03/09/16 4:00pm

Screen Capture of Addicks and Barker Dam Construction Updates Map

The Army Corps of Engineers is holding a public meeting amid this evening’s predicted thunderstorms to chat about the recently begun replacement work on the Addicks and Barker dams, which have each won the rare and highly distinguished label ‘extremely high risk’ through a combination of structural issues and close proximity to Houston. For those not planning to flood the Corps with questions and comments in person, there’s a somewhat-outdated online survey, as well as an online map of updates on the project’s progress. Work to replace the outlet structures of the dams began in February, and is expected to take about 4 years. 

The 2 reservoirs, spread out across 26,000 acres on either side of the Katy Fwy. near Highway 6, starred in the Sierra Club’s 2011 lawsuit over the construction of Segment E of the Grand Parkway through the reservoirs’ catchment area. The club claimed development spurred by the road could send major additional runoff to the reservoirs, increasing the chance of dam failure, which Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media reports “could do an estimated $60 billion dollars in damage to downtown Houston, to industries along the Houston Ship Channel, [and] even to the Texas Medical Center.” The judge didn’t stop construction of Segment E, but did order new studies on its potential flooding impacts.


Addicks and Barker Reservoirs
10/14/08 7:43am

MOVING THE KATY PRAIRIE, ONE CLUMP AT A TIME Threatened patch of prairie? Shovels to the rescue! “The 90-acre patch at Saums and Greenhouse roads north of I-10 is a subtly spectacular example of what the dwindling Katy Prairie looked like before development spread west out of Harris County. Sometime later this fall, construction on the extension of Greenhouse Road, plus a detention pond, will start there. Folks in straw hats, with shovels, buckets and bug spray, spent several mornings digging up clumps of this mature prairie for transplanting to other sites. . . . Digging up clumps of little blue stem, rattlesnake master and bee blossom gives prairie gardens a jump start they couldn’t get from seeds – and seeds are hard to come by.” [Inside Fort Bend]