This project was initiated through the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The HGAC
received a grant to develop an erosion control pilot project that could be used
in other similar situations throughout the Texas coastal area. A number of
federal, state and local agencies and groups were gathered together to view the
site, assess the situation, and develop potential solutions. The group was able
to develop two possible solutions to solve two identified problems, 1) stop the
erosion process, and 2) establish new marshlands in the already eroded area of
Little Cedar Bayou. The ensuing report was used to obtain grant agreements
with the Texas General Land Office (project administrator), U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, and Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission through
the Galveston Bay Estuary Program (see attached report).
The GLO, as Project Administrator, determined that the proposed solutions developed by the HGAC group, should be reviewed by an engineering firm to determine feasibility as well as suitability for its intended purpose. The GLO retained Dames & Moore (URS Corp) to conduct a Project Study and Alternatives Analysis, develop plans and specifications, and to oversee the construction process. GLO contracted with a Licensed State Land Surveyor to conduct a survey of the area as prescribed for such projects.
URS Corp engineer Mark Mazock studied the original conceptual solutions that were proposed. The original concept, use of concrete blocks as a breakwater, was rejected. Although the concrete blocks would have accomplished the desired effect per Mr. Mazock, the block manufacturer had contracted with another project to provide blocks for that project, therefore they were not going to be available for a 2 year period for other projects, including URS Corp. URS Corp proceeded with design of the project using the original concept of concrete rip-rap or articulated concrete blocks in three sections, placed parallel to and on the south side of the original channel to Little Cedar Bayou, to stop the erosion and to create a marshland area behind the barrier. Between the barrier and the shore, they proposed to place small mounds of rip-rap or articulated block matting to allow faster sediment deposits in the area, thereby creating the marsh area at a faster pace.
After subsequent discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and others, it was determined that, due to wave action and river processes, the parallel placement of the barriers along the original channel could result in deterioration of the north bank due to reflected wave energy from the barrier. The second and final plan called for placement of rip-rap or articulated concrete matting in four groins extending from the south bank into the eroded area, up to the original channel. It was believed that this would reduce or eliminate the possibility of reflected energy causing erosion of the north bank. In addition to the four groins, the north bank was to be lined with small (3”-5”) concrete rubble at +/- 5 feet of shoreline as well, to protect the north bank.
After obtaining preliminary approval from concerned parties (including USACE) URS Corp finalized the plans and specifications in October 2000. GLO proceeded with the bidding process to obtain a contractor for the project. URS Corp proceeded with the permitting process through USACE. The proposed contract called for:
GLO retained Paula Construction Company, of Cleveland, TX as contractor, with concrete rip-rap construction as the method chosen (base bid). The permit for construction was obtained from USACE on 8 June 2001 and the project began shortly thereafter.
City of La Porte forces cleared an area through Little Cedar Bayou Park for
access to the project site. Paula Construction used an undeveloped City right
of way for access to the park and the site. City surveyors identified a sewer
main located under the proposed westernmost groin; engineers and others
reviewed the affect of moving the westernmost groin to the east 25'. It was
determined that this move would not have an appreciable impact on the project
and was implemented. The project was monitored by URS CORP personnel as well as
City of La Porte Planning Department personnel for compliance with contract
documents and the City's interests. Paula Construction completed the project
on time, within budget, and according to specifications (see attached
Project Completion City of La Porte forces, along with help from the La Porte High School Phoenix Club, and Boy Scout La Porte Troop #270, were able to accomplish the following items to complete the project:
|URS Corp Design||$32,260.00|
|Construction Oversight, URS Corp||$6,334.00|
|Permit Review, URS Corp||$2,500.00|
|Total Cost of Project||$209,633.76|
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, through the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, contributed $33,800 toward the project. The project is substantially complete. There are several other items that the City will add to the area to enhance its effectiveness and its usability for the public, as follows:
The success of this project is due to the efforts of quite a number of people. Christy Durham of HGAC, Juan Moya and Gary McMahan of the GLO, Jeff DallaRosa of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, John Huffman of the USFAWS, and Mark Mazock and Jennifer Eckroth of URS Corp were all instrumental in getting this project underway and seeing it through to completion. On behalf of the City of La Porte and the citizens of Texas; thank you very much for helping us preserve existing parkland and to eventually create new areas for their enjoyment. The project should result in the elimination of additional erosion at the site, and the establishment of new marshland for avian and aquatic habitats. The City plans to monitor the project closely over the next 5 years with annual reports to interested parties regarding development of marshland and elimination of erosion at the project site.
If there are questions or if I can be of further
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. My e-mail address is
, telephone is 281.470.7275, fax is 281.470.1361.
Stephen L. Barr, Director
Parks & Recreation Department
City of La Porte, Texas
Photographs of project progress:
Placement of concrete rubble
Load of concrete rubble enters the bayou
Relocation of westermost groin
View of completed project looking westward
City staff and volunteers harvesting Spartina alterniflora
La Porte "Phoenix Club" planting Spartina
City staff and Boy Scout troop planting trees
An egret admiring the finished project, August 2001
Completed project 1 year later