FORT WORTH, Texas - Flood risk management is one of the Fort Worth District’s main priorities. This is evident with many of its major civil works projects in cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio. Assistance for these large projects is available under specifically named congressional authorization, where the costs often exceed several million dollars.
A second authority is the Continuing Authorities Program. CAP delegates general authority to the Corps to plan, design and construct, within specified funding limits, certain types of water resources development projects. In instances where issues are generally small in scope, cost and complexity, the Corps may act directly under the CAP.
“This program allows the Corps to respond more quickly than might otherwise be possible through the specific congressional authorization process,” said Marie Vanderpool, who manages the Fort Worth District’s CAP.
Projects pertaining to flood plain management, flood control, ecosystem restoration, erosion control and stream bank protection fall under the CAP. These projects are usually cost shared 50/50 with a local sponsor and require no further congressional authorization to proceed to construction.
“I work directly with the communities, our non-Federal cost sharing sponsors, to define issues, evaluate possible corrective measures and see it through to fruition,” said Vanderpool.
Little Fossil Creek Flood Risk Reduction project, located in Haltom City, Texas, is one of the Fort Worth District’s CAP projects. The project includes widening and deepening the creek channel, which will help ensure future flood waters are contained within the channel, and removing a number of houses from the floodplain. Additionally, Haltom City plans to construct hike and bike trails and other recreation amenities on the vacated land.
The Corps awarded the contract to Kimrick Performance Group LLC of Houston at approximately $5 million last June. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
The project purpose is flood risk management. Invasive plant removal is an environmental measure implemented to mitigate for habitat lost due to the channel construction. Project design and mitigation features were developed in close coordination with Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“CAP is an excellent program for assisting small communities,” said Vanderpool. “It fits the scale and budget often associated with small communities and without CAP, many of these smaller projects would never be constructed.”