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Buffalo Bayou Master Plan


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5 hours ago, mollusk said:

Your calculations are OK, it's your example that's off. 

Apples to apples, at 28 feet, four inches in diameter the San Antonio pipeline has significantly more capacity than the 48 inch Alaska pipeline: https://www.ksat.com/news/2018/10/18/how-a-giant-water-tunnel-saved-downtown-san-antonio-during-the-flood-of-98/

 

2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

As I said, even if your calculations are correct, they are not compelling.  No one is looking at building a 48-inch pipeline.  They are looking at building a tunnel, a smaller version of which (San Antonio) carries 48 times the capacity of the Alaska pipeline. 

 

Jesus guys, I did those calculations in response to someone who asked why a pipeline the same size as TAPS couldn't be used to send water to the bays or the Gulf. I know that any tunnel is going to have to be extremely large.  TAPS as an example helps people understand just how much water has to be moved during a flood event.

The San Antonio River tunnel is 24 feet 4 inches, and has a flow rate of 6,700 cubic feet per second. The combined Addicks and Barker maximum release rate is 16,630 cfs according to the Corps of Engineers, but Buffalo Bayou can't handle that rate without downstream flooding unless significant channelization is done, which won't happen because powerful people don't want that to happen.

I may have missed it, but what happens to tunnel discharge if the tide and wind raise the water level in the ship channel and the bays?

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I read about this in the newspaper last week.  Chicago has a similar system.  Officially, it's called Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, but everyone just calls it "Deep Tunnel."

It's been ongoing for 45 years, and three billion dollars.  The newspaper article made it seem like Houston's version would be faster and cheaper, but I'll believe that when it's done.  And tested by a named storm.

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9 hours ago, editor said:

I read about this in the newspaper last week.  Chicago has a similar system.  Officially, it's called Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, but everyone just calls it "Deep Tunnel."

It's been ongoing for 45 years, and three billion dollars.  The newspaper article made it seem like Houston's version would be faster and cheaper, but I'll believe that when it's done.  And tested by a named storm.

See 3 posts above yours. In brief, the only similarity with Chicago’s TARP is that they both have tunnels. (And TARP is costing them  more than 3 billion dollars.)

Edited by Houston19514
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15 hours ago, editor said:

I read about this in the newspaper last week.  Chicago has a similar system.  Officially, it's called Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, but everyone just calls it "Deep Tunnel."

It's been ongoing for 45 years, and three billion dollars.  The newspaper article made it seem like Houston's version would be faster and cheaper, but I'll believe that when it's done.  And tested by a named storm.

 

and in other news...i highly recommend NOT doing an image search for "Deep Tunnel" on your work computer... 🤪

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15 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

See 3 posts above yours. In brief, the only similarity with Chicago’s TARP is that they both have tunnels. (And TARP is costing them  more than 3 billion dollars.)

I think they're similar. 

Both are intended to deal with exceptional rainfall events.  Both are designed to handle a metric assload of water.  Both shove that water underground until it can be dealt with in a manner better than letting it flood people's homes.

As you pointed out earlier, Deep Tunnel is intended to handle both rainwater and sewage, but that is necessary because many municipalities in that area have combined systems.  Houston is fortunate to have two different systems, so it doesn't belch turds into Galveston Bay like Milwaukee does to Lake Michigan when it rains hard.

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14 hours ago, editor said:

I think they're similar. 

Both are intended to deal with exceptional rainfall events.  Both are designed to handle a metric assload of water.  Both shove that water underground until it can be dealt with in a manner better than letting it flood people's homes.

As you pointed out earlier, Deep Tunnel is intended to handle both rainwater and sewage, but that is necessary because many municipalities in that area have combined systems.  Houston is fortunate to have two different systems, so it doesn't belch turds into Galveston Bay like Milwaukee does to Lake Michigan when it rains hard.

Well, the handling of sewage (with separate sewage pipes/tunnels and sewage treatment plants is already a pretty huge difference that takes the project out of the "similar" category for me.

