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Big traffic changes are coming to JFK Causeway, City Council briefed

Big traffic changes are coming
Corpus Christi city council meeting
Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 18:54:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi city council was updated on the upcoming JFK Causeway project at their Tuesday meeting. Council members were briefed on what the $8,700,000 project will entail and how it will impact traffic on Padre Island.

A TXDOT spokesman told council member that maintenance is needed simply because of the JFK Causeway's age. It was built in 1973.

Some maintenance was done in 1979 when the concrete median was added. Then in 2011 there was some pier protection work.

Now the causeway is need of some work that will be a lot more extensive.

The work begins in December and will take approximately 19 months and its main focus will be to repair concrete damage.

An average of 29,000 vehicles cross the JFK Causeway every day. All that traffic has caused a lot of wear and tear on the causeway.

TXDOT's repair project will focus on about a half-mile stretch of the road. Twenty concrete bridge joints need to be replaced. New concrete overlay will also go on top of the bridge and on the approaches from the Island side and the Flour Bluff area.

The work will be divided into three phases and each will take three months to replace.

The first phase will focus on the middle of the bridge. The second phase will focus on the north side of the bridge and the third and final stage will involve the southside of the bridge.

Council members expressed concern about how all this work will impact traffic on this major gateway between Padre Island and the city.

Here's what drivers can expect:

  • Lanes will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of the 19 month project
  • Eastbound closures will happen during October to May
  • Westbound closures are scheduled for December to May

The contractor, Gibson and Associates, will be restricted on when they can work. For example, westbound closures will not be allowed during hurricane season which runs from June to November. Only single lane closures will be allowed between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

All lane must be open Friday to Sunday, closures will only be allowed Monday through Thursday, and no lane closures will be allowed during the May 21 Beach to Bay marathon.There will also be no lane closure for the Conquer the Coast event, no date has been set for that.

TXDOT says there will be some instances where the contractor will have to close the entire bridge.Those total closures will only be allowed overnight from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday's through Thursdays.

Access will be maintained for first responders, police and firefighters in case of emergency calls.

Single lane closures will be in place during Spring Break.The city is working with the contractor to minimize the impact on traffic during the Spring Break period.

Barricades for the project will start going up the last week of November. The first major traffic switch is expected to take place in December.