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Old 07-08-2018, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
250 posts, read 246,713 times
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Quote:
Houston panel considers massive tunnels to control floods
By NATALIA ALAMDARI The Texas Tribune Jul 6, 2018

Picture this: Another massive rainstorm overtakes Houston, but instead of inundating homes and businesses, much of the floodwater funnels into a massive underground tunnel system that whisks it away to the Houston Ship Channel.

It may sound far-fetched, but itís one concept on the table as the Harris County Flood Control District begins to explore more creative flood control methods after Hurricane Harvey, when the Houston area became the site of the worst rainstorm in American history.

The district hasnít offered many specifics on the proposal; it only just got the green light from county commissioners to apply for a federal grant to study the feasibility of digging miles of channels underneath the nationís third largest county.

While itís far from clear whether it will ever happen, the concept almost immediately generated widespread response when it was announced earlier this spring. Local officials told the Houston Chronicle itís outside-the-box thinking with benefits that could outweigh the heavy price tag. Even entrepreneur Elon Musk, who owns tunnel construction company The Boring Company, jumped into the conversation on Twitter.

So would such a tunnel system really be a logical solution for Houstonís flood woes?

Drilled 100 to 200 feet underground, the underground channels act as temporary storage for floodwater during intense rainstorms, said Larry Larson, a senior policy adviser at the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Once the rain has stopped, the stormwater can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be pumped back to the surface into a river or wetlands or even used to recharge aquifers.
https://www.wacotrib.com/news/housto...11dc92b56.html
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:16 PM
 
5,402 posts, read 12,202,077 times
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Default Meh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
Thanks for the link, it is an interesting idea. However, let's be real... just last week, probably out of shame, the Army Corps of Engineers approved 5 Billion for flood control for Texas. 'Sounds great, until you see that some of those projects were proposed as far back as 1997! All that time spent on "studies".

So, we shall see... many of us will not be living here in 20-30 years to see it.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
9,301 posts, read 8,439,593 times
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Austin has a similar tunnel project:

https://austintexas.gov/faq/what-are...tunnel-project

Unfortunately it's been plagued with problems:

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/loc...GwP9bd4v5zh9N/
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:55 PM
 
2,334 posts, read 1,080,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
Austin has a similar tunnel project:

https://austintexas.gov/faq/what-are...tunnel-project

Unfortunately it's been plagued with problems:

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/loc...GwP9bd4v5zh9N/
Milwaukee and Chicago also have theirs.

The impact of Milwaukee's Deep-Tunnel project (which is complete) to protect Lake Michigan from run-off and overflow in storms is a clear success. It is similar to Chicago’s.

https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/06/1...e-deep-tunnel/

The City of Chicago sued Milwaukee for polluting Lake Michigan. There was a vigorous debate at the time over the scope of the project as well as whether or not we should separate the system, so that storm runoff was processed differently than sewage. A project could have been designed to eliminate overflow completely, but it would have been significantly more expensive.

Chicago also has its tunnel project not fully completed yet -- The city is home to one of the biggest public works projects in the world. Known as The Deep Tunnel, or the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan. Construction began 40 years ago. And when it's finally finished the tunnel project will be 130 miles long, with each inch bored out of rock 150 to 350 feet below the surface. Its price tag; 3.6 billion dollars. The reservoirs added will be complete in 2019 to hold the water till treatment plants process it all.

One reservoir got to work in flood control this past January. Saving flood damage.

[url]https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2018/01/18/new-part-of-chicagos-flood-protection-system-gets-its-first-workout/[/u
When fully completed in full in 2029, the system will have a capacity of 41 billion gallons. In the meantime, the completed tunnels are put to use to hold storm water that is pumped to a sewage treatment plant after a storm to be cleaned up.

Sprawling cities and suburbs..... need to understand that lack of densities drive up the costs for infrastructure. The only saving grace is more land to absorb run-off.

