NO BRAYS BAYOU ASSOCIATION MEETING OF ANY KIND THIS MONDAY, MAY 18TH…THAT INCLUDES ZOOM, VROOM, BROOM, FACE TIME, SKYPE OR GoTo TYPE VIRTUAL MEETING PLATFORMS.
  

*BELOW THIS MONTHLY UPDATE IS A SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING REGARDING A SITUATION SURROUNDING THE S. RICE BRIDGE.  MANY FROM THE BBA FAMILY WHO ARE OUTSIDE THE REACH OR NOT SIGNED UP FOR THIS SOCIAL MEDIA SITE HAVE ASKED ME TO SHARE, SO I’VE INCLUDED THE POST AND REPLIES WITH THIS COMMUNICATION.  I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BLASTING THIS ISSUE OUT OVER THE BBA AIRWAYS SOONER, NOT TRYING TO INTENTIONALLY EXCLUDE ANYONE. 

Harris County Flood Control District is not participating in any in-person or virtual type meetings at this time.  We are keeping in touch with them for any new developments and periodic updates.  We look forward to the day when we can once again have in person interaction with the Federal Projects Manager for HCFCDGARY ZIKA and Project Brays Team Members Melissa Meyer and Rusty Lannin, along with HCFCD’s Imelda Diaz and Jennifer Hobbs…who I refer to as the “Beyond Project Brays Team” for the Brays Watershed. 

BRIDGES
Telephone and Lawndale reconstruction is underway.

Ardmore is into the “4th quarter” of construction.

Greenbriar is at the stage of approach/intersection work.

Buffalo Speedway is projected to get started “Fall” 2020.

Stella Link has switched traffic to west bridge and should be completed in a couple of months.

S. Rice and Chimney Rock are slated to commence work December 2020.

Hillcroft now has a firm date of June 15th, for the elevation and intersection companion construction work to begin.  Signage informing of the construction and detours should start appearing around June 1st.  I believe HCFCD will be hosting a “Virtual Meeting” before construction commences, not aware of any exact date for such a meeting at this time. 

MISCELLANEOUS
The Meyergrove Detention Basin is still in design and you may have seen some crews conducting preliminary work around the site.  50% design plans are expected this month.  Contingent upon funding, construction could start in the early part of the 1st Qtr of 2021.

Phase 1 of the S. Braeswood Basins is nearly complete.  Phase 2 will connect the basins to the Millbury storm system and the other outflows between Millbury and the basins.  This will be one, west to east connection to the basin under the S. Braeswood esplanade.  Outflow capacity from the neighborhood of Meyerland Section 7 will not be increased.  The design intends divert water into the basins only once the flow into Brays is restricted, but does not enlarge any of the existing outflow pipes. Bottom line is these basins are additional holes in the ground in a highly flood prone area and were inexpensive due to no land acquisition costs and proximity to bayou.  The connection phase should start within a couple of weeks and be completed 60 days thereafter.

Bid work is underway for the proposed detention site along the Willow Waterhole Bayou, just west of S. Post Oak.  The site was originally marketed for townhome development before HCFCD acquired it.

Outside of a few “punchout” items the channel work part of Project Brays is complete from the mouth of Brays to the Fondren bridge.

Unfinished trail connections will be completed under the bridges, where designed, once bridge work is complete. 

Every aspect of Project Brays is due for completion by the end of 2021!

If anything comes up that is “news” worthy we’ll blast it out over this email channel, otherwise we look forward to reconvening meetings in one fashion or another as soon as life’s craziness allows….June…July…August…2023?  Of course with proper protocol in place.

In the meanwhile you are encouraged to visit the Project Brays website for Project Brays specifics.    https://www.projectbrays.org/

And a MUST visit site…Harris County Flood Warning System  https://www.harriscountyfws.org/ 
INCREDIBLE features!  JEFF LINDNER and others your hard work really shows through on this site! Real time rain fall and bayou levels does it for me!

And as usual please don’t hesitate to respond to this email or go to braysbayou@gmail.com with your questions, suggestion and or comments.  Also if you would like to be included in the “open” BBA email chain just respond “yes.”  It hasn’t been utilized much lately, but anyone is free to communicate with others on it anytime!  

