City of Bellaire

Bellaire, Texas

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Costello provided surveying, preliminary engineering evaluations, final design, and bid and construction phase services to reconstruct Spruce and 5th Streets in a mercantile area of town and two residential streets, Bolivar and Maple.

The design of Spruce and 5th Streets involved street reconstruction with a new two-lane roadway and on-street angled parking. The City desired green space to enhance pedestrian use based upon feedback received at public meetings, and Costello completed extensive coordination with the landscape architects. The project also included a new 12” waterline, upgraded storm sewers with underground detention, coordination with CenterPoint Energy for power pole relocations, and new decorative streetlights. HEB was also undergoing reconstruction, and the projects were coordinated to avoid conflicts with construction and delivery traffic.

Bolivar and Maple removed and replaced the existing residential roadways with upgraded storm sewers with in-line detention.

Brays Bayou floodplain significantly impacts both project areas. To maximize the drainage benefits, Costello completed both localized and large-scale studies. The project-specific drainage systems utilized sub-surface in-line detention due to the lack of available vacant land to construct a traditional detention basin. As part of the analysis, we found that if we install strategically located flap gates along the IH-610 corridor, a significant improvement to the localized drainage systems occurs. We prepared a 2-dimensional hydraulic model for the area to identify the best locations to install flap gates. I coordinated the analysis with TxDOT’s Houston District and HCFCD.

Hydraulic software utilized to evaluate each system included HEC-HMS, XP-SWMM, and HEC-RAS 2D.

Through the coordination efforts with HCFCD, the benefit of developing a Drainage Master Plan for both the City and HCFCD became evident so that both agencies have a unified plan of action for reducing flood risks along Brays Bayou. Costello was instrumental in coordinating efforts and helping to secure funds from HCFCD to conduct the study on behalf of the City.

Relevant Project Services

  • Survey
  • Preliminary engineering
  • 2D Hydraulic modeling
  • Final design
  • Bid phase services
  • Construction phase services
  • Public outreach meetings

Project Size and Cost

  • Maple/Bolivar reconstruction
    • $2.1M
    • 2,700 LF
  • Spruce/5th reconstruction
    • $2.7M
    • 2,200 LF

Unique Project Attributes

  • Urban area with limited ROW
  • Extensive public outreach and coordination with City staff, TxDOT, and HCFCD

Challenges Faced

  • Bray’s Bayou floodplain backwater effects
  • Limited room for sub-surface utilities

Resolutions & Results

  • Installation of flap gates
  • 2D hydraulic modeling to identify problem areas
  • Inline underground detention
  • Partnership with HCFCD to develop a drainage master plan


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