Residents frustrated over abandoned flood-mitigation project along White Oak Bayou

Chaz Miller Image
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Flood-mitigation project started in 2021 continues to sit untouched
Residents are frustrated over a flood-mitigation project along White Oak Bayou that was abandoned after its contractor filed for bankruptcy last year.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A flood-mitigation project that started along White Oak Bayou in 2021 continues to sit untouched after its original contractor filed for bankruptcy in 2022.

The project, which spans from Hollister to Cole Creek in northwest Houston, is being overseen by the Harris County Flood Control District and is one of 181 flood-damage reduction projects being funded by voter-approved tax dollars in 2018.

Burnside Services out of Navasota started the work in the spring of 2021 but filed for bankruptcy in May 2022, and the project has sat practically untouched ever since.

"We're just dealing with the leftover," northwest Houston resident Rob Delaney said.

Delaney's home is currently surrounded by large concrete blocks, unfinished work along the bayou, and missing chunks of bike path as a result of the abandoned work.

The Harris County Flood Control District recently removed large piles of debris from the area near Delaney's home, and also repaired a nearby sidewalk that ABC13 reported on Wednesday that had been torn up as part of the project.

"(We're) just waiting for them to finish," Delaney said. "They should have been able to get the project back on track a lot sooner."

The project includes widening the bayou. The Harris County Flood Control District said work should resume this summer now that a new contractor has been selected.

Eyewitness News has also learned Burnside Services was the contractor for a separate project on the bayou between Hollister and 1960, but that work has since resumed with a new contractor after similar delays.

We asked a spokesperson for the district if any other flood-mitigation projects had stalled like the one along White Oak Bayou, but were told this project is moving along, and construction delays are commonplace.

That led us to ask if any projects were facing delays, but that question, along with a request to interview someone from their office, was never answered.

The Harris County Flood Control District, as of January, said 25 of the 181 post-Harvey projects have been completed since 2018.

For news updates, follow Chaz Miller on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.