Construction is underway on an extensive effort to shore up worn and cracking sidewalks along both sides of Seawall Boulevard.
The $1.4 million county project will span from East Beach Drive to the west end of the seawall near the Diamond Beach condo resort, repairing about 16 miles of sidewalk, officials said. League City-based Lucas Construction Co. started working this week, and the project is expected to be complete by May.
The company is starting between the intersections of 69th and 75th streets with the goal of perfecting a system before working in areas that may disrupt businesses, county spokeswoman Brittany Rainville said. Additionally, the company plans to remove only as much sidewalk as can be replaced within a week before moving on to the next segment, Rainville said. The crews will work six days a week.
Business owners on the north side of Seawall Boulevard will be notified of construction starting in their area three weeks before crews start working, Rainville said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not the county, maintains the seawall from East Beach Drive to the south jetty, which is an area not included in the sidewalk repair project.
Repaving worn sidewalks won’t be the only improvements to the heavily traveled tourist destination. The city of Galveston signed off on $4.9 million in long-awaited upgrades to the seawall in November.
No official start date has been set for the city’s improvements, but restrooms could be installed as early as May 2016.
The city intends to purchase and install fully plumbed, stainless-steel toilets, known as Portland Loos, on the seawall. The toilets are designed to discourage loitering and include shower stations for beachgoers.
Other planned improvements include the installation of water lines, bus shelters, benches, bike racks, signage, planters and lighting installation. The improvements are expected to take about 10 months.
The improvements would be the first major project to be completed along Seawall Boulevard since the completion of the Hampton Battery pavilion in 2012 and the start of paid parking on the seawall in 2013.
The county’s sidewalk construction also is separate from a Texas Department of Transportation project to replace pavement and asphalt on Seawall Boulevard from 39th Street to Ferry Road, Rainville said.