West Fork dredging may start Friday, Army Corps says
Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hoping dredging will begin in the San Jacinto River’s West Fork by Friday, Sept. 14.
“Due to the installation of critical components that were needed to make one of the two dredges operational, along with and weather delays, dredging may begin Friday,” said Corps officials in a public statement. “Weather conditions could cause further delays but we are committed to make sure dredges are fully operational and can operate in a safe environment.”
Contractors began assembling the dredging pipeline in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River in late July. The $69.8 million FEMA-funded contract, awarded to Great Lakes Dredge, shows the dredging is expected to last until mid-April 2019, with clean-up and equipment removal to be complete by May 2019.
“The intent of this FEMA mission assignment is to restore the flows of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River to pre-Harvey flows and temporarily reduce the risk of flooding,” said Eddie Irigoyen, project manager with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which is heading-up the dredging project.
The job runs about 2.7 miles along the West Fork and involves 2 dredges.
Dredge 1 covers the eastern section of the project. It begins about a quarter-mile west of West Lake Houston Parkway. Contractors will work their way eastward, dredging about 1.2 miles of the West Fork. Dredge 1 will end about a half-mile east of West Lake Houston Parkway.
Dredge 2, encompassing the project’s western portion, begins south of East End Park and moves eastward on the river for about 1.5 miles until it meets up with the start location of Dredge 1, just west of West Lake Houston Parkway.
The dredging project is expected to remove nearly 2 million cubic yards of shoal material, which will be deposited at a site west of Hwy. 59, south of Kingwood Drive; and a site east of Hwy. 59, south of the San Jacinto River.