South Padre Island beach restoration project set to begin
If you've been to South Padre Island, you may have noticed a lot of work going on. All the activity is because of a restoration project is set to begin.
"We get to widen our beaches with fresh sand, new sand, and it looks a lot prettier, it's wider, and it's a win-win for everybody," SPI resident Tommy Saenz said.
Saenz is a long time island resident, and he says he's seen this process over a handful of times.
"Unfortunately, it's right in the middle of tourist season. It's a little bit of a pain in the neck for a second, but it's not going to hurt anybody. You'll still be able to have your beach umbrellas here," Saenz said.
While the timing may not be ideal, South Padre Island officials say it's necessary.
"We completely understand that right now is not the ideal time to be doing a beach re-nourishment," city of South Padre Island Shoreline Director Kristina Boburka said. "It's critical to maintain our beach so that we have a wide beach for recreational use, to benefit our economy as well as maintain endangered species habitat."
The city is working with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to restore portions of the beach impacted by severe weather. Crews are using sand and sediment dredged from the Brownsville Ship Channel.
Dredging also helps maintain the ship channel to help keep traffic flowing in and out of the port.
The process will begin by dredging at the jetties. The material that is picked will move towards the city beach access. The sand will then run through a pipe, so that it can be pushed out to help widen the beach.
Crews will begin pushing the sand towards the south first. Once that is complete, crews will work their way north.
The city is also working with the Texas General Land Office and Cameron County in this effort.
"Directly, where they'll be working, will be fenced off. We'll still have beach access so that you can walk parallel to the shore," Boburka said.
Crews will begin dredging sometime within the next week. The beach will be open, only the areas where work is underway will be blocked off. The work should wrap up in 60 days.
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