closed to allow construction vehicles to enter and exit the area, and there will be periods when the bayou also will be closed for safety reasons due to heavy earthwork construction that extends into the water.
The Flood Control District will communicate information to the media in advance of each phase of the project. Construction will be phased to minimize inconveniences to Buffalo Bayou Park visitors.
The Channel Conveyance Restoration at Buffalo Bayou Park Project
The Channel Conveyance Restoration at Buffalo Bayou Park project is part of the larger Buffalo Bayou Park - Sabine to Shepherd project, a $55 million public-private partnership led by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Harris County Flood Control District, and the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department.
As part of the 7-phase project, the Flood Control District will remove sediment that has built up over the years in Buffalo Bayou and repair existing erosion along the channel’s slopes. Bankfull benches will be created on the inside bends of the bayou and graded into gentle slopes that can serve as launch areas for canoes and kayaks. The District will clear invasive vegetation species that have taken over and obscured the view of sections of Buffalo Bayou and will replant the area with native vegetation and trees.
About the Harris County Flood Control District
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 Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more about the Flood Control District, visit www.hcfcd.org.