Corps, OC host levee open houses
Last updated 4/12/2022 at 5:33pm
A series of public open houses are set for three dates in late April to inform the public of the progress of the Orange County Project of the Sabine to Galveston Coastal Storm Risk Management levee system.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Orange County are hosting the events.
The first will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at the Bridge City Community Center, 105 Parkside Dr., Bridge City.
The second will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at American Legion Post 49, 108 Green Ave., Orange.
The final open house will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475 FM 1442, Orange.
The Corps of Engineers has put up a new project webpage: https://www.swg.usace.army.mil/S2G/OrangeCounty/ with a mixture of old and updated information about the project.
A tease for the public meetings back in March promised an updated map of the 27-mile combination of earthen levees and concrete floodwalls that skirts along the Sabine and Neches River floodplain from I-10 north of downtown Orange south around Bridge City and ends just below FM 105, also known as Orangefield Road.
But the Corps has pointed out both on its webpage and on a new video linked to that page that the final alignment of the new levees, floodwalls and gates has not been determined yet.
"The exact location of future levees, floodwalls, gates, and pump stations is still in the design phase and will be communicated as the project progresses," the page states.
As of Monday, the levee alignment available on the Internet is from 2017.
The primary goal of the Orange County Coastal Storm Risk Management project is to enhance energy security and commerce by relieving storm surge and risk to local petrochemical facilities and protecting waterways used both for commercial and recreational purposes, the video said.
The Corps of Engineers, working with assistance from the Orange County Drainage District and contractors Stantec and Jacobs, is in the preconstruction and engineering phase of the project.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 and be complete by 2028.
The $2.4 billion Orange County Project is one of three projects associated with a $26 billion system of giant floodgates built between Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island to protect the Houston Ship Channel from catastrophic storm surge events.
Besides Orange County, where the levee system will be built from scratch, improvements are being made to existing levees and floodgates in Jefferson and Brazoria counties.
The Orange County plans posted on the Corps webpage in March show 15.6 miles of new levee 12 to 17.5 feet tall, 10.7 miles of floodwalls 13.5 to 16 feet tall with 56 drainage structures, 32 closure gates across roads and railways and two navigable sector gates, one each in Adams Bayou and Cow Bayou, to reduce surge penetration.