Sugar Land, TX – Sugar Land City Council recently approved an agreement with Fort Bend County and a resolution to submit an application to the General Land Office for a $4 million grant to address erosion along the Brazos River.
“After accelerated bank erosion was observed on the Brazos River following significant flooding events in 2015, 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the city of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County commissioned two studies in 2018,” said City Engineer Jessie Li. “These studies concluded that in less than 30 years, if mitigation efforts are not implemented, continuing erosion of the riverbank might cause loss of human life while threatening residences, city and county infrastructure, roads, levees, parks and hurricane evacuation routes on farm to market roads, state highways and interstate highways bridges.
“As a result of these studies, the city and the county created Project Brazos, a multi-jurisdictional effort to address the causes of riverbank erosion. Project Brazos has identified bank erosion at 13 of the most critical sites along the Brazos River in Fort Bend County. Two of these critical locations are in Sugar Land.”
The grant will combine with a $56 million county grant to protect valuable infrastructure along the river to protect residents and provide safe evacuation routes during emergency events.
During the past four years, work has been conducted to identify solutions such as an environmentally friendly longitudinal stone dike along the bank that will promote revegetation and habitat development. Studies have found that the following areas are at risk during the next 30 years if mitigation efforts are not performed.
- River bank erosion threatens the Memorial Park, University Boulevard and Ditch H area of the city. This area is directly adjacent to Levee Improvement District 14, which protects approximately 5,000 residents and critical infrastructure and schools.
- Erosion at U.S. Highway 59 threatens the bridges over the Brazos River and the safe evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents from Galveston and Brazoria Counties during times of high winds and storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms. The areas directly adjacent to U.S. Highway 59 are also in the direct path of the erosion, including Levee Improvement Districts 10, 11 and 17.