Corpus Christi City Council to Launch Study on Future Seawall Projects
Feature Photo (above): The existing seawall that protects lower downtown from storm surges, as seen looking north from McGee Beach. Image: Google Streets/Maria Smith.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — City Council is scheduled to award a master service agreement next week to an engineering firm for a feasibility study to identify future seawall projects.
The council is expected to enter into an agreement January 14 that will update a 2009 feasibility study on the seawall system that protects the lower level of downtown. Recommendations that come out of the new feasibility study will be considered for inclusion in the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
HDR is the selected professional engineering firm to conduct the study. This is the same firm that did the work for the 2009 report. HDR Engineering Inc. is a global firm with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and offices all across Texas.
D. Brent Moore, an HDR engineer in the Corpus Christi office, stated in a November letter to the city that the work would be similar in nature to the original study.
“Under that contract, we evaluated a number of seawall related projects by assessing their feasibility, and developing Opinions of Probable Cost,” Moore said.
“We anticipate there will be a series of stakeholder meetings that HDR will participate in, the purpose of which will be to develop a list of nominated projects. At the conclusion of those meetings, HDR will prepare a scope & fee estimate for the projects and help develop priorities (some projects may drop off during this process).
“We anticipate this effort will culminate in a report with recommendations that the City can then incorporate into their CIP,” he said.
A series of task orders are anticipated as a result of the study. However, the task orders will not include the designs for improvements or the preparation of bidding/construction documents.
The $250,000 engineering study is to be completed by June. Only after its completion will any actual design work and construction activity be authorized.
The existing seawall extends from the north corner of McGee Beach northward, around the Corpus Christi Marina and as far north as American Bank Center.
The project study area will generally focus on protecting the same length of North Shoreline Boulevard, but it also continues slightly southward to the south end of McGee Beach.
The 2009 study resulted in the prioritization and initiation of various seawall projects. Since then, new projects have been identified and projects listed on the 2009 study are out of date due to changes in scope and cost estimates.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.