$16.9M Stonegate drainage upgrade approved; details and timeline shared

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A $16.9 million proposal to upgrade drainage issues in the Stonegate area that has been under negotiation for five years has been approved.

District Three Port Arthur Councilman Thomas Kinlaw said he was recently notified that the Stonegate Drainage Mitigation Project received the federal funding needed to improve drainage and retention capacity in and around the areas of Jimmy Johnson Boulevard and 9th Avenue.

“I’m just so excited,” Kinlaw said. “We are in dire need of having drainage in those areas. Because of development here in Port Arthur, a lot of the water travels faster now. That’s why we’re caught off guard sometimes.”

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The areas of Oakmont from Birchwood Triangle to Jimmy Johnson Boulevard and Golfhill Drive “will receive a 25-year level of service for the exit of the subdivision and reduce the 100-year structural flooding on Oakmont,” according to a written news release.

In addition, existing ponds at Babe Zaharias Golf Course receive additional acreage to increase detention capacity during high water weather events.

Kinlaw said now that the project has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, proposed project engineering and design would be reviewed and later advertised for bids, the latter of which is expected in May.

“I just want to get the word out for (the residents) and to them that we’ve been working to try to figure out what we could possibly do,” Kinlaw said. “Most of the development is happening in District Three. The most expensive houses are in District Three. The highest population is in District Three.

“So I really wanted to work hard with our team in Port Arthur along with the engineers and the federal government to figure out what we could possibly do to ensure that we can protect their homes, properties, businesses and the schools that we have.”

According to information from the National Weather Service, Port Arthur on average receives 60.47 inches of rain annually.

The one-day precipitation record for the Port Arthur-Beaumont metropolitan area was set Aug. 29, 2017, when Hurricane Harvey dropped 26.03 inches on the region. The previous record for one day was 12.76 inches, which occurred on May 19, 2023.