By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS
A pair of presentations on the Second Causeway project and South Padre Island’s annual economic index highlighted the Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Tuesday, Oct. 24.
Pete Sepulveda, executive director of the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority (CCRMA) was first up, providing a status report on the Second Causeway project.
Sepulveda described the project as the most critical safety project in Texas, while at the same time representing the most environmentally complex task in the nation. Currently, the years’ long project is undergoing environmental review.
“We had done a value engineering study that gave us the opportunity to look at different options regarding the design of the structure, as well as looking at a completely different structure – looking at a twin structure concept that would reduce the sea grass mitigation substantially,” Sepulveda said.
He estimated the changes would reduce the required mitigation from around 130 acres of sea grass, to approximately 6-8 acres. “Right now we are amending the schematics to include a twin structure,” he reported.
Funding has remained one of the projects primary concerns, Sepulveda said. “In reducing the mitigation that is required, we feel that we have reduced the cost of the project substantially,” he added. Early estimates put a $750 million price tag on the project, which would include the 8-mile bridge spanning over the Laguna Madre, as well as its mainland access point on Holly Beach near Laguna Vista.
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