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Project Brays Overview

Reduce the Risk. Rediscover the Beauty.
Designed to reduce the risk of flooding, the Brays Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project, today known as Project Brays, is a cooperative effort between the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that also incorporates local initiatives. Benefiting thousands of residents and businesses along Brays Bayou, Project Brays is the largest, most significant flood damage reduction initiative ever to be managed by HCFCD.

Project Brays consists of more than 70 individual projects throughout the entire 31 miles of Brays Bayou. The majority of these projects are part of the federal project and primarily aimed at reducing flood risks. However, a few projects are strictly local initiatives with the purpose of enhancing environmental and recreational elements along Brays Bayou.


> See status of projects on the Construction Activities Update

In 2006, the Brays Bayou Marsh at Mason Park, near the mouth of the bayou was completed.

Project Benefits
Neighborhoods within the Cities of Bellaire, Houston, Southside Place, West University Place, Meadows Place, Missouri City and unincorporated areas of Harris County, as well as the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo will see advantages from Project Brays.

In addition to reducing flood risks, Project Brays will also work to bring much needed greenspace and recreational amenities to the communities along Brays Bayou through local initiatives led by strategic partners.


Many amenities, such as parks, trails, ponds at stormwater detention basins, and thousands of new trees, are planned for all of Project Brays.

Project Brays' Approach to Flood Damage Reduction
Encompassing more than 70 individual projects, Project Brays uses a collaborative approach with multiple techniques to address flood risks. The three major techniques being used are channel modifications, bridge modifications and the construction of regional stormwater detention basins. Each component contributes to reducing flood levels and the risk of flooding; together they form the strategy for Project Brays.
Channel Modifications - As part of Project Brays, approximately 21 miles of the channel will be modified. Approximately 18 continuous miles of channel widening, beginning at the mouth of Brays and moving west to Fondren Road, will increase the amount of stormwater the bayou is able to carry. Additionally, about three miles of channel deepening will be constructed, beginning at Old Westheimer Road and extending upstream to Highway 6.
Bridge Modifications - In order to accommodate channel widening, Project Brays will also require modifications to approximately 30 bridges along Brays Bayou. These bridges will be replaced or modified to allow for increased flow capacity. The modifications will reduce obstructions and allow additional stormwater flow.
Stormwater Detention Basins - Four stormwater detention basins are being created that will hold approximately 3.5 billion gallons of stormwater and cover about 900 acres when completed. A stormwater detention basin is an area where excess stormwater is stored or held temporarily until the water level in the adjacent channel recedes and the stormwater can safely flow away. When full, detention basins often resemble lakes. When not holding stormwater, detention basins are large, excavated open spaces. Some basins are designed to have a permanent water level in their bottoms, and vegetation is planted to provide habitat, as well as improved water quality.

The Project Brays stormwater deterntion basins will hold billions of gallons of water, reducing flood potential for thousands along the bayou.


Did You Know?
Project Brays includes a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the risks associated with future flooding along Brays Bayou. The Corps' role is oversight and monitoring of planning, design and construction according to federal rules, regulations and guidelines. The Corps also shares in the cost of the approved project. It is important to note that the local-federal partnership is currently defined by the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed in 2000 for the area of the bayou between the Sam Houston Tollway and State Highway 6. The PCA allows HCFCD to receive federal reimbursements for completed construction projects.

Project Funding
The total cost to implement Project Brays is approximately $450 million. The Corps shares approximately 50 percent of the cost of approved projects. Through the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, HCFCD is able to take the lead role and construct all of the various sections of Project Brays with prudent allocation of local resources. With the signed PCA in place, upon completion of certain approved projects, HCFCD can then seek reimbursement from the Corps.
Harris County Flood Control District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers