12/15/2008 Ike Update
The project of designing and constructing the necessary repairs to the Lake Conroe dam following the damage incurred during Hurricane Ike is proceeding slightly ahead of schedule.
The original schedule was to complete engineering design in November, go out for bids in December, and then award a construction contract in January with a notice to proceed being issued in late- January or early February. As outlined below, the project is currently running almost four weeks ahead of schedule.
On December 5, 2008, bids for the rock riprap repair project were received and opened. On Thursday, December 11, the SJRA Board of Directors received the bid tabulation along with a presentation from SJRA staff and engineers with Freese & Nichols, Inc. recommending a contractor. The SJRA Board voted to award the construction contract to Rebel Contractors, Inc., based in Willis, Texas. Rebel's bid was $978,268.50. It is anticipated that the cost of the repair will be eligible for at least 75 percent FEMA reimbursement.
The new schedule is to issue a notice to proceed in the first week on January. The contract allows 90 days for substantial completion of the project.
Impacts on Lake Level
Based on the engineer's recommendations, the SJRA has agreed to maintain the lake level at or below 200' MSL, which is one foot below normal pool level and less than half of the amount that the lake was lowered following Hurricane Rita in 2005. This will be the target, maximum lake level during the construction period, meaning that the lake level during construction will most likely fluctuate between 199' MSL and 200' MSL depending on rainfall, evaporation, and construction requirements. However, the level could fluctuate lower if we enter an extended period of less-than-normal rainfall.
As of today (December 15, 2008), the lake is already a few inches below 200MSL, so depending on rainfall and evaporation, we may only have to lower a few additional inches in January.
This information regarding lake level is being provided to inform boat owners and lake area residents and businesses that that they can make any necessary arrangements with regard to activities on the lake. Although the proposed one to two feet of lowering is less than half of the impact experienced following Hurricane Rita, boaters are advised to use caution on the lake due to the increased risk of underwater obstacles.