Construction to remove underwater demolition and debris from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and Galveston Causeway that began earlier this week will cause a temporary closure of the waterway located at the intersection of the GIWW, the Galveston Causeway (Interstate 45) and the associated railroad trestle bridge.
The contractor, RLB Contracting Inc., is required to remove underwater structures including concrete, steel, wood and various other debris in the vicinity.
“The removal of debris will clear obstacles that pose a safety hazard to commercial and recreational vessels traversing this waterway,” said Seth Jones, GIWW operations manager with the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch.
“We worked to secure a contract that would enable us to address these hazards in a timely manner to ensure the safety of boaters while also being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”
According to Jones, staff considered several options including requesting the contractor to work at night, avoiding weekend work and delaying the contract into the winter – all which would have increased safety risks and the cost of the contract.
“We negotiated a contract that would allow for the contractors to work in a ‘12 days on/two days off’ cycle until the work is complete,” said Jones.
“This timeframe allows us to maximize available daylight hours while minimizing delays due to inclement weather which combined will reduce the overall construction time. We will continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure construction updates are coordinated and that mariners are notified through the Vessel Traffic Service notification system (VTS).”
Work is expected to continue through December 2016.