Posted on April 25, 2022
BEAUMONT, Texas — One project impacting three Southeast Texas counties has a very specific purpose to improve flood protection.
The Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Program is underway to reduce the risk of storm surge impacts in Orange, Jefferson, and Brazoria counties.
Southeast Texas is sadly no stranger to devastating hurricanes and the flood damage that comes along with it.
Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay CSRM is already in progress and aims to reduce the risk of flooding.
Two groups want to raise the bar when it comes to flood protection. Raising the bar really means raising the levee.
The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Jefferson County Drainage District 7 are working together on a $40 billion project to improve flood protection.
This project is split into three parts targeting three vulnerable areas: parts of Port Arthur, Orange County, and the Freeport area.
The Orange County and Freeport projects remain in the design phase but in Port Arthur, construction has already begun.
So, all of these work together to protect the Texas coast from hurricane storm surge events,” said Charles Wheeler, project manager with the Army Corps of Engineer Galveston. “So that means tides from the ocean that would impact businesses from the communities and flood homes. So, we are building up the walls, and there are already levees for Port Arthur.”
This project was approved by the state. And money was given to the Army Corps of Engineers to cover the construction. The local government involved will help pay for the project.
“The Port Arthur project is 863 million, and 303 million is the local government’s share of that,” said District 7 Jefferson County District Engineer Allen Sims. “So, we are raising the levees around Port Arthur, Port Neches, Nederland, Groves. It’s called the Port Arthur and vicinity levee, hurricane protection levee.”
The Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay CSRM Program is recommending the following project to include:
The Freeport Project: Increasing the level of performance and resiliency of the existing Freeport and Vicinity HFPP project in Brazoria County.
The Port Arthur Project: Increasing the level of performance and resiliency of the existing Port Arthur and Vicinity HFPP project in Jefferson County.
The Orange County Project: The construction of a new levee/floodwall system along the edge of the Sabine and Neches River floodplains from Orange to the vicinity of Orangefield that is approximately 26.7 miles.
These projects are a priority, and the engineers involved are following a strict schedule to get the work done. The project is expected to be finished in 2027.
“We have eight different contracts there could be more in the future,” Wheeler said. “We are aggressively managing the schedule. Meaning we are trying to get most done as soon as possible, and if something is holding us up we are going to pull it out and make it another package.”