Tag Archives: Harris County Flood Control District

Project Braes Bayou, Part 4

This is the fourth quarterly report regarding the Project Braes in my neighborhood near the Texas Medical Center in Houston. The majority of the work is done and orchestrated by the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Houston Parks Board, a non-profit, is working with them, to create more recreational space in this area. Google Maps now includes the Braes Bayou Greenway Trail.  I do not pretend to be an engineer or flood expert. I’m a Realtor who happens to live in the neighborhood, and I thought it would be fun to follow the progress to the finish.

I didn’t expect Hurricane Harvey to visit exactly a month ago, but this expanded portion of the bayou was truly put to the test on the night of August 24, 2017!  Saturday through Tuesday, I measured about 34″ in my rain gauge, but most of it came from late Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, almost 24 hours of hard rain is going to tax any community or city anywhere, I believe.  I could not get near the bayou; I wish I had a drone to send over there to let me know what it looked like.  But all you had to do was look up and down the streets nearest the bayou, to see that it didn’t hold back that much water!!  In neighborhoods like Linkwood, just east of Stella Link, most homes flooded for the first time ever, just a devastating blow to this lovely Medical Center neighborhood!

The next segment of the bayou expansion has already begun where this one is  leaving off, 2000 feet west of the Buffalo Speedway bridge.  This project goes West under Loop 610 to South Rice Avenue in the Meyerland area, a neighborhood that has seen three floods now, in the last four years.

Here are the changes I have observed since my last post made in early summer.

The mysterious building going up between North and South Braeswood near Stadium Drive turns out to be a beautiful new child care facility for Houston Methodist employees.  It is conveniently located just across the street where many commuters park to ride the rail the few blocks to the Texas Medical Center.

What happy colors have been chosen for this place created especially with the children in mind!

There is even a retention pond built with flooding in mind, and outside the sturdy fence.  This new facility didn’t have any water in the Harvey flood, and the water only came on the property on half the parking area.  I was able to visit with Mandy, who is the building supervisor through the construction.

This photo was taken while I stood behind the day care center, outside the fence, looking West toward the Stadium Drive bridge.  The first photo above is looking East to the Medical Center.  Note the Texas Orthopedic Hospital garage backs up to the bayou.

Every time I have photographed for this project, I have seen wildflowers.  This time was no exception.

This area on No. Braeswood near the Main St. bridge, looking toward the Kirby bridge, shows that all the heavy equipment and “mess” that has been here so long, is finally gone.  But here is another paved thoroughfare that stops suddenly.  These things are so weird, I cannot imagine what is in the future here…maybe by the next post, we will have an idea!

I repeat the fact I am not any type of engineer, but why does the fence stop and start, and the concrete paths not join?  Across No. Braeswood is the Brentwood Condominium, which I happen to know flooded on the first floors.  Why have a gap in that “seawall”.  (That’s what I like to call it, because we need one in more than one place in Houston!)

This is what it looks like from the So. Braeswood side.  That is 7575 Kirby Condominium due north.  The Brentwood is just next door and is an older condominium.  But, why the gap? Is it for large machinery to access the bayou?  I guess no one wants the gap to spill more water into their neighborhood!

Besides the junk and silt caught up in the pipes, just look at the condition of these pipes.  The Kirby bridge and the Buffalo Speedway bridges are going to be completely re-placed.  Traffic will be a challenge, but it will be worth it.  It will benefit the runners/bikers/walkers, and also the vehicular traffic above.

I’m sorry to say this is the price a lot of my neighbors had to pay for Harvey!  At least half their pile has been picked up.  This is the remaining pile!  Wonderful, fine-grained oak wood floors, kitchen cabinets, baseboards, drywall, furniture that got soaked, etc.  This is one house.  I don’t even know how many thousands like this are sitting with their pile, still waiting for the trucks to take it away!!

Just like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, this storm was more harsh north of the bayou than the south.  There was more than twice as much water with Harvey, I think, and there has been much work on the infrastructure and more homes built on a pier and beam foundation, but there were homes flooded, and one is too many!

If you are looking for a high and dry home near the Medical Center/NRG area, please give me a call, and I will find the kind of home you want and help you buy it.  If you want to sell, flooded or not, I am the one to make that listing marketable, focusing on the right target to buy your place!  Call me at 713.530.0150.  I am ready to serve your needs!

Project Braes Bayou 3

This is the third quarterly report regarding the Project Braes in my neighborhood near the Texas Medical Center in Houston. The majority of the work is done and orchestrated by the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Houston Parks Board, a non-profit, is working with them, to create more recreational space in this area. Google Maps now includes the Braes Bayou Greenway Trail, and it’s making more sense to me, now that I can see the plan! I still do not pretend to be an engineer or flood expert. I’m a Realtor who happens to live in the neighborhood, and I thought it would be fun to follow the progress to the finish.

