City Addresses Town Creek Drainage Project
We've mentioned the Town Creek drainage project in the past, as has the Item, and it's popped up again there as revealed in this June 7 article. SHSU purchased property in this area (15 acres at 615 16th Street) in 2012.
Town Creek is a drainage project that will address some of the City’s most critical infrastructure. The proposal involves replacing 7,700 linear feet of the existing Town Creek drainage system. Portions were enclosed in the 1960s using a combination of decommissioned rail cars and masonry and include seven roadway crossings composed of the tank cars and concrete culverts.
What’s needed now is the removal and replacement of the existing drainage structures and drainage lines that feed into the open channel areas. Roads, parking lots, and sidewalks will be repaired while water and sanitary utilities are relocated as needed. The upgraded drainage structures will add increased capacity to the system and provide relief to outdated infrastructure.
Town Creek is part of a network of streams that serve as the storm water drainage system for the city of Huntsville. This creek spans the length of town, flowing from the southeast side at Sycamore Street though the historic Cultural District area toward the north, and finally emptying into the Trinity River. Over 163 acres of land adjoin this creek and many more utilize it for drainage.
During the 1960s, decommissioned railroad tanker cars were used as a low-cost method to provide an underground drainage structure. The cars were lowered into the creek bed, welded together, and then sealed with melted rubber tires.
Bearkat Boulevard runs the northern perimeter of Sam Houston State University. It is one of the main arterial streets for student access to the University from State Highway 19. Additionally, access to the Rita B. Huff Humane Society animal shelter and other private businesses becomes impossible during heavy rain. 7th Street is a primary street parents and students traverse to and from Samuel W. Houston Elementary School.
The City expects an upcoming announcement of the grant from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Department of Emergency Management’s (TDEM) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), and to move forward with the drainage advancements this year.