JFK Causeway Road Elevation Project Awarded Silver Medal in 2006 Texas CEC Engineering Excellence Awards

(HOUSTON-February 2006)  The JFK Causeway elevation project was awarded the Texas Council of Engineering Companies’ 2006 Engineering Excellence Award. The project, developed by the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) Corpus Christi District, won the Silver Medal in the Transportation Category for its innovation in design and technical contribution to the civil engineering practice.

The District retained the civil engineering firm of Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) as the prime consultant to conduct an alternatives analysis to determine the best course of action for the 4.6-mile section of the JFK Causeway.

Elevating the JFK Causeway was a collaboration of ecologically-friendly and safety-conscious engineering solutions that achieved major transportation improvements for the Corpus Christi area.

“As the only non-ferry evacuation route for Mustang and Padre Islands, the goal of the project was to provide the public a reliable and safe outlet in the event of severe weather conditions or other emergencies,” Paula Sales-Evans, PE, TxDOT, Corpus Christi District, said. “The design of the project was complicated by the environmental constraints of the Laguna Madre waters along with the need to provide adequate recreational access to the public along the south side of the roadway. The design we developed addressed all of these concerns and ultimately improved the ecology of Laguna Madre by providing better water circulation for the aquatic life and vegetation.”

The engineering team subsequently developed the schematics and environmental documentation and prepared the final construction plans to raise the JFK Causeway from approximately three feet above mean sea level (msl) to nine feet above msl. In addition, the team designed a new 2,850-foot bridge that provided an additional 2,550-foot opening. This design allayed the concerns of environmental groups by greatly improving water circulation in the environmentally-sensitive Laguna Madre and provided optimal access to the beach, fishing piers and bait stands along the south side of the facility.

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