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July 09, 2012

Harris County Flood Control District Initiates Final Excavation Phase of Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin Project

In July, the Harris County Flood Control District celebrates a landmark event with the launch of the final phase of excavation on the 340-acre site near the intersection of State Highway 6 and the Westpark Tollway in west Houston. The Flood Control District started excavating the Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin on Brays Bayou approximately 10 years ago.

Once the Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin project is finished, it will be the third of four regional stormwater detention basins completed as part of the Brays Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project, known as Project Brays.

 In July, the Harris County Flood Control District marks a milestone with start of the final phase of excavation on the Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin project in west Houston. The detention basin is part of the approximately $530 million Brays Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project, known as Project Brays.
The areas shaded in brown on the map designate the construction areas during the next and final phase of excavation of the Harris County Flood Control District’s Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin project. Crews will excavate approximately 2 million cubic yards of soil from these areas over the next 24 months.Harris County Commissioners Court awarded the approximately $12.4 million construction contract to Williams Equipment Services, LLC in May. The 24-month project includes the removal of approximately 2 million cubic yards of soil from the Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin. This is the ninth and final phase of construction.

When the stormwater detention basin project is complete, the basin will retain approximately 1.5 billion gallons of stormwater that otherwise might flood homes and businesses and will help reduce flooding risks for those who live downstream along the banks of Brays Bayou.

The Eldridge basin also has 340 acres of usable greenspace for nearby communities. Harris County Precinct 3’s Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Park is located at the southeast corner of the basin site and features a jogging/walking trail, playground and pavilion/gazebo facility.

The basin has been designed by the Flood Control District to be environmentally friendly and to promote habitat for wildlife. The eco-system continues to develop and supports a sizeable variety of birdlife.

The approximately $530 million Project Brays is a cooperative effort between the Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Project Brays includes the widening of 21 miles of Brays Bayou from the Houston Ship Channel to Fondren Road and from Old Westheimer Road to State Highway 6. The project also includes excavating four stormwater detention basins that when completed will hold the equivalent of seven Astrodomes of water, and replacing or modifying 32 bridges.

About the Brays Bayou Watershed
Located in southwest Harris County, the Brays Bayou watershed covers approximately 128 square miles and drains stormwater from unincorporated areas of Harris County, as well as from communities within Bellaire, Houston, Southside Place, West University Place, Meadows Place and Missouri City.

The 31-mile Brays Bayou is the primary waterway in the watershed, originating west of Highway 6 and flowing east through many residential, commercial, institutional and industrial areas to its mouth, where it joins Buffalo Bayou at the Houston Ship Channel. Key landmarks along or near Brays Bayou include the East End, Texas Medical Center, Rice University, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Reliant Park, Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo, Meyerland and West Houston.

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.