Packery Channel dredging gets underway

Project Updates - November 28, 2003

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The Caller-Times newspaper says a dredge has begun cutting a path from the Intracoastal Waterway to the State Highway 361 bridge as contractors continue work to reopen Packery Channel.

Packery Channel is a sand-filled pass on Padre Island near the intersection of State Highway 361 and Park Road 22.

Developers and city officials have long debated whether to spend US$30 million to dredge the channel, which some say will encourage development on the island.

The dredge that is doing the work is a barge owned by Kingfisher Marine Services of Port Lavaca. It will carve a 7ft deep channel 12,700f in length and 80ft wide, said the newspaper, noting that the dredged material will be deposited in the dunes on thesouth side of Packery Channel.

City officials awarded the US$23 million dredging contract in July to a joint venture of Kingfisher and Luhr Brothers of Columbia, Illinois.

Jack Seward, project superintendent for Luhr Brothers, has said that work will continue through March 2004.

From June 2004 to December 2004, construction of the two jetties alongside the channel will be built.

The jetties will each be more than 2,000 feet long, with 700 feet of them on the beach, and the remaining 1,400 feet in the water.

About 18,000 tons of rock will be trucked in for the jetty construction, but the trucks will come in at night to minimize the effect on island traffic, Seward has said.

Sand dredged from the channel between the Gulf of Mexico and highway overpass will be used to rebuild the beach in front of the island seawall.

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