Charles Goforth
Brays Bayou Association, President


April 21st Nextdoor POST:

ANOTHER WASTE OF OUR TAX $$$

*For those of you that have asked or are wondering…the work going on along the width of the S. Rice bridge at Braeswood has nothing to do with Project Brays. The COH PWE Water Division is preparing to refurbish the large water supply pipe the is attached to the S. Rice bridge that crosses Brays Bayou. It is extremely frustrating to see the city spending tens of thousands (or more) of our TAX dollars on the process of refurbishing this stretch of pipe when it is only going to be torn out in a few months and replaced new.

Project Brays has factored in the replacement and relocation of the pipe due to the bridge reconstruction project. HCFCD said they don’t understand because PWE has known about the bridge project and has all the drawings showing the scope of what they have to do…there is no way the pipe, refurbished or not, can stay the current location.

Like I said…just frustrated when I think that those tax dollars could go towards the city’s part of the bridge and intersection replacement…or a zillion other things.

I have asked CM Abbie Kamin to please check and see if any of the other bridges that will be impacted by Project Brays…N. Braeswood bridge that crosses the Rice ditch and the Chimney Rock and Hillcroft bridges at Braeswood, are scheduled for similar work. If nothing else maybe we can get those stopped. CM Kamin had absolutely nothing to do with this waste of your dollars and I am sure she is extremely frustrated as well.

…and of course the Floodie in me has to ask what if we get a 4-6 inch or greater rain event? What impact will that crazy lattice work of scaffolding and heavy plastic sheathing that extends 6-7 feet below the bottom of the bridge have? Good for those downstream of Rice, but upstream…?

As President of the Brays Bayou Association and Chair of the Meyerland Infrastructure Committee, I am going to formally request that this “endeavor” be pulled immediately. Not only is it not needed, but causes an unnecessary risk to a community that has seen it’s share of hard times and numerous other anxious moments on top of that.

I’ll let you know what kind of response I get from PWE and COH officials…we might need to rally the troops again! Please share you thoughts here, because I know sometimes those “in the know” are viewing this channel.

April 24th UPDATE: I received word midday yesterday that the Director of PWE, Carol Haddock, has halted the work immediately. Thanks to CM Abbie Kamin and her staff for their quick and efficient action on this matter. As Jack’s previous interactions, with the then District C CM indicate, this might not have been resolved a year ago…so thanks again CM Kamin! Also, appreciate Glenn’s post from yesterday announcing the news, time did not allow me to get on ND until now.

May 3rd UPDATE: This has stirred a review of similarly scheduled projects and so far four other water line refurbishings have been identified as not being necessary due Project Brays’ near future replacement of water lines on bridges. At my estimate of around $70,000 a pop the COH will save $280,000 by canceling these items on the larger contract. It kind of PO’s me that better review of HCFCD submitted and approved plans for the bridges was not undertaken by various city departments. Anyway, thanks again to CM Kamin for taking it up and Director Haddock for her action!

May 16th Update:  On Friday May 15th the scaffolding was removed.  Just in time…shortly after, thunderstorms rolled through the area creating a bayou flow that reached 38 feet.  Part of me would have like to have witnessed the aftermath had the scaffolding not been removed…as long as no flooding was involved.

21 Apr · 29 neighborhoods in General

Kathleen Sanderbeck
Braeburn Terrace
That needs ro be stopped and engineered with the bridge.
21 Apr

Clifford Haehl 
Willowbend
It might be good to schedule a formal introduction: “Right Hand? I’d like you to meet Left Hand. Why don’t you two talk and let each other know what you’re doing!”
21 Apr

Earl Fairbanks 
Willowbend
If there is a significant water in the bayou, that scaffolding and plastic (especially the plastic) will be washed away. So it won’t cause flooding. Not sure what condition the pipe is in, but what if it is close to failing? What if the bridge reconstruction gets delayed. What if it bursts and then have no water supply in the area until it is patched? Not saying your concerns aren’t at least worth looking into, but there can also be a valid reason for doing this work.
21 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
Earl, this is a “scheduled” preventative maintenance job…every 50 years or so whether the pipes need it or not the exterior is refurbished. The contractor has been doing many of these jobs around SW Houston over the past few years. The pipe is not in danger of failing in the near future and Project Brays, by contract with USCAE, has to have the bridges finished by the end of 2021.
21 Apr

