Corps of Engineers will discuss OC levee project online Thursday
Last updated 5/23/2023 at 8:59pm
Orange County residents will be able to get the latest update on the 26.3 mile levee system plan during a virtual meeting Thursday with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The corps' latest projections call for the construction to begin in 2025 and last through 2030, with the system being finished in 2031.
The virtual meeting will be online through the corps' Galveston district website from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25. The corps last held an online update this past October. Corps representatives were in person in the county in April 2022.
The Orange County system is estimated to cost $4.2 billion and Congress has allocated some of that already. The local sponsors are Orange County and the Orange County Drainage District.
Orange County will be the first county to get new levees and seawalls under a plan to protect the whole Gulf Coast of Texas from rising seas and storm surges, plus provide extra protection against rainfall and river floodings.
The current plans call for the county to have 20 miles of new earthen levees, plus three miles of concrete seawalls. The system will go from the Bridge City marshes and along the Sabine River to nearly Interstate 10.
The system will also include 14 to 16 new pump stations to help move floodwaters out of the county into the rivers and bayous. Also, 150-200 gravity-operated storm drains will be included.
The project is set to include 40 closure gates at roads and railroads, along with two lift gates, one at Cow Bayou and one at Adams Bayou. The lift gates will be able to be closed during a storm surge and still allow boat navigation.
The Texas Legislature created a funding system to help pay for local shares of the protection sytem. A regional special district was created to oversee the complete coastal project. Orange County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kirk Roccaforte is the local representative on the special district's board.
The link for the virtual meeting can be found on the Galveston U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at swg.usace.army.mil. The link for the Orange County meeting can be found at the top of the page. The link also includes the latest map of the plans and a brochure outlining the project.