City Awards Bid for Drainage Improvements in Pine Forest

By George Slaughter

Mayor Chuck Brawner has described the Pine Forest subdivision as Katy’s “ground zero” for last year’s hurricane flooding. Monday night, the Katy City Council awarded an $4.4 million to Reytec Construction Resources of Houston for drainage improvements to the Pine Forest Subdivision.

The neighborhood is bordered by Morton Road on the north, the Magnolia Ditch on the south, Cane Island Branch on the west, and Avenue D on the east.

Last November, engineers from Costello, Inc., the firm hired to make recommendations for reducing future flooding problems, made their recommendations, which were to:

  • Improve the Magnolia Ditch by removing all existing trees in the channel, deepening the design, installing a concrete line into the ditch bottom and side slopes, and replacing residential fencing along both sides of the ditch. Estimated cost for this recommendation is $1.1 million.
  • Replace the draining collection system on Avenue D between the Magnolia Ditch and Morton Road by replacing 1,050 feet of existing pipe with a new concrete box, as well as inlet leads across Avenue D. Estimated cost for this recommendation is $1.07 million.
  • Add a new 42” storm sewer to relieve Pecan Lane, from the Hackberry Lane drainage runoff, by installing two inlets at the Hackberry cul-de-sac. The challenges for this process, the engineers said, are for the city to secure new drainage easements on existing lots and have a private pipeline company consent to allow the new draining pipe to be located within its existing 70-foot easement.
  • Replace an existing storm sewer on West Elm Circle with a new, 5×3 drainage box that would discharge water into Cane Island Creek. The challenge for this process, the engineers have said, is to deal with existing driveways and landscaping to remove and replace pipe. They have also recommended installing a flap gate at the box discharge into the creek. Estimated cost for this recommendation is $140,000.

The total estimated cost of these four recommendations, including contingency and engineering costs, is $3.3 million.

The council also awarded two convention and tourism board occupancy tax grants for upcoming city events. The first tax grant is for the Katy Triathlon, which is scheduled for September 23 in Cane Island. The second tax grant is for the Katy Rice Festival, which is scheduled for October 12-14 in downtown Katy. For more on this story, click here.

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Approved an event and street closures for the Katy Old Fashioned Christmas Event, set for December 1. Streets to be closed for the event include 2nd Street between Avenue A and Avenue D, 3rd Street between Avenue B and Avenue C, Avenue B between 2nd Street and 3rd Street, and Avenue C between 2nd Street and 3rd Street.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing City Administrator Byron Hebert to sign a consulting contract with BlankRome Government Relations. The firm will identify grant money available to the city and prepare the necessary paperwork. Brawner said using the firm would benefit the city. Presently, Hebert and City Finance Director Becky Wilkins have been preparing grant paperwork.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing a $263,597 change order with Millis Equipment for additional work on Katy Town Square.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing a $118,000 change order with LJA Engineering for addressing unforeseen damages discovered during construction, as well as converting overhead electrical to underground services, on Katy Town Square.