Houston is a port city, but its waterfront is privatized. In fact, along the length of the bay shore, only 500 acres of public access is provided for Houston and Bay communities – otherwise access to the bay is restricted to boat owners. The Galveston Bay Park plan includes 10,000 acres of publicly accessible bayfront land. Access roads will be required to service the barriers and gates and these same roads could open up trails, campsites, and other recreational destinations to bikes, cars, and buses. Galveston Bay Park will be the gateway to the bay for Houston and the region.
The Houston Ship Channel is currently too narrow for two-way traffic and larger ships that can access other ports. This dangerous condition is being addressed by a joint effort of the Port of Houston and the US Army Corps of Engineers to widen the channel. This channel improvement will generate dredge materials that will need to be deposited. The Galveston Bay Park plan proposes to put that dredged material to good use. This will not only reduce the need to create new disposal sites, but by creating the barrier and park on the eastern side of the channel it also limits the need to transport the material away from the channel.
Location: Galveston, TX | Completion: Ongoing | Size: 10,000 acres | Client: Rice University SSPEED Center