ENVIRONMENT Houston ocials provide updates on LakeHouston damspillway project
BY WESLEY GARDNER
THROUGH THE DECADES The Lake Houston dam was constructed more than half a century ago and has since been subject to a number of improvement projects. 1953: The construction of the Lake Houston dam is completed. 1970: Modications for erosion-control work immediately downstream of the Lake Houston dam are completed. 1986-87: Repair projects on the Lake Houston dam are completed. 2022: Construction is slated to begin on the Lake Houston dam spillway improvement project.
Progress on the $47 million Lake Houston dam spillway improvement project is moving forward with construction expected to begin by the end of 2022, Houston ocials said during a July 8 community forum. The city of Houston has been working to add gates to the Lake Houston dam since Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017. The shortcomings of the Lake Houston dam were highlighted during Harvey as it was overwhelmed with water being discharged at a rate of 425,000 cubic feet per second. “Presently, we can release 1 foot of water in 24 hours,” said Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, who represents District E in Kingwood. “With the ability of the new gates, we’ll be able to release 4 feet of water in 24 hours, so that gives us the ability to react to a storm like Harvey.” Black and Veatch engineer Chris Mueller, whose company is tasked with designing the improvements,
The Lake Houston dam features four small gates and a spillway structure. City of Houston ocials hope to add new gates to the dam to increase its release capacity during rain events. (Kelly Schaer/Community Impact Newspaper) SOURCE: TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
alterations are still being made to ensure they operate eciently. He added the design phase would take about one year to complete. Following the design phase, Mueller said ocials would need to gain environment clearance and permits for the project, which he said would likely take two to three months. Mueller estimated the construction
of the dam improvements would take 18 months to two years. Ocials noted the project’s design phase was partially funded through a $4.3 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. City ocials are currently working to secure future FEMA grants to help fund construction.
said the rm has completed the planning stages of the project and is in the preliminary design phase. As it exists today, the dam is a spillway structure with four gates, which are made to release water at a rate of 10,000 cubic feet per second. Mueller highlighted designs that would install new crest gates within the dam structure, though he said
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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • JULY 2021
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