Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Levee open houses set April 26, 28, 30

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Orange County Drainage District is hosting three public open houses next week to share information about the $2.4 billion Orange County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project.

Interested residents should plan on attending one of the free come-and-go sessions as the latest 2022 alignment map will be unveiled.

The first is set for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at the Bridge City Community Center, 105 Parkside Drive.

The next is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at the American Legion Post 49, 108 Green Avenue, and the final open house will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475 FM 1442.

A 3-minute welcome video to briefly introduce members of the Project Team and update the progress of the project is first stop of the show-and-tell which includes a number of tables and displays called Project Topic Stations.

Topics will be Engineering/Project Alignment, Real Estate, Project Partners, Environmental Impacts, Engineering/Project Structures, Hydrology & Hydraulics and Drainage, and Project Story Map.

Project Team Members will wear name tags and will be available to discuss the project. Maps and exhibits are available for review and comment.

The system of earthen levees and concrete floodwalls and gates is being designed to help reduce the risk of coastal flooding and help Orange County be more resilient to future storm and flood.

According to a presentation at a Media Roundtable held Wednesday at the Expo Center, Project leaders say the alignment, or route, and exact location of the storm barriers is only about 80 percent decided.

A purpose of the open houses is to get public input and point out the differences between the initial Project alignment, which came out of a 2017 Feasibility Study and the current one.

Col. Tim Vail, the Commanding Officer of the Corps' Galveston District; was joined at Wednesday's Roundtable meeting by Rick Villagomez, the Corps' Project Manager, Orange County Judge John Gothia and Don Carona, general manager of the Orange County Drainage District.

At Wednesday's press preview, Vail explained that current plans for the Orange County Project call for approximately 15 miles of new earthen levees, approximately 10 miles of new concrete floodwalls and gates, at least seven pump stations and more than 50 gravity drainage structures.

While the location of all of the pump stations have not finalized, three for-sure sites will be at Cow Bayou near the East Roundbunch swing bridge, where Adams Bayou runs into the Sabine River and at Coopers Gully, where it run into the Sabine River near the Orange Boat Ramp.

The new map shows the levee alignment between the pump station at the Adams Bayou outfall into the Sabine and the Port of Orange to be still "under design."

The current timeline for the project predicts construction beginning in 2024 with completion in 2028.

Many more details will be available at the open houses.


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