SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) – The South Padre Island Economic Corporation met Tuesday to discuss funding for a new environmental study to construct a second causeway.
Talks of adding a second causeway into the island are nothing new. Ken Medders, Environmental Development Chairman said plans for a new causeway have been going on for decades. But Medders wants to make it a reality.
“There’s more movement and now with the proposal to update the environmental study, it will be a player in the game,” Medders said. “The life expectancy of the bridge, we’re 8 years into when it expired and the incident with the barge several years ago it opened their eyes to the fact that we only have a point of entry.”
The Economic Development Corporation voted to approve $333,000 towards an updated environmental study. This is part of $3 million being raised by the city, Cameron County, and the Regional Mobile Authority to get the environmental study underway.
“This is what we need to do to get the 2nd causeway off dead center, said Mayor Patrick McNulty. ” It has been dead center since 2017.”
Once the environmental study is completed, plans on how the construction of a new causeway would work can move forward. McNulty said having another access way to the island will be very beneficial.
“For the city, it would be absolutely incredible to have another way off,” McNulty said. “I mean from a safety and life situation we need to have another way off this island especially when we have over 9 million cars driving across the causeway every year.”
But the city hopes the environmental study can get the ball rolling on a second bridge.
“Perhaps while that environmental assessment is going on we can start working on plans
for the second causeway and can help fast track hopefully within the next 7 or 8 years that we’ll have a new causeway under construction,” McNulty said.