Drainage subcommittee makes recommendations

May 9, 2019

A Friendswood citizens advisory group has recommended that the city use terracing — cutting stair-step contours along Clear Creek — and other measures to address flooding threats.

Mindful of the havoc caused by Hurricane Harvey flooding, the drainage subcommittee has proposed projects totaling $173 million to be conducted over 15 years, with the city’s share amounting to $32 million — or 18 percent — that could be funded through a bond election, City Manager Morad Kabiri said.

The city would look to other sources such as grants for the remainder of the funding, according to Kabiri.

Kabiri presented the subcommittee’s recommendations for seven projects to City Council on May 6. The committee received input from Philip B. Bedient, an engineering professor at Rice University.

The projects, which all focus on the main stem of Clear Creek, include four terracing projects; two projects to raise the elevation of roads or bridges and a desnagging effort, which is underway.

Kabiri said the most important of the projects would be a $18 million effort involving terracing, or cutting land into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms to resemble steps.

“By removing more volumes of earth, it creates more room for water,” city spokesman Jeff Newpher said. “It also creates more land in addition to improving water flow.”

The areas proposed for terracing are between Dixie Farm Road and FM 2351, FM 2351 and Whispering Pines Avenue, Whispering Pines Avenue and FM 528 and FM 528 and West Bay Area Boulevard.

If a potential bond proposition for drainage were approved by voters, the $32 million would be allocated periodically as drainage projects are presented, Newpher said.

Another advisory committee of residents is investigating the possibility of a fall bond referendum to fund various needs that could include facilities and transportation.

Council members who have expressed approval for the drainage committee’s recommendations including Steve Rockey and Sally Branson.

“We need to fund this,” Rockey said.