But even more so, while the Chicago TARP project indeed shoves water underground and detains it until it can be dealt with in a better manner (hence the word "Reservoir" in addition to "Tunnel" in the project name;  Houston's envisioned project merely conveys the water to a better spot.  There is no detention or retention involved.  Other than those huge differences, I guess we could say the projects are similar (i.e., they both have tunnels)  ;-)

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I'm curious where they would intend to drain this water too. If it's the Gulf, I would have to (first time only), agree with Ross. If we are talking about flooding from a hurricane and it's pushing 10- 15 foot storm surge of water there is no way that water in that tunnel is going anywhere but back where it came from. As sea levels rise this problem will be exacerbated.

I think the diversion canal offers some hope to heavy rainfall flooding, when there is no storm surge.

I really believe that allowing the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo bayous to occur on the east side of the business district would at least alleviate the heavy flooding that occurs in the historic district and the theater district. I still contend that the remaining building on the south side of Buffalo Bayou just east of Allens landing and owned by the county constricts flow at Louisiana.

Is there any room on the east side for detention ponds such as have been added to Brays, and which seems to help mitigate flooding. Of course Brays has undergone some extensive recontouring and major bridge reconstructing, which will definitely help.

 

 

Edited by bobruss
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On 12/19/2021 at 1:50 PM, Houston19514 said:

I suppose it hypothetically could.  And I suppose that if the tunnel was hypothetically 1,000 miles long it would have some bearing on matters. 
But I see nothing in the concept to suggest that the outlet will be 100' below sea level.  Where did you come up with that?  

It was mentioned that the tunnel would start at 150' below ground . If Houston is approximately 50 feet elevation, that would still leave the tunnel 100' below ground by the time it reached the coast. 
I think the short answer here is that I have a fundamental misunderstanding as to what is being proposed, and probably shouldn't have posted my comment.

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I presume the pipe would come back up to the surface, which would be 50' lower than the inlet.

a fun experiment you can do at home with a hose, because of air pressure, the water level will always attempt to equalize, so if you get a short hose, hold one end higher than the other, but hold both ends above the ground (so it makes a U with one end longer than the other) pour water into the higher end, it will eventually start coming out of the lower end.

and once you stop filling the hose, it will continue to come out of the lower end until the level is equal.

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Re Katy Freeway tunnel NYC gets 90% of its water from a reservoir system fed by a watershed of  approx 2000 sq miles that sits on the western side of the Hudson River.  The water travels under the river through tunnels and then proceeds to a series of processing plants and reservoirs into the five boroughs.  The water is not pumped and is totally powered by gravity.  By the time it reaches Manhattan there is still enough head on the flow to let it rise to the level of a six story building without additional pumping.  So yes, a tunnel system from West Houston to an outlet in Galveston Bay could use a siphon to  power the flow and would not need the help of mechanical pumps. The sad thing about Houston's management of this problem is that didn't act to buy additional land to extend the public owned land within these reservoirs to the fill line and allowed private residential development to exist within the basins; didn't start the tunnel project while it was rebuilding the Katy Freeway and use the reconstruction to deal with more than moving cars from Katy to downtown and back; and it still is woefully behind in agreeing upon  and designing  major flood control projects and the risk of flooding will remain for at least a decade or more.,  

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3 hours ago, Skyboxdweller said:

Re Katy Freeway tunnel NYC gets 90% of its water from a reservoir system fed by a watershed of  approx 2000 sq miles that sits on the western side of the Hudson River.  The water travels under the river through tunnels and then proceeds to a series of processing plants and reservoirs into the five boroughs.  The water is not pumped and is totally powered by gravity.  By the time it reaches Manhattan there is still enough head on the flow to let it rise to the level of a six story building without additional pumping.  So yes, a tunnel system from West Houston to an outlet in Galveston Bay could use a siphon to  power the flow and would not need the help of mechanical pumps. The sad thing about Houston's management of this problem is that didn't act to buy additional land to extend the public owned land within these reservoirs to the fill line and allowed private residential development to exist within the basins; didn't start the tunnel project while it was rebuilding the Katy Freeway and use the reconstruction to deal with more than moving cars from Katy to downtown and back; and it still is woefully behind in agreeing upon  and designing  major flood control projects and the risk of flooding will remain for at least a decade or more.,  

