Wondering what's going on?
Almost nothing piques interest like heavy construction machinery showing up where you don't expect it.
Whether you like to fish at your favorite Brazos River Authority reservoir or are a lakeside resident, you might wonder what's going on if you notice construction sites or large equipment scattered around the reservoir.
Or you pack up the tackle and hitch up the boat only to arrive at your favorite park and find the ramp and fishing areas inaccessible in one centralized location. Now, your curiosity is probably not only piqued, but you may be a little annoyed.
How do you find out what's going on? Now, answers are just a few clicks away.
To keep everyone informed and updated, in late 2021 the BRA established a clearinghouse for information on major projects in progress throughout the Brazos River basin on its website. This is the first time that comprehensive information, including project descriptions and statuses, is being made available for review for all current BRA projects.
"This is something that we're pretty excited about," Blake Kettler, the BRA's Technical Services Manager, said at the December Brown Bag on the Brazos virtual meeting. "A major component of efficient project delivery is continuous monitoring of project controls, including scope, time, cost, and risk associated with projects. And with these controls, there was a need for a reporting function."
These project updates were created when the BRA shifted toward a goal-oriented approach to fulfill proposed projects within the BRA. This new approach led to the creation of the Project Management Office and Capital Improvement Planning Department. The Project Management office is a network for the BRA's project managers spread across the organization. The office ensures that projects are handled in a uniform and effective manner.
One of the first goals of the office was to provide easy access to project information for anyone interested. The best way to do that was via the organizations' website at https://brazos.org/ProjectUpdate.
Project information is available via location accessed through a map function or by topic. Each of the project's one-page summaries displays the project's goals, asset information, status schedule, and budget summary. Information will continue to be updated as major goals are met through the project's progress.
"At first, these updates were for internal stakeholders and our Board of Directors to make sure that the information was correct and hitting the nail on the head for what folks want to see," Kettler said. "While we continued to deliver information on that front, we turned toward providing this information to the public by incorporating each update on our website. This is a new approach for our organization and will be updated frequently."
If you are visiting any of the BRA's reservoirs and notice a project taking place, you can find its description, status, and timeline in a manner of minutes.
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One of the current projects of interest includes the Possum Kingdom Flow Control Gate Replacement project, replacing the current Bear Trap roller gates with slide gates to improve reliability and decrease the need for maintenance. By viewing the project's one-page summary, you can see photos that depict the difference between the roller and slide gate.
Another developing project with information available on the Project site is Lake Limestone's Park 5 Access Pier, Loading Pier, and Park Upgrades. The park project includes plans to replace the courtesy dock/boat loading pier that was removed several years ago due to deterioration, along with the addition of a separate access pier. You can view the summary for that project here.
Some projects don't require heavy machinery and are basinwide. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mussel Study is part of a newer partnership agreement between the BRA and the USFWS that addresses the conservation needs of two Brazos River basin species of freshwater mussels. You can learn more about the project here.
As the BRA continues to grow, the project page will continue to expand. For questions or feedback regarding the project update webpage, click here.