Earl Fairbanks 
Willowbend
Charles Goforth if that pipe hasn’t been worked on since 1970, do you think it’s not worth giving a little TLC? I’m not sure how you can know it’s not in danger of failing without you doing an inspection. Infrastructure is failing all over this country. And say the work wasn’t done, and it failed. Then NextDoor would be full of posts complaining about why it hadn’t been maintained.
21 Apr

Earl Fairbanks 
Willowbend
Charles Goforth And Covid 19 might have something to say about when that bridge will be completed.
21 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
As I mentioned in a BBA update some weeks back on Project Brays, the construction is not being impacted, it’s considered essential and in my opinion rightfully so. According to the contractors they’re actually getting ahead of schedule because things like dump trucks can make 8 or 9 runs a day instead of 4 or 5 because of reduced traffic. And yes, any pipe can fail at anytime and if one does they would just quickly patch it up like the do many times a day on water pipes throughout Houston…and worry about full replacement or preventative maintenance down the road.
21 Apr

Gary McNeel 
Marilyn Estates
Charles Goforth I’m not sure whether the waterline needs the work or not. Ifs it’s just paint, then it should be stopped. If it’s damage, corrosion, etc then minimally repaired. As for contract issue, as Earl stated, look at places like Bellaire with contract cost overruns, lack of communication, poor planning and more. And that’s a tiny town. I guess I’d want to know if it’s required work or discretionary. https://www.bellairecivicclub.com
22 Apr

Madelyn M Kennedy 
Meyerland
They have similar plastic up on the Jason st bridge crossing rice. It was put up last week. This bridge was just revamped in the last year.
21 Apr

Paul Albert 
Westbury
How would the water be delivered as the new bridge is built? Are they planning on reusing/relocating this new pipe when the bridge is repaired?
21 Apr

Pita Zayas 
Meyerland
 Charles Please let us know where we should be placing our concerns to be most effective. Anyway we can help we will.
21 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
Pita, I am impressed CM Kamin and staff are all over this once it was brought to her attention. If we need to ramp things up I’ll let you know, but I want to give her a chance before blowing things up. I’ve also forwarded this post to the head of PWE…she’s a good and dedicated person. Hope to have a positive update tomorrow. I also have a sneaking suspicion that “eyes” are on the comments being posted here.

Pamela Berger 
Marilyn Estates
Charles Goforth agree with you on all accounts. I’ve know. Carol Haddock for years; she is a fine person and very very capable.

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
Madelyn, The Jason bridge received some work last year, but the water line along the southside has never received a refurbishing and it’s at least 65 years old. It actually still has some asbestos wrap on it at a 2-3 foot length before it enters the ground. So all the nasty stuff has to be scraped and or sandblasted off. It all has to be contained, the reason for the heavy duty plastic enclosures…can’t let any of it get into the soil or water. Then usually in applications like this it’s something like a 4 or 5 coat process of layers of zinc paint and sealants…you don’t want any of that getting on the ground, water or anywhere else besides the pipe. I think in my lifetime have walked along the pipe probably more than the actual bridge itself. As a bored child it was always much more adventurous to walk along the pipe holding onto the outside of the hand rail during my 7 years of of back and forth to school at Lovett. yeah, there was kindergarten through 6th and it was back in the day when we walked or rode our bikes to school without adult supervision…how did we survive!
21 Apr

Madelyn M Kennedy 
Meyerland
Thank you, I saw that 2 days ago and wondered after reading your post. I’m not sure how we survived, sadly our kids and grandkids kids will wonder the same in a few years.
21 Apr

Ray Ellison 
Willowbend
Charles, thanks a-million for the info. This is as logical as mopping the floors before demoing the whole house. I think a local news station would be happy to report on this if they can find time within all of the disease coverage.
21 Apr

Laura Zito 
Bellaire
Cost savings to avoid short term responses where long term solution is already funded in the pipeline,that will hopefully get you media attention. So wrong to continue spend money on an approved project which will be torn up in one to two years. And while FURLOUGHING city workers…isn’t that ironic!
21 Apr