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are Federal projects, not City. The Corps of Engineers had to fight for years to get the land in the 1940's, and there was no thought that more land would be required. The City has never had enough money to buy more land out there, and probably couldn't get Federal approval to do so.

In general, it's the County and the Feds that control what flood control projects get done.

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I  misspoke.  The government taken as a whole, including the Army Corps of Engineers, our Congressional representatives, our state legislature, county and city government has failed to address the problem. It's a fools errand to point fingers at any one group, because floods control affects allocation of Federal resource  and the Army Corps expertise and operational control , buckets of funding allocated to the state by the Feds and direct state revenue, and the resources  available to the counties , especially their land use planning and building code divisions,  the flood control districts, and the city operations and funding that is available as well.  It wouldn't have taken any extraordinary funding for the county to clearly indicate in the land records that certain property was within the limits of the reservoir and subject to flooding, or for the county board to amend the land use regulations to make such land unsuitable for development. But I could only assume that cash passed in the form of legal political contributions from the land developers to the elected officials to look the other way when the land became ripe for development.  .   This region has been governed by the ethos of uncontrolled development, build em and sell em fast and cheap and move on, and didn't hold free riders accountable for the risks they passed on to others downstream. If you look at recent aerial photos of development in Waller County just past Katy,  the development process continues unabated and thousands of homes and supporting businesses will be built on the prairie in the next ten years, precluding any coordinated effort to allow it to exist as a retention and detention zone for the urban agglomeration to the east. 

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29 minutes ago, Skyboxdweller said:

I  misspoke.  The government taken as a whole, including the Army Corps of Engineers, our Congressional representatives, our state legislature, county and city government has failed to address the problem. It's a fools errand to point fingers at any one group, because floods control affects allocation of Federal resource  and the Army Corps expertise and operational control , buckets of funding allocated to the state by the Feds and direct state revenue, and the resources  available to the counties , especially their land use planning and building code divisions,  the flood control districts, and the city operations and funding that is available as well.  It wouldn't have taken any extraordinary funding for the county to clearly indicate in the land records that certain property was within the limits of the reservoir and subject to flooding, or for the county board to amend the land use regulations to make such land unsuitable for development. But I could only assume that cash passed in the form of legal political contributions from the land developers to the elected officials to look the other way when the land became ripe for development.  .   This region has been governed by the ethos of uncontrolled development, build em and sell em fast and cheap and move on, and didn't hold free riders accountable for the risks they passed on to others downstream. If you look at recent aerial photos of development in Waller County just past Katy,  the development process continues unabated and thousands of homes and supporting businesses will be built on the prairie in the next ten years, precluding any coordinated effort to allow it to exist as a retention and detention zone for the urban agglomeration to the east. 

The ability of counties to regulate development is minimal. Many of the areas that flooded were not in the 100 year floodplain, and were therefore not subject to disclosures or prohibitions on development.

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  • 3 weeks later...

San Antonio has a tunnel that protects their downtown area. HouChron has an article about it and whether Houston's can work.

"The tunnel provides a case study for Houston engineers analyzing whether to build something similar to protect the nation’s fourth-largest city."

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/environment/article/San-Antonio-hidden-downtown-flood-tunnel-Houston-16792388.php

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  • 2 weeks later...
58 minutes ago, Amlaham said:

It's the little projects like these that makes the city a whole lot nicer. This site went from a parking lot to part of the trail and now this memorial will be another addition to make the trail even more cohesive and inviting. Hate that the jails and Sheriffs office sits on probably the best lots in Houston, but it is what it is :)  

Yep I agree. In the unusual case for Houston, we grew so fast that all the little infill projects that make neighborhoods dynamic and energetic were far and few between because we were/are so spaced out. It's nice to see us adding layers to our neighborhoods now. 

