Flood control district approves study for underground tunnels for Houston flooding

- The Harris County Flood Control District has approved the feasibility study to build underground tunnels to carry excess water from a county that is no stranger to floods.

"We need to think outside of the box," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett following Commissioner's Court on Tuesday.

The Flood Control District is wanting to begin negotiations with a geo-technical firm to test the soil and see if large tunnels carrying water would work for the city.

The approved study will cost anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000, according to Judge Emmett.

At a time where all things are on the table, the approval of this study means this is the first step in a very long journey.

"The one [tunnel] that's mentioned a lot is from Addicks, Barker down to the south," said Judge Emmett.

"The transportation corridors are an attractive option because they're already there, they're fairly straight, linear projects," said Russ Poppe, Harris County Flood Control District executive director.

And given the way Harris county floods, more than one tunnel will likely need to be built, but it's not cheap.

"And they range anywhere from $50 to $100 million per mile," said Poppe, describing other tunnel projects that have been done in cities such as Austin, San Antonio and Dallas.

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