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Annual Meeting River Update 9-19-15
Posted on Sep 21st, 2015

 
In the slide presentation, shown in entirety below at the FOR annual meeting on Sat Sep 19, several types of structures were evaluated for keeping the mouth open after dredging. They ranged in cost from $28,000,000 to $86,000,000 and all would require maintenance dredging at a longer interval (4-12 years depending on the structure) but at the same or greater annualized cost of $1,000,000.
 
The proposed BP settlement and resulting funding from the RESTORE Act are much less than initially anticipated and will be spread over 15 years beginning in 2017. An application for these funds will be submitted as soon as TCEQ completes the process for doing so, but they will be insufficient to fund any of the structural solutions.
 
Dredging the mouth open will cost $6,000,000. Maintenance dredging will cost $2,500,000 and will need to be done every 2-3 years, for an annual maintenance cost of approximately $1,000,000 per year.
 
Dannenbaum Engineering and Brazoria County will continue to pursue options for alternate funding, and for the Corps of Engineers to assume the cost of maintenance dredging. The Corps currently has no jurisdiction over the channel to the mouth, and the previous dredging project (Feb 2009) was a one-time emergency effort to alleviate navigational issues on the Intracoastal Waterway.
 
In summary, the likely path forward is to dredge the mouth open and perform maintenance dredging at 2-3 year intervals. Source(s) and timing of funding for initial and maintenance dredging are still undetermined. Permitting should not be a hold up if and when funding is secured.
 
<< Chris Sallese, PMP, Special Projects Division, Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation gave the presentation concerning reopening the mouth at the FOR Sep 19th annual meeting.
 
Commissioner Dude Payne stated funding for dredging and maintenance may require partnering with other government agencies as well as private sources.>>
 
Photos: folgerstudios.com
 
Note: click on the up/down arrows icon for larger view of slides. Press esc to exit.
Slide 18 - What is "WRRDA 2014, Section 7001". President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 into law on June 10, 2014. WRRDA is the primary legislation by which Congress authorizes the Corps of Engineers’ key civil works missions, including navigation, flood risk management and environmental restoration. WRRDA is strictly an authorizing legislation; it does not include funding. The funding of WRRDA-authorized studies and projects is accomplished separately as part of the annual appropriations process.
 
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