By CRAIG ALANIZ
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District partnered with the Texas General Land Office, Cameron County and the City of South Padre Island to renourish approximately one half mile of South Padre Island’s beaches using beach-quality sand harvested from a local dredging project.
A large ocean-going hopper dredge, with pump out capability, began dredging operations Nov. 3 to use material originating from the Brownsville Harbor navigation channel.
The Hopper will deliver sand to the northern section of the beach without the need to lay five miles of pipe from the channel to the beach which saves time and money on the project.
The estimated savings from utilizing the Hopper vessel is $1.3 million. This project is the first time the Hopper has been used on the Texas Coast.
Mayor Pro-tem JoAnn Evans said the project is a win-win for everyone involved because the ship channel gets proper maintenance and the beaches are aided against erosion. She said the sand helps build dunes that will serve as a barrier in the event of a storm.
Alicia Rea, a project operations manager with the Corps’ Galveston District said the dredge will work for 20-30 days dredging the Brownsville Channel between the jetties pumping material on Isla Blanca Park and the beaches of South Padre Island.
Rea said approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dredged material will be placed on Padre Island beaches.
The USACE Galveston District awarded a $3.4 million contract to Weeks Marine Inc. The Texas General Land Office and City of South Padre Island partnered to contribute $1.5 million in a non-federal cost share initiative to renourish approximately one mile of beach using beach-quality sand.
Work is scheduled to be completed by mid-December in order to avoid both the turtle nesting season and spring break. The contract is being administered by the USACE Galveston District’s Rio Grande Valley Resident Office.
Read this story in the Nov. 15 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.