Gov. Perry Announces $6 Million Award to Bluewater Highway Shoreline Stabilization Project
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state will award more than $6 million from funds appropriated by the Legislature for disaster relief to the Bluewater Highway (County Road 257) Shoreline Stabilization Project to help repair damage incurred along the highway during Hurricane Ike. The funds will be used to complete road restoration along the highway, including temporary repairs and protections that will allow for two-way traffic and also serve as a foundation for permanent repairs that will return the highway to its pre-Ike capacity.
“As Southeast Texas continues to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Ike, we will work to provide them with resources to rebuild this important road and evacuation route,” Gov. Perry said. “The Bluewater Highway project will help restore this important stretch of roadway and protect it against damage from future storms.”
The Bluewater Highway is a major evacuation route for Galveston Island and Brazoria County, including the cities of Surfside, Freeport and Angleton, and is the only evacuation route for residents along Follett’s Island. Damage to the roadway and adjoining sand dune system has placed more than 2,600 acres of marshland and tidal habitat at risk of erosion and overwash from small storms and high tide events.
“I was pleased to work with local elected officials in Brazoria County to secure funding to rebuild and harden the Bluewater Highway,” Sen. Joan Huffman said. “This important corridor is a vital evacuation route for the citizens of Brazoria and Galveston Counties and also provides all Texans access to beaches and sporting activities. I appreciate the help from state leadership we so desperately needed.”
“This funding is absolutely necessary for the rebuilding of Bluewater Highway in the wake of Hurricane Ike’s devastation,” Rep. Dennis Bonnen said. “It is a vital part of the extended recovery of the coastal communities of Brazoria County and also ensures the safety of Texas citizens during future evacuations. The approval of this funding is a culmination of months of hard work and collaboration between state and local governments.”
The General Land Office will oversee the project, including the restoration of the natural beach and sand dune system along the highway.
“This money will allow the Texas General Land Office to rebuild a critical hurricane evacuation route, as well as protect tens of millions of dollars worth of public infrastructure and coastal marsh habitats,” Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, said. “I thank Governor Perry for approving this money and making the Texas coast a top priority.”
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