By Gaige Davila
The Arturo Galvan Coastal Park is moving into its second phase of construction, after a groundbreaking on Monday, October 14, by Port Isabel officials and the Galvan family.
The park will close this week, once construction equipment moves onsite, according to Jared Hockema, city manager of Port Isabel.
The access road into the park will be paved, leading to a “low-impact” parking lot, meaning oils and other fluids from vehicles will not permeate below the parking lot and into the ground below, according to Hockema. A pavillion, restrooms, walking trail, bird watch blind, playground and volleyball court will be installed, too.
The project has a 7 to 8 month construction time, using $500,000 from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation—a Harlingen-based philanthropy group—awarded to Port Isabel in 2016, and another $500,000 from Texas Parks and Wildlife, given to the city in March 2017.
Just beyond Derry Elementary School, and along the bay, at 1801 2nd St, Port Isabel, Texas, the park’s first construction phase removed debris; leveled an area with gravel for parking and another along the bay to walk; installed two rock breakwaters—similar to the Jetties at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island, but much smaller—aquatic vegetation, to help reduce shoreline erosion; and trash receptacles and picnic tables.
The first phase of construction, called the “Arturo Galvan Coastal Park Living Shoreline” project by the Texas General Land Office (GLO), occurred from April 15, 2014, to June 1, 2015, using $900,000 from the GLO and $100,000 from the Port Isabel Economic Development Corporation, according to Hockema.
The park will be closed to the public during the construction period.