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City council given smaller scale North Beach canal recommendation, navigable canal still on the table

Posted at 10:47 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 11:54:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi City Council was given a presentation about what options they have to address North Beach's drainage issues. Engineering firm MIG along with city staff developed ideas looking at the study done by LAN Engineering in 2021.

Nathaniel Riedy, civil engineer with MIG presented the options saying there needs to be a layered solution. They identified nine steps to bring improvements, but implementing one wouldn't solve anything, rather using a combination would be effective. They'd need to prevent rainfall flooding and tidal flooding.

The option recommended was to introduce a linear canal through North Beach. Included in that would be installation of dunes, raised infrastructure, elevated buildings and improved storm water system.

Of the options, this was the least expensive and money is already involved with the elevation of Gulfspray Avenue and Beach Avenue. That money comes from the 2018 Bond Program.

City council members believe this is a step in the right direction. Although, they remain to have hopes of a navigable canal. That was also an option presented.

City council had been preparing for the idea of a navigable canal on North Beach. There's been a push for that for some time.

Councilman Greg Smith said the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) was going to be used to get close to the $42 million dollars council thought they needed.

“I would like this body to remember, the TIRZ was there, how we can accelerate it," he said. "We’re trying to get a little bit of money from general fund and taking it from other areas in the city, it’s more difficult. Where if the TIRZ goes and funds a portion of this we can accelerate it up.”

One challenge to the recommendation is that are some areas that raising infrastructure can't be done. Another challenge to this plan is it cannot be fully completed until the Harbor Bridge is taken down and the New Harbor Bridge goes up.

If council takes action on it, the next step is to hire an engineering firm to begin designing the park around the canal.

You can see the presentation here.

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