Update on raising Hwy 87

Update on raising Hwy 87The following information was received from Commissioner Apffel’s office on February 9.
Environmental Study: expected to be cleared by May, 2018
Project going to bid: May, 2018
Construction to begin: July, 2018
First 2 miles from Gilchrist towards High Island will be raised average about 12 inches. Rest of the roadway towards High Island will be raised average about 22 inches.

During Hurricane Harvey it is our understanding from the Galveston EOC which was in contact with emergency personal on the Peninsula that SH 87 was never under water and had no tidal impacts from the hurricane.

W. Seth Collins
Policy & Constituent Advisor
Office of Commissioner Darrell A. Apffel, Precinct 1
(409) 770-5544 – Seth.Collins@co.galveston.tx.us

Related Story: Hwy 87 elevation project

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4 Responses to “Update on raising Hwy 87”

  1. K McCann says:

    Dear Mr. Colins,

    I feel strongly that Local people who Live on the Bolivar Peninsula in the High Island/ Crystal Beach area should have been consulted on the decision to “raise” Highway 87 in the same footprint.

    I completely agree with the remarks from Gay Richardson stated in their reply to the article…Highway 87 must be relocated inland; otherwise, the inhabitants will be once again be Stranded on an island with rising water levels, gale force winds, torrential rains, tornados and no way out. I travel to the Peninsula all throughout the year, as we own a cabin in Crystal Beach, Tx. For 40+ years our family has travelled these roads. Most notably, in the current and pass few years, there is water partially/fully covering Hwy 87 at High Tide … almost every time we pass through High Island and head toward Crystal Beach.

    When the Winds kick up from the Gulf, 87 gets completely covered in spots. If you travel on 87 at the 90 degree turn headed toward High Island early early morning or late night, you can easily see, and must navigate around water and/or the Debris dropped on the road from the Tidewaters. This is consistent. The Gulf water pools in the ditches on the West side of 87, as they seem to be constantly “full” because of the wave wash which has crossed the road (87). I am shocked that your research team did not see this situation.

    Locals need to be consulted in your plan before our tax money… and the tax money from all citizens of the Great state of Texas is “wasted” on a project that won’t last until the next hurricane.

    Local citizens need to be asked to share information regarding their experiences and videos of the rising water. They are posted on the local feed, all the time. It is upsetting that your office is not capturing the data that already exists. Unfortunately, if locals are not tapped for the decision making process, and the element of relocating the road inland is not addressed, I feel compelled to write my next letter will be to the Houston, Galveston and Beaumont news stations Investigative Reporting Units to research the benefits of “Relocating Highway 87” or merely “Raising it” until the Tide, and the next storm/hurricane washes it out once again. The time has come to Fix the problem, and not merely patch it for another administration to handle. Please be the Hero in the Story, not the Villain. I would ask that you forward my letter to Commisioner Apffel’s office as soon as possible.

    More information must be shared with the residents and property owners of the Bolivar Peninsula. If it has been outlined and printed in the newspaper, then I apologize, but property owners like me have not seen it. Additionally, the timing of the project is also questionable. The existing plan is to Begin in the peak holiday season (July) as the population quadruples in the summer time? ALL cabins are occupied and/or rented, thus patrons anxiously travelling to their summer vacation, and existing residents will be forced to share possibly 1 lane of a 2 lane highway? Your plan may be the cause of many accidents and fatalities as timing is everything. Not only will you be putting drivers in harms way, but construction crews as well. It is such a dangerous stretch of highway on an average day, however, in the summertime, it is much worse.

    Hopefully, people will voice their opinions and post their videos for your review.

    Sincerely,
    K. McCann

  2. Ken Florence says:

    I drove through four to six inches of salt water rolling over the morning after and have video to prove it.

  3. My dear Mr. Collins…..apparently you must have spoken with an EOC employee in Colorado. Maybe Harvey’s winds were blowing clock wise instead the normal counter clock wise. Any local coastal resident will advise you that any time there is more than a 25 mph southerly wind the road will have water across it in several places.

    It is absolutely wasting taxpayers money to elevate the highway from 12″ to 22″ as is being proposed. The highway needs to be moved inland as far as is possible and elevated over 4′. Even this elevation will be flooded during a minor hurricane. But never flooded as it is now when we have a continuing south wind.

    As an example of wasted money take a drive and look at all the concrete barriers installed by TDOT near High Island and look what the tide has done to them. Water and debris continues to flood the road on almost a weekly basis.

    Form a commission of Bolivar residents and they will tell you what should/could be done to reduce the prevailing issue. They won’t need a bunch of engineers telling them ” There was no highway flooding during Harvey “.

    • Mr. McCann….Excellent letter . Lets just see if the County pays any attention to what we, the taxpayers, have to say.

      I really would like to hear what others have to say about this proposed highway elevation. Hopefully they will add their “Pro or Con ” comments via this web site.

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