SWD Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Program

The Southwestern Division is aggressively executing its Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Program, as part of the larger Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, to meet our commitment to Congress and expeditiously provide risk reduction measure to the people of the Southwestern region. The Division’s program provides critical flood risk resiliency to the region by repairing damage from 2017 hurricanes and building additional flood risk reduction structures.

The program is comprised of 40 projects across four portfolios:

  • Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies (F)

  • Operation & Maintenance (O)

  • Investigations (I)

  • Construction (C)

The projects will directly benefit the people of the region through structure repair and enhanced flood control resiliency.

Project Locations

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Project Update: Lower Colorado River Basin Phase I (Wharton)

USACE multi-verse converges on Texas town to complete first phase of flood risk mitigation project

Guided by the “One Team, One Mission” mantra, the multi-district and multi-disciplinary Santa Fe Ditch Project Delivery Team showcased exemplary mission execution, stakeholder focus, teamwork and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Business Process in support of Disaster principles.

Members from three districts, representing two USACE divisions, each with their own expertise, joined together with the common goal to rebuild a damaged outfall ditch that provides flood risk mitigation to the citizens of Wharton, Texas.

“The team relied upon the diverse experiences and expertise of members from the Southwestern Division’s Fort Worth and Galveston Districts along with the Northwestern Division’s Omaha District, to optimize the entire project,” said Mike Kingston, Santa Fe Ditch project manager from the Fort Worth District.

Initially, the Santa Fe outfall embankment was constructed by the City of Wharton in 2013. Although classified as a ditch, the structure provides drainage for about a quarter of the city during heavy rainfall and acts as supplementary interior drainage storage if the Colorado River runs high.

“The ditch section is the first phase of a four-part project to help mitigate city flood risk from future flooding events,” said Kingston. “The ditch was initially damaged in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey devastated the region. Subsequent heavy rainfalls added to the damage.”

Located near the Gulf of Mexico, and close to the confluence of the Colorado River, Caney Creek, Baughman Slough, and Peach Creek, the city of Wharton has historically suffered when heavy rains hit the region. In 2020, $48,000 in emergency repairs were made by the city, but the structure still needed major rehabilitation.

“Since the 1998 floods, the city of Wharton has been working tirelessly with the Army Corps of Engineers on the Colorado River Flood Reduction Project and this outfall is only one small piece of that project,” Wharton Mayor Tim Barker said during a recent ribbon cutting ceremony. “After repeated disasters, the outfall received significant damage and we were unable to fund the extensive repairs needed.”

Throughout the project, the USACE team was adaptable and innovative with the emergency repair of the Santa Fe Ditch, overcoming real estate acquisition challenges, contract acquisition limitations, construction material scarcity and adverse weather.

The team used the USACE Business Processes, adapting as conditions changed. This, Kingston said, leveraged the best across USACE to provide an accelerated and high-quality flood mitigation solution that was under cost and on schedule, exceeding stakeholder expectations.

 “This multi-disciplinary team tackled this $5.1 million emergency repair and reconstruction project aggressively and collaboratively,” said Southwestern Division Commander Col. Brooks Schultze.  “As a result of the collective strengths across USACE and the synergy of the team, this rapid and robust solution to flood risk mitigation was under cost, ahead of schedule and met our flood risk mitigation goals for this project.” 

“More importantly,” Schultze added, “the project will directly benefit the people of Wharton and the region through structure repair and enhanced flood control resiliency.”

Knowing that stormwaters flow to Wharton from hundreds of miles away, future phases of the project will include building levees to manage the Colorado River and provide for interior sumps and drainage features. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2028.

The Santa Fe Ditch, part of the greater Wharton project, is one of 40 projects authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.”

Since its passage, the Southwestern Division has aggressively executed its $5 billion Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Program. The Division’s program provides critical flood risk resiliency to the region by repairing damage from 2017 hurricanes and building additional flood risk reduction structures.

Watch Video: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/876720/usace-multi-verse-converges-texas-town-complete-first-phase-flood-risk-mitigation-project

Project Updates: Lewisville Dam and Dallas Floodway/Floodway Ext.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division reduces risk by delivering Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Projects in the Dallas metro area

By Edward Rivera, Southwestern Division Public Affairs

The Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, continues steady progress in delivering projects under its $5 billion Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Program. As part of the division’s program, 40 regional projects were identified and divided into short-term and long-term portfolios funded by the 2018 Bi-Partisan Budget Act.

Total obligations across both long-term and short-term portfolios are approximately $700 million. During Fiscal Year 2022, five contracts were awarded obligating $300 million. The coming fiscal year outlook includes another $770 million in scheduled obligations and nine scheduled construction awards.

“The benefits of the Supplemental program are substantial for residents across the region,” said SWD Deputy Division Commander Col. James M. Schultze.

Under the construction (long-term) portfolio, there are 12 projects, four within the Fort Worth District and eight within the Galveston District, with an approximate total cost of $4.8 billion.

Three Fort Worth District projects are in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area and will enhance resilience and flood risk management for Dallas residents and businesses. These Trinity River basin projects include construction on Lewisville Lake dam and spillway, along with flood risk management and ecosystem restoration in the Dallas Floodway and Dallas Floodway Extension.