This is the east end of the project I haven’t pictured before. I was looking west from the Bertner Street bridge in the medical center. These parallel trails coincide with the Google Maps drawing of the Braes Bayou Greenway Trail.

This is a view from No. Braeswood looking toward the Main St. bridge. I do believe they are building a “seawall” and fence along this area!

From this same place at No. Braeswood and Braeswood Ct., I can tell the “seawall” and fence are complete along the So. Braeswood side.

Also from No. Braeswood, this time looking west at the Kirby bridge, you can see a lot of concrete on the So. Braeswood side. Wooden fencing on the north side is keeping people off the path. I think this is your first glimpse of the trails going under the bridges. This one on the south side looks awesome!

From the west side of the Kirby bridge, you can see the same treatment with the wooden fencing and the “seawall” type concrete fence being assembled.

At No. Braeswood and Brompton, you can see the completed fence on the south side of Braeswood. They must not be planning one on the north side.

Looking west from the Kirby bridge on the No. Braeswood side, the south side trail is still incomplete. It looks like a dead end at this time.  I wonder what they are thinking…meanwhile wildflowers are growing in this undisturbed portion of the bayou, and it is lovely!

Now I’m on the south side of Braeswood, and I can see the trail and fencing are finished and wildflowers are taking hold on this side of the bayou.

Looking west from Braesmain on So. Braeswood, I can see the fencing on the north side at the West University water treatment facility, and the trail on that side. Between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby, the Braes Bayou Greenway Trail will be on the north side of the bayou until you reach Holcombe (which is going east beyond the scope of this current project) where it will be on both sides of the bayou.

I know people are tired of seeing the signs saying “Trail Closed”, but hopefully, it won’t be long until a really amazing trail, much better than you have even experienced, will be ready! I’ll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, if you would like to live near this Braes Bayou Greenway Trail, there are single family and townhomes for sale in all price ranges. Call me for an appointment to learn more about these neighborhoods on the south and north sides of the bayou!! 713-530-0150!

Project Braes Bayou 2

IMG_1119This is my second quarterly report on the progress of Project Braes, a project with the majority of the work being done and orchestrated by the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Houston Parks Board will be working to create more recreational space in this area. I still do not pretend to be an engineer or expert on flood problems. I am a resident of the area, a Realtor, and I want to keep the neighborhood aware of the progress of this huge undertaking.

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These photos are from east of the Kirby bridge on So. Braeswood. The first one is looking West and the second, East. The fence and sidewalk near the street are finished, I think. That wall appears to be small, relative to the seawall in Galveston, but that is what it looks like to me!

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From the Main St. bridge, first looking West, then East toward the Med Center, we see the large area under the bridge in concrete…what is this going to be? I knew they would have trails under the bridges, to facilitate the needs of hikers and bikers. Maybe I will have the answer next time. Looking east, we see the vast amount of dirt leveled, packed and able to handle all these vehicles that belong to the workmen.

IMG_1098IMG_1099From Kelving and No. Braeswood, first looking East, then West toward the Kirby bridge. The progress on this side is not as far along as the So. Braeswood side, but you can see the wall is built along Braeswood to Kelving, and there is a heap of dirt ready to go or come, I don’t know.

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From Brompton and No. Braeswood, looking across to Knollwood Subdivision, it appears that the “seawall” will end between Buffalo Speedway and about Tidwell.

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We can see from Grennoch, west of Buffalo Speedway, there are a few piles of rocks/boulders along the south side of the bayou. I’ll tell about that in a minute. But it doesn’t look like much is happening here, except…

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Wildflowers! Wow! What a great relief from the construction!

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At Greenbush and So. Braeswood, you can see the wall is higher than So. Braeswood. I speculated in January, that it might be. In the second photo, there is something unusual. The two strips of grass have been laid precisely at certain places. One about 3′ wide is backed up to the wall. The second is a more narrow strip maybe 20′ away, I’m guessing. I can’t wait to see what is going on here!

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This backhoe is seriously in the bayou scooping up large rocks and boulders. That’s why they were further upstream on the edge of the water. Of course this makes sense to the Flood Control District (their truck is on the right), because those huge boulders take up water space in the bayou, and they are working hard to create more space for rainwater!

More to come in a few months, but if you would like to live in this area, so close to the Medical Center, NRG Park, downtown, Rice University and the Museum District, I can help you buy a home here. I can help you sell your home in this area. It is where I have lived over 35 years, and I know the value this location brings. Contact me at 713-530-0150!