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since the population center of Houston is now west of the loop, maybe it makes sense to move the criminal justice wing over to the Galleria area? lol

seriously though, I hope that this area and the east end of the bayou starts seeing more traffic, this isn't too far from the place on the bayou that cyclists were getting mugged.

Edited by samagon
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On 2/2/2022 at 11:43 AM, Amlaham said:

Hate that the jails and Sheriffs office sits on probably the best lots in Houston, but it is what it is :)  

I've often find myself obsessing over the idea of moving the sheriff's office, jails, inmate intake, county administration building and courthouses out of downtown and into some new civic center complex (and yes, I know that Houston already technically has a neighborhood called Civic Center; they can move city hall too and keep the building itself as historic). That area is susceptible to flooding anyway (as Harvey showed, disrupting court operations for over a year), and the city of Houston already wants to build a new public safety facility to house the city court, HPD Headquarters, and the Central Precinct. The city and county have already combined their prisoner intake and jail facilities, not sure why they haven't put their heads together to move the facilities to a more palatable location.

 

On 2/2/2022 at 1:44 PM, samagon said:

since the population center of Houston is now west of the loop, maybe it makes sense to move the criminal justice wing over to the Galleria area? lol

That...might not actually be a bad idea. The only problem is that the level of development might forgo moving there. South and East Houston/Harris County are comparatively under developed in comparison.

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On 2/2/2022 at 1:44 PM, samagon said:

since the population center of Houston is now west of the loop, maybe it makes sense to move the criminal justice wing over to the Galleria area? lol

seriously though, I hope that this area and the east end of the bayou starts seeing more traffic, this isn't too far from the place on the bayou that cyclists were getting mugged.

While that makes sense when looking at overall population growth, in terms of future density it needs to stay where it is. Inner Loop Houston (97 sq miles) is only 15% of the total amount of land that makes up Houston, but almost 1/4 of the total population lives here. Density is about 4.5k people per square mile compared to the city average at 3.5k per square mile. And that number is going to continue to grow as more and more development in the Loop continues. A third of all development in the city is inside the Loop, and most of it is beginning in the most well known inner city neighborhoods like The Heights, Downtown, Montrose, etc.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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15 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

While that makes sense when looking at overall population growth, in terms of future density it needs to stay where it is. Inner Loop Houston (97 sq miles) is only 15% of the total amount of land that makes up Houston, but almost 1/4 of the total population lives here. Density is about 4.5k people per square mile compared to the city average at 3.5k per square mile. And that number is going to continue to grow as more and more development in the Loop continues. A third of all development in the city is inside the Loop, and most of it is beginning in the most well known inner city neighborhoods like The Heights, Downtown, Montrose, etc.

I was mainly joking about moving it to the Galleria area, seeing a picture of the joint processing center right next to Tilman Fertitta's new hotel just got me laughing a bit.

it would be really nice if the area that all that stuff sits on now could be used for something else that might bring more people downtown on weekends, but where else would all that stuff go that the neighbors wouldn't fight tooth/nail to keep it from coming?

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:57 AM, samagon said:

but where else would all that stuff go that the neighbors wouldn't fight tooth/nail to keep it from coming?

East Houston near the ports and refineries? A field in the middle of South Houston somewhere. Or maybe they can knock down the apartments in Gulfton and put it there. And if the residents complain, tell them they can stay and be guaranteed three square meals and a cot to sleep on, but won't be able to leave whenever they want.

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15 hours ago, Big E said:

East Houston near the ports and refineries? A field in the middle of South Houston somewhere. Or maybe they can knock down the apartments in Gulfton and put it there. And if the residents complain, tell them they can stay and be guaranteed three square meals and a cot to sleep on, but won't be able to leave whenever they want.

