The Latest Twists and Turns in the Flood Control District’s Plan to Reshape Buffalo Bayou

Plan for Memorial Park Demonstration Project, Buffalo Bayou near River Oaks, Houston

in this week’s Houston Press, writer Dianna Wray wades into the murky waters surrounding the Harris County Flood Control District’s plan to move and rebuild the banks of Buffalo Bayou where it winds between Memorial Park and the River Oaks Country Club. The method of “natural channel design” the district plans to use in the $6 million project is meant to keep the bayou in place, using downed trees instead of concrete. But weren’t bayous born to wiggle? “If the Army Corps of Engineers approves the Memorial Park Demonstration Project permit application,” Wray writes, “construction workers could move in by the end of this year, using heavy equipment and saws to reshape the bayou according to a pattern that should, if the method is successful, lock the waterway into a form it will hold for generations to come. If the effort fails, the entire project could be blown down the river by one heavy flood, leaving nothing but naked, unprotected soil where the last of an ancient forest once stood.”

Plan of Memorial Park Demonstration Project: Harris County Flood Control District

The Banks of River Oaks

16 Comment

  • Hopefully if this “rebuild” comes to life they will also allow some land along the bayou for paths/walkways …. a complete trail from Hwy 6 to downtown should be the CoH’s park department priority

  • OK, not CoH …. a Harris County priority

  • @WR, will never happen, most of the bayou banks in Memorial Villages are privately owned (a lot because bayous naturally encroached on previously plotted private land). County could never afford to buy those properties, or even the political clout to inconvenience the Houston’s elite.

  • No such thing as ” lock the waterway “. Seems like a waste of money to me, but I am not informed on all the issues that the current channel presents.

  • So, we’re going to spend $6M to shore up the properties of a handful of extremely wealthy people? And they’re not even sure it will work? *smh* I suppose I should be thankful that they’re not going to encase it in concrete, but not feeling it right now.

  • In depth article – thanks – I’m just not convinced the bayou needs to changed and locked, and what’s wrong with ‘locking’ using dead trees as supposedly is planned for the ‘new’ route? It does seem suspiciously coincidental that the area of proposed re-routing/re-building (sic?) is the River Oaks Country Club on the south.

  • So, White Oak Bayou remains an eyesore and a stretch of Buffalo seen only by a few multimillionaires gets a complete overhaul. Ok.

  • This is a $6 million pork project for someone. It will be washed away.

  • This project appears to encompass only the stretch of Buffalo Bayou bordered (on the south) by the golf course of River Oaks CC and (on the north) by Memorial Park. Parts of the golf course appear to be threatened by natural changes in the bayou’s course over time, as suggested in the photo above. Now, look at the “areas of cut” and “areas of fill” in the photo, which are part of the proposed project. The “areas of fill” appear to be located so as to protect the golf course from expected erosion. I’m sorry, but my impression is that HCFCD is is more concerned about protecting the country club than Memorial Park.

  • Yes, how about one of the billionaire’s along that stretch footing the bill. I’ve canoed the bayou, you see Eagles and it’s actually quite pretty, tho it has a real “deliverance” feel, thankfully no toothless inbreed hillbillies, just junior leagues yelling at their yardmen. I really hope these idiots don’t ruin the beauty of the Bayou–when I hear the Corp of Engineers is involved I cringe.

  • the Corp of Engineers can F up a wet dream.

  • Even if they were to (God forbid) concrete the thing from here to Sunday, you are NOT going to overpower nature. Meanwhile, taking out what has been growing there for a long time, complete with its living root system to hold things in place to the extent possible, only makes it more vulnerable during the construction and re establishment phases. So a couple of holes get shorter. Cry me a bayou – that’s a part of being adjacent to a waterway.

  • I’m one of the homeowners who live on a property that is alongside this project. Just to get one thing straight – the project is not being done for our benefit. In fact, we have already done our own bank stablization at our own expense (as it should be). Personally, I’m not convinced of the need for this project and I’d just as soon see the “demonstration project” be demonstrated elsewhere.

    I think that Guido has hit the nail on the head – the project appears to be more influenced by ROCC’s desire to protect parts of its golf course .

  • Based on what I read on the Houston Press regarding the methods to be used, there is no freaking way this is going to work. I think they should shore up the eroding banks, but leave the rest as-is.

  • The motto of the USACE should be “Tempting God, One Project at a Time.”

  • Folks who live on the south side of the Bayou will never allow any development on the other side. They’d fence it off if they could.