West End beach

Nicholas Quintanilla, left, and his brother Marcos play in the wet sand Tuesday at Dellanera RV Park in Galveston. The Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees approved spending nearly $1 million to restore the beach in front of the park.

GALVESTON— The Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees will cut a large check to pay for a beach reconstruction project at Dellanera Park, although the first sand isn’t expected to be brought to the area until October.

The board Tuesday approved giving almost $997,838 to the Texas General Land Office as part of the local match on a $4 million project that would reconstruct 2,000 feet of beach at the west end of the seawall.

“That’s the highest rate of erosion on the island, and it’s the area where erosion is encroaching on (FM) 3005, which is the only evacuation route from the West End,” said Kelly de Schaun, park board executive director. “In addition to building out the beach, it will also build a large dune that will help to protect infrastructure.”

The approval increased the amount of money given to Land Office by the park board to $1.18 million. The park board previously approved spending $184,104 for the project’s design and engineering.

The project is expected to cost the park board $2.1 million total. The land office will pay the remaining $1.9 million.

The park board expects to be reimbursed most of its share by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Tuesday’s spending approval marks the first movement on the project, which park board officials said they hoped initially would be completed before the end of the summer season. However, after the initial agreements made about the project were agreed to last November, officials had difficulty finding a source for the sand that would be used at the beach park.

“One of our big problems with beach nourishment projects along the Texas Coast is that we’re what’s called a sand-starved system, so it’s difficult to find sand,” de Schaun said. “It has to come from a sand source where there’s an abundance of it. That’s usually in the water somewhere.”

The land office eventually found a source, Ryan Marina in Galveston, but the marina asked to be paid in advance of doing the required dredging. Tuesday’s approval covers that advance payment.

De Schaun said the plan is now to begin the reconstruction on Oct. 1 and complete it by the end of the year.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com.

(3) comments

Stevie Maradeo

Didn't we learn that pumping sand onto the beach didn't work a decade ago? I guess there are new people in charge and they think it will work this time.

Let's spend almost a million bucks to pump sand onto the beach, and the first storm will just wash it all away.

Steve Fouga

Blues, I'm no hydrologist or civil engineer, but I doubt there's a permanent solution to beach erosion. It's just a matter of replacing what you can when you have the money to do it, and then doing the same thing again and again. That is, if you want to have a beach...

Gary Miller

$2,000 a foot?
How much did it cost to scrape sewweed, which would have controled erosion, off this beach?
Are the contractors related to board members?

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