Meetings focus on Addicks, Barker dams
A recent evaluation of the Addicks and Barker dams led to their classification as extremely high risk" because of two structural areas of concern. But, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says not to be alarmed.
Martie Cenkci, chief of public affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said, Addicks and Barker are not in imminent danger of failing. We have protected Houston for 60 years and we're doing all we can that continue to do that."
The corps has scheduled meetings to answer questions of residents and businesses about the dams.
The meetings will be 7-9 p.m. The Feb. 24 meeting will be at Mayde Creek Junior High School, 2700 Greenhouse Road. The Feb. 25 meeting will be at Pattison Elementary, 19910 Stonelodge St. in Katy.
A Feb. 17 meeting was held at Frostwood Elementary and a Feb. 18 meeting at Wolfe Elementary.
The content is the same for all meetings and also can be found at the corps' Web site at www.AddicksandBarker.info, she said.
People who watch the video and go through the slides will see that the extremely high risk characterization is because Houston is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, she said.
The evaluation identified as concerns the dam gates that allow outflow to the Buffalo Bayou and the ends of the dams. Short-term fixes are being implemented to buy down the risk, Cenkci said, while the corps goes through a dam safety modification study.
According to the corps Web site, a contractor has been using polyurethane material to fill voids in the foundation under the outlet conduits. The corps also is preparing to build a filter around the outlet conduits.
Cenkci said the project is on schedule and hasn't been delayed by the weather.
We recently awarded a contract to do additional work on the structures," Cenkci said. We really haven't put a dollar figure on it yet."
If there is a plus to the designation, she said it moves Addicks and Barker to the front of the line for funding.
Funding has been aside by Congress to fix these structures designated as high risk or extremely high risk. The dams were built to protect downtown Houston. Obviously, failure would have greater impact than of a dam in a rural area."
But Cenkci said the corps doesn't want to alarm anyone. Addicks and Barker are dry reservoirs most of the year. They're inspected daily, weekly and annually."
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