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SJRA receives $3.6M in federal funding for Bear Branch Dam rehabilitation effort

Speaker at SJRA Event
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San Jacinto River Authority officials announced in a press conference on Feb. 26 a $5 million project to rehabilitate the Bear Branch Dam is moving forward following approval of a federal grant.

What you need to know

A total of $3.6 million in federal funding has been allocated to the SJRA to fund a complete rehabilitation of the Bear Branch Dam and reservoir, according to the SJRA. The SJRA monitors water quality in the San Jacinto basin, provides water to municipal utility districts and other entities, and operates the Lake Conroe Dam. The funding request was submitted by U.S Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, to address flood mitigation efforts in south Montgomery County. The remaining $1.4 million will be locally funded in partnership with municipal utility districts within The Woodlands Water Agency, including:

  • Montgomery County MUD No. 7
  • Montgomery County MUD No. 46
  • Montgomery County MUD No. 47
  • Montgomery County MUD No. 60
  • Montgomery County MUD No. 67

The scope of the project will include reconstruction of soil cement dams and redesign of the spillway to better allow for drainage, said SJRA Project Manager Briana Gallagher.

According to SJRA officials, design on the project will start in late 2024, with construction anticipated to begin in 2026.

Quotes of note

“This project is critical for flood mitigation efforts for the community because it will improve stormwater runoff drains to the reservoir,” Crenshaw said at the press conference. “This project will also positively affect neighborhoods along the corridor as mobility has been compromised in the past because of high water on neighborhood streets.”

“This partnership between the San Jacinto River Authority, the MUDs and the federal government is a great example of various entities coming together for the good of the community to get things done,” said Erich Peterson, general manager of The Woodlands Water Agency.

What’s next

Design is expected to begin in September following final federal funding award processes. The Bear Branch Dam rehabilitation project is part of an overall $374 million in project needs for The Woodlands area unveiled in 2023.

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