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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide Addicks and Barker Construction update

HOUSTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will hold a public meeting March 9, 2016, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bear Creek Community Center, 3055 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX 77084, to update area residents and business owners about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, the 2016 Addicks and Barker construction plans and the proposed Section 216 Study.

The USACE Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of $71,902,340 to Granite Construction Company in 2015 for construction of new outlet structures at the Addicks and Barker Dams in west Houston.

“The primary objective of the Dam Safety Program is to maintain public safety by ensuring that dams we own and operate are safe and that risks to the public are minimized,” said Col. Richard P. Pannell, Galveston District commander. “It is important to keep those who live and work around Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs informed.”

The Corps implemented interim risk reduction measures over the last five years to reduce risks and increase safety of the dams. In addition to the interim solutions, a Dam Safety Modification Study was completed and construction began in February 2016.

“First and foremost, these dams are not in danger of failing,” Pannell said. “Addicks and Barker are dry reservoirs about 90 percent of the time, and they undergo daily, weekly and annual inspections and monitoring. While the likelihood of overtopping or failure is very low, the fact the dams protect the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area makes the consequences to life safety relatively high risk.”

The public meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Corps, construction and partner representatives will be available to answer questions immediately following the presentation as well as provide comments in writing.

“Addicks and Barker dams, which were constructed in the 1940s to protect downtown Houston from flooding in response to devastating floods that hit Houston earlier in the century, have been protecting the Houston metropolitan area for nearly 70 years,” said Pannell. “We’ll continue to work with our local flood control and emergency management partners to ensure that the structures function as intended.”

For those who are unable to participate in the public meeting but wish to provide feedback, log on to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SR6QZR3. Keep apprised of construction updates at http://geospatial.swf.usace.army.mil/AddicksBarker2/index.html.

For additional information about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, please visit www.swg.usace.army.mil; email addicksandbarker@usace.army.mil or call 409-766-3004 or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict.


Engineer Week Spotlight: Amit Dash

Amit Dash Chief, Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Design Section
Amit Dash Chief, Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Design Section

Why did you choose engineering as a profession?

I enjoyed math and science and seeing the evolution of a design on paper turn into reality. I chose mechanical engineering because of the wide arena of prospects it offers, such as aerospace, automotive and facilities.
How did you end up at the Little Rock District and what is your work experience or background?

I grew up in northwest Arkansas and have family in Little Rock, so this is home. Prior to coming here, I was with the Corps at the Kansas City District as a mechanical engineer, where I had the opportunity to design the HVAC and plumbing systems for various military facilities as well as provide mechanical support for civil works projects.

Previously I have also worked in the private sector doing maintenance engineering at an oil refinery as well as designing components of aircraft engines.
How do you “engineer” things in your daily life?

I enjoy trying to find an optimum solution to a challenge or making an improvement, whether it be around the house, on my car, or even while traveling. The process of identifying possible solutions and seeing an idea to fruition is very rewarding.

What’s your favorite thing about your position in the district?

I get to support the needs of many different customers, both within our district and regionally.

What are you overseeing or working on that will impact the district or another community’s quality of life in the future?

One such example is a lighting replacement project at Millwood Dam, where the existing roadway lighting, wiring, and electrical components that were originally installed will be replaced with new energy efficient LED lighting. This new system will be designed to provide improved illumination of the dam’s roadway while conserving energy.


The official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division publication