Galveston is currently undergoing a major expansion to its beaches. The Galveston Park Board partnered with the City of Galveston is planning on a 19.5 million dollar expansion that will begin Fall of 2016. The project is scheduled for completion Spring of 2017.
The goal behind the expansion is to widen the beaches along the Seawall running between 12th and 61st street. This four mile stretch of beach will be replenished from high quality sand dredged up from The Galveston Ship Chanel. This project will widen the beaches up to 150 feet and create an additional 20 blocks of beach alongside the Seawall.
Crews have been working tirelessly to meet the looming deadline. Galveston’s expansion is evident and the current beach conditions are less than desirable due to all the machinery and piping everywhere. A 36-inch pipe will remain on the beach during the “pipeline dredge” process. This moves sand from Galveston’s Ship Channel at Big Reef (east of East Beach) to the desired locations for the project.
Galveston is keeping the beaches open but Stewart Beach is acting as a storage house for the project materials. Ramps and provisions are being made to accommodate visitors during the renovation process.
“This beach expansion project continues our mission to increase recreation areas for our visitors and to protect the seawall – and the island – from erosion and future storm surges,” said Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun.
The expansion is geared towards creating more space for beach goers and also serves as a necessary preventative action to erosion.
This latest expansion will be the third installment of the sand nourishment projects undertaken by Galveston over the last year. Back in May 2015, more than a half-mile of beach was added west of the Seawall at Dellanera RV Park. The second expansion was November 2015, another project added more than 15 blocks of brand new beach along the Seawall west of 61st Street. When you combine all three projects, it adds up to more than $44 million that has been invested into the Galveston coastline.