Lewisville Lake is divided into two projects, the first addressed the earthen or grassy portion of the dam where the focus was to reduce impacts of seepage that would lead to backward erosion. The second project will require construction in the spillway to ensure there is no uplift and sliding.

The Lewisville Lake Dam Safety Modification Study was funded by several sources and received more than $92 million from the Bi-Partisan Budget Act, more than $55 million for the 2019 Water Resources Development Act and $6.6 million from the City of Lewisville to relocate water lines from the downstream part of the dam.

“We have substantially reduced the risk to the more than 430,000 residents downstream of the dam,” said Stacy Gray, project manager for the Fort Worth District.   

Not too far downstream from Lewisville Lake, the Dallas Floodway and Floodway Extension projects are underway. Construction projects include restoring floodway capacity to 277,000 cubic feet per second, flattening levee side slopes on the existing levees, modifying the AT&SF Railroad Bridge to increase conveyance efficiency, adding three new interior drainage pump stations, renovating two existing pump stations and the enhancement of wetland habitat.

In 2007 Congress authorized the Dallas Floodway Project for construction in that year’s Water Resources Development Act at a total cost of $459 million. With the passing of the 2018 Bi-Partisan Budget Act, both Dallas Floodway and the Dallas Floodway Extension received funding for all of the flood risk components of the projects.

“The Dallas Floodway is cost-shared, 65 percent Federal and 35 percent City of Dallas. The Extension project is solely Federally funded,” said Carlos Denson, project manager with the Fort Worth District. “To date, we have received $223 million for the floodway and $136 million for the extension.”

Within the floodway program there are 12 projects, of which one, the AT&SF Railroad Bridge demolition was completed in 2021. Projects in the construction phase include two pump stations, the $277,000 levee raise and slope flattening, which will raise both the east and west levees to sustain a 277,000 cubic feet per second water surface elevation along the levee. Additionally, there will be a side slope flattening on river side of the levees.

“These improvements will reduce flood risk and minimize the impacts of flooding. The flattening of the embankments will increase its stability and decrease overall operations and maintenance costs,” said Denson.

In the floodway extension area two new earthen levees will be constructed. The Lamar levee which will be approximately 3 miles and the Cadillac Heights levee which will be 2.25 miles long.  “It is very important that we focus on protecting the communities as well as the businesses that are behind those levees,” said Denson.

Watch Video: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/876709/us-army-corps-engineers-southwestern-division-reduces-risk-delivering-hurricane-harvey-supplemental-projects-dallas-metro-area

Hurricane Harvey's Impact on Southeast Texas

Hurricane Harvey was the first hurricane to hit the Texas coast since 2008 when Hurricane Ike came through the Houston area and the first major (category 3 or better) hurricane to hit Texas since Bret in 1999. Hurricane Harvey started as a tropical wave off the African coast on August 13th and tracked westward across the Atlantic and on August 17th become a tropical storm which moved into the Caribbean Sea where Harvey become disorganized. Harvey was then downgraded to a tropical wave which entered the Gulf of Mexico on the 22nd.

On the morning of the 23rd, Harvey was upgraded again to tropical depression as the Bay of Campeche and the Western Gulf of Mexico had very warm waters. Over the next 48 hours Harvey would undergo a period of rapid intensification from a tropical depression to a category 4 hurricane. Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast near Port Aransas around 10 p.m. on August 25th as a cat 4 and brought devastating impacts.

As Harvey moved inland, it’s forward motion slowed to near 5mph after landfall and then meandered just north of Victoria, Texas by the 26th. Rain bands on the eastern side of the circulation of Harvey moved into southeast Texas on the morning of the 25th and continued through much of the night and into the 26th. A strong rainband developed over Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties during the evening hours of the 26th and spread into Harris County and slowed while training from south to north. This resulted in a rapid development of flash flooding between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., as tremendous rainfall rates occurred across much of Harris County.

The morning of the 27th saw additional rain bands continued to develop and produced additional excessive rainfall amounts. As the center of Harvey slowly moved east-southeast and back offshore heavy rainfall continued to spread through much of the 29th and the 30th exacerbating the ongoing widespread and devastating flooding.

All of this rainfall caused catastrophic drainage issues and made rivers rise greatly. Only around 10 percent of the river forecast points in southeast Texas remained below flood stage due to the event, and approximately 46 percent of the river forecast points reached new record levels. Harvey maintained tropical storm intensity the entire time while inland over the Texas coastal bend and southeast Texas. After moving offshore, Harvey made a third landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana on the morning of the 30th and brought more heavy rainfall to the Northern Gulf States. https://www.weather.gov/hgx/hurricaneharvey

Short Term Repairs

The Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (F) portfolio contains eight projects, all within the Galveston District, with an approximate cost of $51.8 million.

The Operations & Maintenance (O) portfolio contains 14 projects, within the Galveston, Little Rock and Tulsa Districts, with an approximate cost of $53.5 million.

Long-term Disaster Recovery Investment Program

The Construction (C) portfolio contains 12 projects, within the Fort Worth and Galveston Districts, with an approximate cost of $4.8 billion.

The Investigations & Studies (I) portfolio contains six projects, within the Fort Worth, Galveston and Tulsa Districts, with an approximate cost of $20.6 million.