Photo: Brockbank Channel wall construction near Lane Street.
By 2019, the City of Irving Capital Improvement Program (CIP) will help protect 229 structures south of State Highway (SH) 183 by building new drainage channels that will contain a 100-year flood.
The Midtown Express Project is widening portions of SH 183. While this expansion will help ease traffic congestion, it will result in increased stormwater runoff. With this in mind, the CIP Department is reconstructing some of Irving’s drainage channels south of SH 183, which were initially built in the 1950s and 1960s. These channels include Delaware Creek and two branches from Lively Park to SH 183.
The original channels were concrete-lined structures with sloped walls. While some channels are shallower than others, most were 5 to 6 feet deep. Based on the current capacity, these existing channels cannot handle the increased runoff.
Construction is currently underway on a portion of Delaware Creek, Embassy Channel and the upper portion of Brockbank Channel. The new drainage structures will be expanded to 9 to 10 feet deep with vertical walls. The projects include wrought iron, wooden or chain-link fences along the length of the channels to restrict access.
The CIP Department began the planning process for the improvements to these channels in September 2011, and broke ground on the first phase in January 2016. During the planning process, staff reached out to residents whose properties border the channels and coordinated with residents on property improvements, such as pools and storage buildings, within or adjacent to the drainage easement. Resident input was received on the proposed fencing along the channels.
Included in the Embassy Channel project is the reconstruction of the Live Oak Road bridge over Delaware Creek and the Colony Road bridge over Embassy Channel. These new bridges allow for less obstructed and completely unobstructed stormwater flow. The Embassy Channel project is estimated for completion in August. Construction on the upper portion of Brockbank Channel should be completed in late 2017.
The Embassy Channel and Upper Brockbank Channel drainage improvement projects are the first two phases of a four-phase drainage channel improvement program. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on improvements to the Lower Brockbank Channel south of Grauwyler to Lively Park and Delaware Creek from Lively Park to MacArthur Boulevard. Funding currently proposed in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 CIP plan provides for the final phase, which includes improvements to Delaware Creek from Cripple Creek Drive to SH 183. These projects, along with the new drainage crossings constructed as a part of the Midtown Express project, will enable the city to one day provide additional flood protection to another 320 structures north of SH 183.
Along with the major improvement projects, the CIP Department is constructing several small neighborhood drainage projects throughout the city. In addition, a citywide drainage assessment is underway to assist in preparing a long-term drainage funding plan. This assessment will include analysis of channel conditions, study of neighborhood and local flooding, and identification of necessary drainage improvements, including cost projection estimates and possible funding sources. Also included will be a review of vegetation and aquatic life.
Visit CityofIrving.org/2255 for updates on citywide construction.
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