Maybe it could replace the Greenspoint Mall. 

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1 hour ago, gene said:

Wait what about Chess King and Merry Go Round though!!!???!!!

 

Their clothes are now being sold in the retro resale shops on Lower Westheimer (in case you have an urge for a polyester disco shirt and double-knit flares).

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/30/2022 at 12:00 PM, hindesky said:

According to an email I received, Night Life is happening this April 2nd.

https://buffalobayou.org/event/night-light/

"Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) and Aurora Picture Show present Night Light, an evening of free video art along a ¾ mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou East trails. Houston artists Julia Barbosa-Landois, Marcelese Cooper, and Input/Output have been commissioned to create new, site-specific, media art works for a landing, an understructure of a bridge, and decommissioned gravel silos along the waterfront." 

Looks cool, too bad I'm out of town this weekend.  :(   Maybe in the future they could make a city wide Night Light like Signal Festival in Prague...

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On Friday, I rode past the area near where the Jose Campos Torres Memorial will be and I noticed that there was some tents and chairs set up.  I wonder if they are about to open the new bike trail?

20220401_141424.jpg

Edited by EaDo Lou
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1 hour ago, EaDo Lou said:

On Friday, I rode past the area near where the Jose Campos Torres Memorial will be and I noticed that there was some tents and chairs set up.  I wonder if they are about to open the new bike trail?

 

Dedication of the plaza is happening tomorrow at 1PM

 

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4 hours ago, sapo2367 said:

Will it be open permanently soon?

From the earlier render I once posted this should be getting a canopy and a fountain wall so I don't think this is finished yet. Don't know when it will be back open.

UGjxYYW.png

Edited by hindesky
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29 minutes ago, hindesky said:

From the earlier render I once posted this should be getting a canopy and a fountain wall so I don't think this is finished yet. Don't know when it be back open.

UGjxYYW.png

Do we know if this is definitely happening? Is it safe to get my hopes up? 

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Hey for those that go to Buffalo Bayou along Allen Parkway and park a car: Beware of car break-ins.

Yesterday i was on my bike ride and noticed the areas that you can park that face the trees and not the park where the volleyball court etc, there was tons of broken glass...I saw no less that 6 spaces that had shattered glass and oddly enough new cars were parked there knowing that cars are being broken into. So to clarify the location, if i am on the bikepath along Buffalo Bayou heading east towards downtown on Allen Parkway just before the large park with the volleyball court on my left, there are lots of spaces to park that face the slightly secluded rose bush rest area and trees etc and that is where these crimes happen. I am betting when i ride by today all the glass will still be there...maybe more from the new cars that continue to park there. While parking is limited, if i got out of my car to tons of broken glass, i would think twice before parking there...but whatever 🤔

Just fyi...

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28 minutes ago, gene said:

Hey for those that go to Buffalo Bayou along Allen Parkway and park a car: Beware of car break-ins.

Yesterday i was on my bike ride and noticed the areas that you can park that face the trees and not the park where the volleyball court etc, there was tons of broken glass...I saw no less that 6 spaces that had shattered glass and oddly enough new cars were parked there knowing that cars are being broken into. So to clarify the location, if i am on the bikepath along Buffalo Bayou heading east towards downtown on Allen Parkway just before the large park with the volleyball court on my left, there are lots of spaces to park that face the slightly secluded rose bush rest area and trees etc and that is where these crimes happen. I am betting when i ride by today all the glass will still be there...maybe more from the new cars that continue to park there. While parking is limited, if i got out of my car to tons of broken glass, i would think twice before parking there...but whatever 🤔

Just fyi...

Yeah if you park in any of the lots along the BBP there is glass everywhere. Also over by Spotts park and Cleveland park. Just don't leave anything out in the open in your car and you'll be fine.

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I don't understand why more people don't use Lot H. I haven't wanted to get to BBP in a while, but that was my free parking of choice for BBP. I guess if you want to be close to a specific area of BBP.

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