Relief is on the way for flooding in the area of Texas Avenue and South Main Street, and could also be coming sooner than expected for the segment of West Texas Avenue between the oak tree and the Brunson Theater, thanks to grant money being received through Harris County Flood Control.
Frank Simoneaux, director of public works and engineering for the city, briefed the Baytown City Council on progress during a work session before Monday’s City Council meeting.
The first phase of the project is already well along in the planning stages. Simoneaux referred to it as the “Roosters Project,” in reference to the restaurant at the corner of West Texas and North Main that has suffered repeated flooding over the last few years—the project will start at that intersection and ultimately convey stormwater all the way to an outfall in Bicentennial Park to join an existing waterway that empties into the nearby Goose Creek.
That first part of the project will have two major elements, both of which will detain more water away from buildings.
It will lower South Main Street by about a foot from Texas Avenue southward 750 feet but keep a high crown in the center. Simoneaux said this would let the street store more water, but keep one lane passable down the center of the street for emergency use during floods. It will also put in a larger drainage conduit below the street— 5 feet by 3 feet. Together, these will hold enough water to protect buildings during a 10-year flood event, he said.
Those improvements were funded through a disaster recovery grant of $1.8 million with a $300,000 city match.
The city also did preliminary engineering on a plan to accommodate a 100 year flood, and has recently found grant money available through the county to do that stage of the project, with final approval by county commissioners expected as early as December.
That $2.26 million project will extend the same street lowering and larger drainage conduit on to Republic and add a detention pond in the area, but with exact location not yet determined.
Additional help will come as the county repairs a collapsed drainage line and sinkhole by the baseball field at Robert E. Lee High School. That project is underway Ultimately, the line under the field will be replaced with one that skirts the REL property along Lee Drive and empties into the existing stream in Bicentennial Park.
Another planned project would add larger collector lines under the 600 block of West Texas and West Defee avenues.