As soon as they crossed the Galveston Causeway, Houstonians Erica Serrata and Michael Spradley couldn’t wait to sink their toes into the sand at the beach. In fact, they did more than that.
“We actually laid in it,” said Spradley, 32, a Houston Metro bus driver. “Instead of making us feel itchy, the sand was nice and clean, like when I was in South Padre (Island).”
The couple joined dozens of beachgoers on a recent weekday to savor the Island’s newest beach – a $23 million, 15-block shoreline between 61st and 76th streets – which was completed on Nov. 20.
In conjunction with the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pumped in more than 600,000 cubic yards of dredge material from the Galveston Ship Channel to build the new beach.
For Erica and Michael, the pristine expanse is just what the doctor ordered.
“It’s our first time seeing the new beach and it’s really beautiful,” said Erica, 20, a student. “The water is so clear that you can actually see the sand, and it’s not muddy or gray. The sand’s beautiful. It falls off like nothing.”
The property is owned by Texas and managed by the park board. The City of Galveston and the Texas General Land Office also participated in the expansion project.
Early next year, officials plan to re-nourish parts of Galveston’s East Beach. By next summer, visitors can expect to see about 7 miles of expanded or new beaches.