Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc., Incorporates Drainage Solutions with Nature and Recreation for Exploration Green Project (Source: Texas Contractor)

Dec 2, 2021

By Julie Devine

For the $49 million Exploration Green project, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc., (LAN) of Houston, Texas, designed five massive detention ponds that each hold up to 100 million gallons of stormwater. When complete, the project will protect more than 2,000 homes from flooding.

However, Exploration Green goes beyond drainage solutions to create a 200-acre urban green space. The site will offer 6 miles of 10-foot-wide, concrete hike-and-bike trails; two athletic fields; numerous open spaces; and 105 acres of natural habitat with wetlands and native grasses to support birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Even the detention ponds mimic the shape of natural lakes rather than the typical square or rectangular stormwater basins.

With the site nestled in a master-planned community built more than 50 years ago, construction contractors deal with numerous challenges working around the residential neighborhood and adjacent schools while coping with wet soils, wildlife, and massive storm events. Crews already excavated about 1.6 million cubic yards of dirt, with a total of 2.5 million cubic yards expected by the end of the project.