City leaders believe it’s time to finally fix the North Beach drainage issue.
“It’s been one of those things that’s been talked about for years, but nobody’s done anything,” said Mayor Joe McComb.
The city formed the North Beach Task Force with the mission to find a solution. Task force members dug deep and came up with the answer; a 6,387-foot canal along the old railroad line with an opening into Corpus Christi Bay.
“We’re going to fix the water drainage problem, and if we do it right, it’s going to lend itself to bigger and better things,” said District 1 City Councilman Everett Roy.
However, a canal alone won’t fix the problem
“You’re going to have to elevate the whole North Beach if you want to solve your drainage problem because water doesn’t flow uphill,” said McComb.
Plans call for dirt dug up for the canal to be used to help elevate either side, further helping drainage.
The task force believes the canal will cost $40 million dollars of public money. But McComb wants more information before signing the check.
“Kind of like eating an apple, we’re going to take one bite at a time,” McComb said. “We want to see what the solution is, find out how much that solution is going to cost us, and then we start seeking ways to address the solution.”
The mayor says a bond issue is one way the city could pay for the canal, but the task force’s developer wants to open the canal at the same time as the new Harbor Bridge. Waiting for a bond referendum would make that impossible.
“It’s not a 10-year project,” said Jeff Blackard, president & CEO of Blackard Global. “I want to open that canal before that bridge opens, or on the same day.”
Task force members also say public safety is a major concern. When it rains, North Beach floods, which makes driving difficult, especially for first responders.
The task force will present their drainage solution to council members next week.