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Revised Plans for Massive 'Ike Dike' Plan Revealed
"The Army Corps of Engineers has released the second draft of proposed coastal barrier that would fundamentally alter the southeast Texas coastline, with massive sea gates across the Houston Ship Channel and 43 miles of dunes and renourished beaches spanning Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston," reports Nick Powell.
The Army Corps of Engineers selected a final version of the plan from four alternatives almost exactly two years ago. The project is designed to protect the coast of Texas in and around Galveston from a storm surge like the one that hit the area during Hurricane Ike in 2008. Among the big components of the project is a gate across the mouth of Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, according to Powell. "The gate would remain open year-round and would only be closed when a storm-surge event threatens the Texas coast or for annual maintenance checks and inspections," explains Powell. A ring levee protecting the north side of Galveston Island would also be connected to the Galveston Seawall.
The project, formerly referred to as the "Ike Dike," has undergone significant changes since its previous version: The gate would restrict tidal flow from the bay to the Gulf of Mexico by 10 percent rather than the originally proposed 27 percent. The price has also been lowered from an estimated $32 billion to the new cost of $26.2 billion, reports Powell. Since October 2018, the plan has also overcome some of the local opposition, on environmental grounds, to the plan after a series of hurricanes passed near the area this year alone and as the plan has been revised.
Now the plan will begin a public engagement process that will last until December 14. To help present the plan to the public, the Army Corps of Engineers has released interactive web features including 3-D virtual tours.