Bellaire - Meyerland - West U Edition | Jan. 2020

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TOP STORY TO WATCH IN 2020

BRIDGING THE GAP As Project Brays enters nal phase, local ood eorts ramp up

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COMMUNITY INFO

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the year Harris County ood control took lead of the federal project

gallons of stormwater detention capacity added to the watershed

street bridges to be demolished and rebuilt in 2020 and 2021

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The demolition of the South Rice Avenue bridges over Brays Bayou have been put on hold. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two bridges too far? City of Houston and Harris County ocials have scrapped their original plans for the demolition and recon- struction of two sets of Brays Bayou bridges—on South Rice Avenue and Chimney Rock Road—after commu- nity concerns reached a high point in December. The projects were removed from a bid package slated for January. “I’ve been hammering the city since January on this—that we really look at taking into account a better design for CONTINUED ON 18

BY MATT DULIN

For Meyerland and West Universi- ty-area residents, the uproar has been the opposite, as project planners look to replace some of these communities’ most frequently traveled bridges over the bayou in 2020 and 2021. A swell of public feedback over the design and trac impact has prompted a full review of those plans. Meanwhile, eorts by Bellaire and West University in 2020 will build on previous studies to pinpoint how these cities might be able to deliver even more ood reduction on a street level.

In the works for over 20 years, the federally funded Project Brays is enter- ing its nal and perhaps most visible phase. “Some people might have said, ‘I’m not seeing any work being done’; well, that might be becausewemay not have worked in everybody’s neighborhood every time,” said Gary Zika, the federal projects manager for the Harris County Flood Control District. “But something was being done, somewhere—it’s a 31-mile-long bayou.”

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CITY & COUNTY

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