CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Living in Galveston, Corpus Christi tourist Holly Chester is no stranger to boardwalks.
“Just the convenience of going down to the water and stuff,” she said while pushing her two children in a stroller down the concrete side of the Peoples Street T-head.
The other side is where what's left of a boardwalk damaged by Hurricane Hanna in the summer of 2020 remains blocked off to foot-traffic.
Chester saw it for the first time today, the first day of her visit.
She had a simple reaction likely shared by many fellow tourists and residents alike.
“It should be fixed,” Chester said.
When Corpus Christi Marina leaders last provided an update on their plans to rebuild the boardwalk and dozens of the marina's boat slips, they hoped to have the design phase finished by December 2021 and construction underway by April 2022.
Marina Manager Jonathan Atwood says a number of factors — many of them because of current events — will not allow them to stick to that timeline.
“We’re looking at different materials due to the supply chain (and their) costs." he said. "Fuel’s going up, so that drives the costs of different kinds of materials up and the delivery of those materials."
Add to those factors other marina and city projects taking focus away from boardwalk repairs and attempts to bring in the right engineers, and Atwood doesn't have a guess as to when the rebuilding will begin.
That means no boardwalk for Spring Break 2022 and the following summer tourist season.
“It’s very disappointing," Atwood said. "It’s disappointing to me and a lot of the tourists and tenants of the marina. People that come down here and visit Corpus Christi, they look forward to walking down here by the water, and the boardwalk was an excellent place to do that in the past."
So if Chester is going to spend time on a boardwalk, she'll have to wait until she's back home in Galveston.
She can see why such features there are popular.
“Because it gets more people down here walking," Chester said.