A joint venture (JV) of Stantec and Jacobs, Galveston Coastal Services Joint Venture, has been selected by the US Army Corps of Engineers to design a 43km long levee and floodwall system along the coastline near Galveston, Texas.

Known as the Orange County Coastal Storm Risk Management or ‘Orange’, the $1.9bn project is expected to take nearly eight years to build.

The project is claimed to increase the area’s preparedness to respond to natural disasters. It could also increase resistance to the long-term impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels, land subsidence, increased frequency of abnormally heavy rainfall and regional drought.

The Orange project 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 making up the interrelated coastal area.

The area has a repeated risk from substantial wind and surge damage, resulting in shoreline erosion. It has led to the destruction of wetlands, loss of land, damage to homes and commercial property.

Upon completion, the project could harden coastal facilities and infrastructure on which several energy systems, markets, consumers and residents depend. States such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, are home to more than 80% of the nation’s energy resources.

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

It includes 25km of new levees, 17.2km of new concrete floodwalls and gates, seven new pump stations to reduce interior flooding during surge events, 453 acres of marsh restored through a mitigation plan and 560 acres of forested wetlands to be preserved. It will also include navigable sector gates to reduce surge protection.

Nearly 540 JV and partner staff are expected to execute and deliver the project’s design in 18 to 24 months. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2022 and will be completed in 2026.

Stantec senior vice president and Water Resources sector leader John Montgomery said: “The economics of flood risk reduction are changing, and proactive measures are critical to a community’s social and economic resilience strategy. For each dollar spent on resilient building and construction, six dollars are saved in recovery costs.

“It is exciting to be selected to drive the design and delivery of this important project that will soon become a part of the fabric of the Gulf Coast. Our JV consists of leading project management expertise with a track record of delivering large-scale infrastructure projects that will reduce the impacts of disasters and fortify our domestic energy security.”


Image: US Army Corps of Engineers selects Stantec JV to design floodwall system. (Credit: Pixabay/David Mark.)