Texas coast flood control project plans to be revealed Oct. 30

Jeff Ehling Image
Friday, October 9, 2020

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As we get ready for yet another major hurricane, a draft report on a massive flood control project along the Texas coast will be released to the public on Oct. 30.

The Army Corps of Engineers "Coastal Texas Study" combined the Ike Dike concept and the Coastal Spine concept, creating a plan for Galveston, Galveston Bay and Houston Ship Channel.

Earlier reports indicated the report would be released on Oct. 9. The Texas General Land Office later said that date is not correct and the unveiling isn't until the end of the month.

Public comment sessions are already scheduled, but due to COVID-19, those meetings will be held virtually.

The project is a massive undertaking. It runs from Galveston to Brownsville and has been in the works since Hurricane Ike devastated the area.

Now, the Army Corps of Engineers just ended the five-and-a-half-year study, and the public will get to see the plan and voice their concerns or support for the project.

Among other things, the project will create a ring around Galveston Island to protect it from hurricane flood waters coming in from the bay.

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The project will take at least 15 years to complete and will cost between $23 billion and $32 billion.

The virtual meetings begin next month, but you can start sending comments now on the Coastal Texas Study website.

The plan includes a multi-gate system across the mouth of Galveston Bay surrounded by levees with lift gates that could rise and lower depending on the level of surge.

A major purpose is to protect the nation's largest petrochemical complex housed along the Houston Ship Channel.

The project also includes a double-dune barrier system along the coastline, incorporated from the Coastal Spine concept.

"It goes about 14 feet high and it drops down and then it goes 12 feet high and it drops down and there's a beach in front," said Kelly Burks-Copes, the Project Manager for the study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "And roads, permeable pavers, will be put on so you can drive over and get to the beach still."

The study will be presented to Congress for approval in May 2021.

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