Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin would like to make District E residents aware the City of Houston has issued a Notice To Proceed (NTP) for debris removal services, specifically large silt deposits at the confluence of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston, commonly referred to as the "mouth bar."
The City of Houston, through its contractor DRC Emergency Services, LLC (DRC), began mechanical dredging of the mouth bar the week of Jan. 6. The total cost for this project is $40 million, which is funded through a combination of City of Houston Harvey Disaster dollars provided by Governor Greg Abbott, grant dollars from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and funding from the Harris County Flood Control District(HCFCD) Bond Program.
DRC will invoice the City of Houston in accordance with rates established and approved by the city to include final disposal. DRC must comply with all terms and provisions established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relative to disaster debris collections, temporary storage, and final disposal. The grant application for this project was submitted to the TWDB by Harris County Engineer, John Blount. Harris County is collaborating closely with HCFCD, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA), and the City of Houston on this crucial project.
DRC will complete the scope of work for dredging activities in two distinct phases. The first phase will remove accumulated materials near and at the mouth bar on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, and the second phase will remove accumulated materials in the East Fork of the San Jacinto River and other locations in Lake Houston. During phase one of this project it is expected that a minimum of 400,000 cubic yards (CY) of material will be removed over twelve months. Phase two of the project will consist of: 1) Harris County completing hydrographic surveys of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, and Lake Houston to determine dredge material volumes 2) the City of Houston advertising and awarding a dredging contract to the lowest responsive bidder 3) Harris County designating the City of Houston as a sub-recipient for the cost of the dredging contract. Phase two will run simultaneously with Phase One to expedite our activity.
Additionally, during phase two of the project City of Houston, Harris County, HCFCD, SJRA, and Coastal Water Authority (CWA) will develop and execute a plan for the City of Houston or CWA to assume long-term dredging operations on Lake Houston. This work effort will include determining funding for the dredging operations in perpetuity. This phased approach will obligate the full grant funding before the 87th legislative session in 2021. This grant funding was made possible thanks to State Representative Dan Huberty (District 127) through the passage of Senate Bill 500.
Martin would like to thank all those that have participated in the collaboration of the complete removal of the mouth bar in the San Jacinto River. It has taken over a year of advocacy by Martin but this project would not be possible without the partnerships with Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Kevin Brady, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Governor Greg Abbott, Chief Nim Kidd, State Senator Brandon Creighton, State Representative Dan Huberty, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Engineer John Blount, Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russell Poppe, Harris County Flood Control District Deputy Director Matt Zeve, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chief Recovery Officer Stephen Costello, and Director Carol Haddock.