Following the flooding and high winds due to Hurricane Harvey in August and September 2017, Huitt-Zollars was competitively selected by Galveston County (County) to assist them in conducting damage assessments for the County’s facilities and infrastructure. During a four week period, our assessment teams, to include representatives from Dannenbaum Engineering, Arcadis and STOA, inspected 197 county roads totaling nearly 85 miles in length, 32 county facilities, one bridge, two observation decks in County parks and one lift station; prepared damage assessments report and cost estimates; and provided quality control.
The observations and assessments were documented using damage assessment worksheets that contained location of the asset, the longitude and latitude of the asset, locations of observed damaged with corresponding photographs. For the roadways, measurements of each distress area were obtained in order to quantify the degree of damage. The longitude and latitudes for the beginning and ending of the damage were noted as applicable. These measurements were used to estimate the cost of repair for each damaged area. Cost estimates for roadway repairs were based on the current Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) local area unit rate costs prepared in December 2017. The construction cost for repairs to the buildings and other county assets were estimated using the 2018 edition of the RS Means Building Construction Costs. Each repair cost included a soft cost calculated at 40% of the construction cost to cover design, surveying, geotechnical work, environmental work, construction materials testing and construction management.
Following an orientation training on the field procedures, the damage assessment form, cost estimating format and a safety briefing, multiple teams were mobilized throughout the County to conduct the assessments. For ease of locating the damaged assets, Huitt-Zollars, Inc. prepared the final report using a GIS database and geo-linked a PDF of each damage assessment report with photographs and cost estimate for all of the County assets which were assessed for damage due to Hurricane Harvey.