Public Infrastructure

Jefferson County, Texas


Salt Bayou Hydrologic Restoration

Innovation. The goal of the Salt Bayou project was to restore freshwater flow to 18,000 acres of wetlands in the Salt Bayou watershed, the largest contiguous estuarine marsh in Texas. Determining a cost-effective solution to a problem that had been ongoing since the 1950s was a challenge that the LJA team took on with enthusiasm. We worked with multiple agencies including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas General Land Office, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a solution that met each stakeholder’s vision and reconciled to an achievable budget. The LJA team worked with local contractors to determine the most cost effective and practical approach to place the siphons under the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW), an area which has not received fresh water since its construction.

The Salt Bayou Hydrologic Restoration project is a component of the larger Salt Bayou Restoration Plan aimed at restoring and protecting nearly 140,000 acres of freshwater marsh, coastal prairie grasslands, tidal flats, and creeks and basins, as well as fish and wildlife. The hydrologic restoration ingeniously uses the influx of fresh water to flush salt water out of the wetlands and prevent erosion and conversion of the marsh lands into open water. To that end, LJA determined that two freshwater syphons located under the GIWW would accomplish the project goals. Once the design solution was determined, it kick started the dormant project which had been at a standstill until the construction solution was developed. The client was impressed with the successful project delivery, and we were able to secure a grant of $4.5 million for the project.

For more information regarding this project, please contact Bill Worsham, PE at


Public Works

International Site Development


Plans, Specifications, and Estimates

Hydrology & Hydraulics