*** Some HOUSTON news from the University of Houston discusses Chicago's Deep-Tunnel in May ***

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/a...-other-cities/
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Part of the reason Chicago was able to do this is they had the largest quarry in the US, Thorton Quarry and they linked the tunnel systems to this quarry. Basically pumps will fill this quarry up during severe rains:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornt...on_Quarry2.jpg

"As part of the Chicago Deep Tunnel project, both Thornton Quarry and McCook Quarry will serve as reservoirs to reduce the backflow of stormwater and sewage from Chicago area rivers into Lake Michigan"

The question is: Would Houston sacrifice enough land to build a retention pond this big and deep?
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:13 AM
 
9,818 posts, read 7,676,370 times
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They would if they could sell the excavated dirt to builders for raising flood plain lots.

It's a win win.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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This just goes to show you that cities like Chicago and even Austin plan for flood control. Houston doesn't care, they think the streets flooding during a routine thunderstorm is "normal".
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:10 PM
 
1,157 posts, read 524,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
Part of the reason Chicago was able to do this is they had the largest quarry in the US, Thorton Quarry and they linked the tunnel systems to this quarry. Basically pumps will fill this quarry up during severe rains:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornt...on_Quarry2.jpg

"As part of the Chicago Deep Tunnel project, both Thornton Quarry and McCook Quarry will serve as reservoirs to reduce the backflow of stormwater and sewage from Chicago area rivers into Lake Michigan"

The question is: Would Houston sacrifice enough land to build a retention pond this big and deep?
The Thornton Quarry project when complete will store 24,000 acre feet of water. That's about 12 percent of the capacity of the Barker reservoir.

A hole that deep in Houston is impractical due to then nature of the soil here, and the height of the water table. We already have two detention areas that are each 9 times larger - the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:03 PM
 
2,334 posts, read 1,080,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRM20 View Post
The Thornton Quarry project when complete will store 24,000 acre feet of water. That's about 12 percent of the capacity of the Barker reservoir.

A hole that deep in Houston is impractical due to then nature of the soil here, and the height of the water table. We already have two detention areas that are each 9 times larger - the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.
Chicago's and Milwaukee's system .... was to spare Lake Michigan the excess run-off and sewer overflow from polluting it as it is seen as a GREAT fresh-water asset greater then any reservoirs. Then areas prone to some basement flooding in severe downpours and storms where a few inches of rain fall from further flooding. Some suburbs have more creek and river folding issues. The Chicago river was revered in 1900 to spare Lake Michigan and less flood-prone by a more controlled flow. But runoff can still effect it that has ben less since the Tunnel project. You can actually fish in downtown Chicago in the river .... not long ago so toxic it was dead.

There are no bayous that Houston climbs as a parkland asset. But in reality .... it is your flood-control natural feature that needs help in more areas being built over and more storms that keep showing how flood-prone Houston really is.

All the Federal money's after floods should require the state and city to take more action. Texas and most Southern states. Already get considerably more back in taxes .... then it actually sends to Washington. Time for booming states to not be seen as in greater need. If that what it is about.

Seems it is irreverent if bayous add to murky Texas coastal waters. But the Great Lakes are seen as different. Maybe Houston is looking for more Federal help in its Flood-control ..... to keep taxes lower then the North for its gains to continue corporate America reacting there and expanding there. But more sprawl only adds to more infrastructure needed and eventually rebuilt as most Northern cites had to all there expressways. Eventually, it will come to sunbelt cities .... if we remind auto and trucking oriented for decades to come.

Why the South doesn't just build better and learn from other cities mistakes? Is because of lax cheapest way to build and no more taxes to pay for improving it. It's one thing for Northern cities that were built many decades ago. But housing in many cities .... were built to stricter standards even in the 1920s then Houston today.

I do not get houses built right on ground-level slabs? Even a foot or two above it males much more sense if yards so easily have standing water and many live in fingers crossed .... a night of a few inches of rain will keep inches from the front door.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
862 posts, read 2,428,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePa View Post
I do not get houses built right on ground-level slabs? Even a foot or two above it males much more sense if yards so easily have standing water and many live in fingers crossed .... a night of a few inches of rain will keep inches from the front door.
They build houses on pads that are several feet above ground/street level. For Harvey when our retention ponds filled up they overflowed into the streets, which overflowed into yards. But all the homes in my neighborhood are on pads, so no houses flooded even though they were all surrounded by water.
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