CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The North Beach Canal project proposal goes back before the Corpus Christi City Council on Tuesday.
This time, with three options that range in cost from $17 million to $68 million.
With each option, the focus is on solving the drainage problem that residents and community leaders agree is long overdue, and helping the area withstand major storms that could happen as frequently as every 50 years.
"The priority that we're looking at right now is stormwater flood control," City Manager Peter Zanoni said. "A heavy rain event, like a 50-year storm."
The plans on the table do not address tidal surge caused by hurricanes or tropical storms.
The three plans include:
- Stormwater and ditch improvements: $17 million.
- Natural channel with an adjoining park: $33 million.
- Navigable channel: $67 to $68 million.
Each channel option includes elevating roads and properties as well as replacing drainage.
"The system that is there is many decades old," Zanoni said. "The drainage system. We know it doesn't work well."
As the council mulls its options, Zanoni says there are other factors to consider.
One factor is the channel has maintenance costs that have yet to be determined.
Also, option three ignores an ordinance passed in 2019 that says a navigable canal should not cost more than $41 million.
"A lot of areas of town have drainage issues," Zanoni said. "And so we have to be mindful of the entire community. Now, we know North Beach is long overdue but other areas of town tell us the same thing.
"If we looked at option three, the navigable canal of $68 million. That would be almost the city's entire bond program. Right? That the community just approved. And that was for 22 roads, for numerous parks, and two public safety projects."
Zanoni says that option two gives North Beach residents a drainage solution, while also providing several amenities.
Council members will take no action tomorrow, but rather have a few weeks before providing staff direction.