Feature Illustration: Feature Illustration (above): Concept of the North Beach Canal and the future surrounding development that might result. Source: YouTube Video Corpus Christi TX North Beach Project.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — City Council has authorized the hiring of an engineer consulting firm to assess the feasibility of creating a canal on North Beach that would solve its flooding problem and still be navigable.
Council held its second reading of the enacting ordinance yesterday. The first was June 16.
The action serves as a way for council to get a second, more detailed opinion on the feasibility of such a project. Last year, Urban Engineering drafted a report that suggested such a project was possible and offered several options on how to proceed.
Following that report, council voted in December to agree “in principle” to construct the North Beach Navigable Canal. North Beach has for decades been plagued by flooding. A drainage system that could also handle recreational boat traffic has been seen by North Beach residents as essential to its future development.
VBX’s last report on this project published Dec. 11, 2019, and is being tracked through Project ID 2019-7348.
Tuesday’s vote finalizes council responsibility for contracting with Lockwood, Andrews & Newman Inc. (LAN). The agreed upon fee is $508,988 for Phase I services, which include a determination of the project scope and limits and whether or not the canal will function as a major drainage facility and be navigable.
North Beach experiences rain event drainage issues and high tidal driven flooding. The high tide flooding causes ponding in low-lying areas and impedes area drainage from modest rainfall events. The ponding and poor drainage has a negative impact on the area’s economic development.
The North Beach Drainage Assessment Report prepared by Urban Engineering in 2019 has indicated that the construction of a navigable canal could help mitigate the flooding issue.
On December 17, 2019, City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the design and construction of a navigable canal on North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. This contract with LAN will finalize the navigable canal’s scope and project limits as well as determining if the navigable canal will be functional for its intended use of being navigable and of being a major drainage facility solving drainage issues in North Beach.
Some of the tasks include an advanced concept of the canal design, drainage analysis and concepts, traffic analysis and access impacts, determination of regulatory requirements, determination of real estate availability, and the preparation of a written report.
Based on the findings of Phase I, additional work may be awarded to the same firm.
The Phase 1 scope of work should be complete by December 2020.
The Contracts and Procurement Department issued a Request for Qualifications for the engineering services for North Beach Navigable Canal. LAN was the only firm that submitted their qualifications.