Kat Elder 
Westbury
Charles, did your CM Abbie Kamin & the head of PWE say when they’d get back to you? If they aren’t successful in stopping this project now, other CMs & Mayor Turner might. Also COH will be instituting budget cuts & sadly layoffs due to Covid-19 financial impacts- might put any non-emergency projects on hold.
22 Apr

Kat Elder 
Westbury
Anyone know if the Federal funds allocated to COH for H. Harvey Relief is still in the control of the Texas Land Office with George P. Bush?
Edited 22 Apr

Sharyl Martini 
Meyerland
Ridiculous. Happy to be another squeaky wheel if needed. Thanks for staying on top of this!
22 Apr

Jordana Hoffman 
Westwood Albion
Thanks for your informed opinion and for filling us in on the details. I’m about to move into Meyerland and my learning curve is rapid. So thanks once again. I was under the impression that all of the bridge projects between N & S Braeswood has been Cancelled. Apparently not true.
22 Apr

JACK Stopnicki 
Braes Heights
It’s probably a moot point. This happened on the Buffalo Spwy bridge last year. I spoke with the contractor and they had a bid to provide this work on 50 bridges throughout the city. Well at least the Buffalo Spwy bridge stayed up one year longer than was originally scheduled
22 Apr

JACK Stopnicki 
Braes Heights
Unless the contractor is willing to give up a portion of his contract, it will be hard to stop the work. I had no luck with Ellen Cohen’s office on the Buffalo bridge. Good luck Charles !!
22 Apr

Oy Jong 
Bellaire
Y, likely bid, $$ awarded. If so , likely impossible 2 get back from contractor.
22 Apr

Brian Cweren 
Meyerland
Mr. Cohen did not know Braes Heights and Meyerland existed unless it was election time.
25 Apr

Barbara Szopa 
Westbury
Ditto Ray Allison’s remarks. Thank you so much for monitoring the situation.
22 Apr

Erin Turner 
Bellaire
Great call. Thank you for being pro active and seeing this. Weird how they don’t seem to know where our money’s being spent. I mean, they are educated right?
Edited 22 Apr

Nance Lee 
Meyerland
Hope you can stop this in time.
22 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
Jack I know about Buffalo Spwy and the four other bridges along Brays that went through the exact same scenario over the past couple of years…spend tons of money on refurbishing the waterline right before the bridge is torn down…insane! I thought the COH had resolved that “oversight”, but here we are again. A big part of my concern is the obstruction of flow if we get “one of those rains” that we often get this time of year. The area around this intersection has always been ground zero when it comes to flooding along Brays. I also intentionally didn’t mention the previous screwups because I want the “new” CM for this stretch of Brays to approach it with open eyes…we’ll see how she does.
Edited 22 Apr

JACK Stopnicki 
Braes Heights

You make some valid points regarding the flow of water. On a more positive note the Buffalo Spwy bridge only took a couple of weeks to complete, most of the time was used to erect and dismantle the scaffolding in the bayou.
22 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
Yeah I hear ya, but as we know it only takes a couple hours of a good rain before things start getting dicey along this portion of Brays…and if one home floods upstream of S. Rice they’ll be plenty of blame on this unnecessary project.
22 Apr

Earl Fairbanks 
Willowbend
Charles Goforth That scaffold will wash away if there is major water in the bayou. But even if it didn’t, it’s provided little resistance to water flow (as you picture shows). No need to raise concerns about flooding over this issue.
22 Apr

Diane Furst 
Meyerland
Thanks Charles for being proactive and also communicating!
22 Apr

Sudha Bidani 
Meyerland
I heard someone say that it’s preliminary to the bridge widening
22 Apr

Dan Bawden 
Marilyn Estates
Great job, Charles! Go get em’. Thanks for keeping us informed. Very helpful.
22 Apr

H.K. Massin 
Chimney Rock/Jessamine
Thank you for your leadership! I support your efforts.
22 Apr

James Cee 
Norwood Meadows
Thank you for your concerns and information because I didn’t even know all this was going on but off the subject what happened to the guard rail on braeswood at 610 was there an accident is all bent up and hanging up in the air.
22 Apr

