Corpus Christi Council OKs $14.3M Transfer to Start Rebuild of Municipal Marina
Feature Illustration: Overhead view of the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina, with the docks to be replaced market A, B, C, D, L. Source: City of Corpus Christi.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — City Council approved a reallocation Wednesday of $14,299,000 from the Seawall Improvement Fund to replace docks, beginning this summer, at the Municipal Marina.
The reallocation combines fiscal year 2022 funding for the marina in the capital improvement program with fiscal year 2021 funding in order to accelerate the reconstruction of the marina, much of which was damaged by Hurricane Hanna. The marina docks were last rebuilt in 1994 and had already outlived their 25-year life expectancy.
After Hurricane Hanna, an engineer was hired to assess the damage and began doing pre-engineering design. The projected total cost is $20 million.
Jonathan Atwood, the marina manager, informed the council that reconstruction could begin in 60 days.
$11.5 million — replacement cost of Docks A, B, C, and D
$3.5 million — replacement cost of the L Pier
$5 million — the estimated cost to dredge the marina
Atwood said that 207 of the 629 slips (33%) must be replaced. This would include 162 slips at Docks A, B, C, and D that handle boats that range from 25 to 45 feet, and another 45 slips at the L Pier that handle boats ranging from 30 to 55 feet.
The docks in their current condition have a multitude of issues that need addressing. The A, B, C and D docks are wood structures in disrepair, with corroded galvanized hardware and plastic flotations. All of the PVC freshwater plumbing froze and broke during the February freeze. The electric cable systems are undersized.
The L Dock is older, constructed in 1990. It is a fixed wood piling and wood deck system that does not move with the tide. This is more hazardous for boats that tie onto it. And like the floating A, B, C, and D docks, its electrical cables are undersized and its water pipes shattered during the freeze.
A floating concrete dock system like this will replace the wood docks of the marina.
Portions of the marina have been condemned and boats can no longer dock there. The city is loosing revenue to other marinas along the Coastal Bend, such as in Part Aransas, that have already modernized their facilities.
The marina also needs to be dredged because sections of it have become too shallow. Sailboats and larger powerboats can’t use many of the L Dock slips. They need a depth of at least 11 feet but silt build-up has reduced depth in places to less than 5.5 feet, Atwood said.
The power pedestals on the docks that provide utilities also must be replaced. Constructed of wood with galvanized fasteners, they have exposed electric conduit and plumbing lines, bulky meter boxes and no lighting. The cable internet boxes are mounted on the side. They are to be replaced with Lighthouse power pedestals that are waterproofed and equipped with LED lights.
The replacement docks will be concrete structure floating docks with aluminum and stainless hardware mounted to wood. They are designed to respond to wave attenuation.
These docks are recommended for coastal environments that are hurricane prone, and fitted with HDPE plumbing that can withstand extended freezes. The electric cables are properly sized for modern boat requirements.
The new docks are expected to have a 40 to 50-year life expectancy. The economic impact, based on competitive slip rates, is estimated at more than $25.3 million in revenues over the next 40 years. Other economic benefits–based on revenue from regattas, property tax value and bay views–was estimated at $3.46 million/year over the next 40 years.
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.