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Mon February 17 2020

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Jacobs and Stantec land design of $1.9bn Texan floodwall

10 Feb The US Army Corps of Engineers has awarded Jacobs and Stantec the design of a US$1.9bn (£1.5bn) system of levees and floodwalls along the Texas coastline.

The Jacobs  and Stantec team, operating as the Galveston Coastal Services Joint Venture, will design the nearly 27-mile-long system to provide coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration for the south-eastern part of the Greater Houston area.

Approximately 540 JV and team members across multiple disciplines will execute and deliver the design packages in roughly 18 to 24 months. In addition to the Jacobs-Stantec team, this partnership includes 20 local, small business enterprises representing 40% of the design budget.

The USACE has estimated the Orange County Coastal Storm Risk Management project to be an eight-year, US$1.9bn construction effort. The aim is to will increase the area's preparedness to respond to natural disasters and disturbances. It will also increase resistance to long-term impacts due to climate change – including sea level rise, land subsidence, increased frequency of abnormally heavy rainfall events and regional drought.

Orange centres on a stretch of the upper Texas coast from Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay, and includes gulf and bay waters, barrier islands, marshes, coastal wetlands, rivers and streams and adjacent areas that make up the interrelated coastal space. This area is repeatedly at risk from substantial wind and surge damage. The resulting shoreline erosion has caused the destruction of nationally significant wetlands, land loss and damage to homes, commercial property and State Highway 87. Over the past 10 years, the area has been altered both physically and economically by extreme weather events such as Hurricane Harvey, which caused billions in damages.

"A fundamental element of Jacobs' purpose is helping clients solve some of the toughest problems, and Orange – a strategically important resiliency investment by USACE – is a prime example of such a project and an early step in a larger overall national civil works investment strategy that Jacobs will support, leveraging our specialized capabilities in sustainable and resilient infrastructure planning and design," said Jacobs senior vice president of federal & environmental solutions Pankaj Duggal. "Essentially, we are creating a coastal spine that will help protect the Texas coast, providing a solution that not only benefits this area long-term, but the millions of people and businesses in this region that are most impacted by weather."

“The economics of flood protection are changing, and proactive measures are critical to a community's social and economic resilience strategy,” said Stantec SVP and Sector Leader for Water Resources John Montgomery. “For each dollar spent on resilient building and construction, six dollars are saved in recovery costs.”

Orange consists of seven design packages for coastal storm risk management, from the edge of the Sabine and Neches River floodplains, to the vicinity of Orangefield, Texas. The project will include:

  • 15.6 miles of new levees
  • 10.7 miles of new concrete floodwalls and gates
  • seven new pump stations to mitigate interior flooding during surge events
  • 453 acres of marsh restored through a mitigation plan
  • 560 acres of forested wetlands preserved
  • Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022 and project completion is expected in 2026.

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