Press Room

May 13, 2014

Harris County Flood Control District is Excavating 1.25 Million Cubic Yards of Soil in Next Phase of Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin Project

The Harris County Flood Control District recently started the next phase of the Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin project, which will remove approximately 1.25 million cubic yards of soil from the basin located in southwest Houston.

The areas shaded in brown on the map designate the next phase of excavation on the Harris County Flood Control District’s Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin project. Crews will excavate approximately 1.25 million cubic yards of soil from these areas over the next 15 months.Harris County Commissioners Court awarded an approximately $10 million contract to the low bidder, Lecon, Inc., to complete this phase of the project.

The contractor is excavating and removing soil from the Willow Waterhole basin's Compartment 2 and 3 sites, which are located, respectively, east and west of South Post Oak Boulevard and north of South Main Street/U.S. Highway 90A. This operation requires the use of large dump trucks to carry the excavated soil from the two construction sites for off-site disposal and will take approximately 450 calendar days to complete. The Flood Control District appreciates the public's patience and understanding through the duration of this project.

Upon completion of this project phase, the Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin complex will be 70 percent complete.

The Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin is an interconnected set of six compartments on 292 acres near Willow Waterhole Bayou, South Main/U.S. 90A and South Post Oak. When completed, the basin will hold approximately 600 million gallons of stormwater that might otherwise flood homes and businesses, and provide 292 acres of greenspace.

The basin is part of the Brays Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project, known as Project Brays. The $530 million federal project is a multi-year, cooperative effort between the Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and includes the widening of 21 miles of Brays Bayou from the Houston Ship Channel to Fondren Road and from West Houston Center Boulevard to State Highway 6; the replacement or modification of 32 bridges to accommodate channel modifications; and the excavation of four stormwater detention basins that will hold a collective 3.5 billion gallons of stormwater. The Arthur Storey Park Stormwater Detention Basin and the Mike Driscoll Park (Old Westheimer) Stormwater Detention Basin are complete. The Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin and Eldridge Stormwater Detention Basin are under construction.

The Willow Waterhole basin has been designed by the Flood Control District to enhance the environment. The compartments retain a permanent pool of water year-round and they have been planted with thousands of specifically-chosen wetlands plants to improve water quality and attract many types of birds. The Flood Control District also has planted thousands of trees and native plants.

Since construction started on the Willow Waterhole basin complex in May 2004, the community and local government agencies have demonstrated support for the project. The Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy is spearheading the Willow Waterhole Greenway Project, which is a local initiative to provide recreational and aesthetic amenities along the Willow Waterhole basin and bayou. Through a $750,000 Texas Parks and Wildlife grant, the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department was able to fund construction of a pavilion, walking paths and bridges, bike trails, playgrounds and picnic areas throughout the Willow Waterhole basin area. The amenities are designed to provide a place for families and neighbors to gather and enjoy.

For more information on the Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin project, please visit www.projectbrays.org. To ask a question or comment on the project, please call Harris County Flood Control District's Project and Study Information Line at 713-684-4040 or the Project Brays Information Hotline at 713-316-4820.

About the Harris County Flood Control District

The Harris County Flood Control District provides projects that reduce flooding risks and damages, 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.