Mayor Pledges Expedited Funding for the Severely Delayed Project Brays

Gary Zika, project manager of Project Brays, told us last year the flood risk reduction program between the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is eight years behind schedule.
Gary Zika, project manager of Project Brays, told us last year the flood risk reduction program between the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is eight years behind schedule.
Daniel Kramer

During last night’s flood information meeting for the Meyerland and Westbury communities, Mayor Sylvester Turner told those gathered at Mark Twain Elementary School that expedited funding should be coming to Project Brays.

Will it actually happen? Who knows.

Project Brays – a widening and improvement effort of the 21-mile watershed that’s being led by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Harris County Flood Control District – is eight years behind schedule, in large part because of federal government funding delays.

According to Turner, he has spoken with state Representative John Culberson, who Turner says has assured him that funding requirements for the ridiculously delayed Project Brays “ha[ve] been moved to the top of the list.” Turner said he’ll be flying to Washington, D.C. “very soon” to “personally bulldog this thing through.”

Though it’s good news for flood-drenched communities along Brays Bayou, which has spilled out of its banks twice over the past 11 months, a lot of money would need to be captured straightaway in order to shave time off the latest estimated completion year of 2021.

Turner and Mark Loethen, deputy director of the city's Public Works Department, also addressed the ballyhooed substantial-damage predetermination letters that sent many Meyerland homeowners into a tizzy after the Memorial Day floods.

Unlike last year, the Public Works Department won’t be sending the letters – well, at least not right away – that say that if a repair job on a flood-damaged home exceeds 50 percent of the structure’s pre-flood market value, then the home must be raised by at least 12 inches.

“We’re not here to make it worse than what it already is,” said Turner, referring to last year’s fiasco under the Annise Parker administration. 


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