James Bartko 
Norwood Meadows
Sounds like another Kick-The-Can Down The Road deal to me. Yes, I agree that there are many other places that that money could have been spent. A HUGE waste was the 6-8ft diameter duel drainage pipe placed in the Renwick easement about 2 years ago. Ever since it’s completion, EVERY SINGLE TIME we get a rain shower the smell of rotted waste like raw sewage fills the air in our neighborhood for most of the first day of rain. Those vent pipe that you see along the easement could’ve been raised above a 1 or 2 story house level so that that crap smell doesn’t permeate our lungs after each rain. God only knows what kinds of aerobic bacteria it releases into the air and thus into our homes and lungs! Surely other readers along Renwick have noticed that foul, disgusting odor. Welcome to Houston folks. Smells like a rodeo waste stall year round. That’ll attract home buyers & investment to our community.
22 Apr

Eddie Clouser 
Westbury
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
22 Apr

Ciaran OByrne 
Marilyn Estates
How about putting that money into reconnecting the bayou path under 610 to allow peds/cyclists to avoid that blasted surface junction :)! Beating a dead horse – but indeed this type of action is beyond incompetent.
22 Apr

Jo Barrie 
Maplewood
Thank you for looking after this!
22 Apr

Caroline Binick
Meyerland
project Brays is a Harris County Flood Control project, not a city one. The city should reach out to Harris County before doing anything on this.
22 Apr

Beverly Sufian 
Maplewood South
thank you for being on top of this -we appreciate your vigilance and explaining this to us
22 Apr

Arlene Levy 
Meyerland
Thank you Charles for speaking up and against irresponsible waste of money, and more importantly, working on the WRONG project for flood prevention.
22 Apr

James Minton 
Westbury
What I don’t see within this thread of comments are viewpoints from civil engineers who either back or counter this action. If someone has addressed this officially, there must be an official response and if further pursued, it should be backed up by valid civil engineering perspectives with valid financial responsibility placed on the proper authority(s).
22 Apr

Pamela Berger 
Marilyn Estates
Mr. Goforth – as always, thank you. Please ask channel 2 to ask hard questions of the decision makers here — not about embarrassing anyone but our city and county are going to be broke with covid – and we need to be wise with the dollars we have. Channel 2 did ask about the pop up hospital – for the first time ever I say the county jusldge avoid answering the question but the point was made for all to see. They aired the budget documents – eye-popping! For all to see.
22 Apr

Joanie Feder Murland 
Marilyn Estates
Very glad that you are in charge. Thank you Charles for looking after our money, our safety, and our homes. This sounds absolutely ludicrous to replace the pipe now and not wait for the complete bridge project.
22 Apr

Steven Croft
Willow Meadows
Thank you
22 Apr

Glenn Robichau 
Westbury
This work is being halted as of today.
Edited 23 Apr

Pamela Berger 
Marilyn Estates
Thanks to Mr. Goforth!!! He is awesome.
23 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
UPDATE: I received word midday yesterday that the Director of PWE, Carol Haddock, has halted the work immediately. Thanks to CM Abbie Kamin and her staff for their quick and efficient action on this matter. As Jack’s previous interactions, with the then District C CM indicate, this might not have been resolved a year ago…so thanks again CM Kamin! Also, appreciate Glenn’s post from yesterday announcing the news, time did not allow me to get on ND until now.
24 Apr

Cheryl Israel 
Meyerland
Great news! Thanks for calling attention to this!
24 Apr

Pamela Berger 
Marilyn Estates
I have known Ms. Haddock for years – she is a very fine person and it does t surprise me one bit that she was immediately – and appropriately – responsive.
24 Apr

Pita Zayas 
Meyerland
 Awesome
24 Apr

Jennifer Overton 
Marilyn Estates
Good job, Charles!
24 Apr

Charles Goforth 
Meyerland
UPDATE to the UPDATE: This has stirred a review of similarly scheduled projects and so far four other water line refurbishings have been identified as not being necessary due Project Brays’ near future replacement of water lines on bridges. At around $70,000 a pop the COH will save $280,000 by canceling these items on the larger contract. It kind of PO’s me that better review of HCFCD submitted and approved plans for the bridges was not undertaken by various city departments. Anyway, thanks again to CM Kamin for taking it up and Director Haddock for her action…aarrrggghhh!
3 May