Surveyors for the Harris County Flood Control District are fanning out across Harris County’s 22 watersheds this week, part of a major push to repair more than $84 million in bayou and drainage channel damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
On March 27, Harris County Commissioners Court approved a total of $12.5 million in initial contracts with 15 engineering firms that will design those repairs. That design process kicked off this month with topographic surveys and geotechnical field work at hundreds of damage sites around the county. Local dollars will be leveraged to secure federal grant funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to design and construct the repairs.
More than 1,200 individual damage sites were verified and prioritized after Hurricane Harvey. This included sinkholes, bank erosion, failed concrete, collapsed outfall pipes and other damage. These damaged sites were then grouped for project design by the selected engineering firms.
During this phase, Harris County residents may see workers out along the bayous and channels with survey and geotechnical boring equipment. Field data collected during this phase will help the Flood Control District fully evaluate the type of damages and repairs needed. Later, after project construction contracts are awarded in a competitive bidding process, residents will see heavy construction equipment such as trucks and backhoes. Construction is expected to begin on some project sites later this year, and to be completed in 2019.
The Flood Control District has requested more than $84 million in construction funding from the NRCS and FEMA for making these repairs.