Proposed Ike Dike Project in Galveston, Texas

Maria Adey

Abstract


On September 13th, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall along the southeast coast of Texas, devastating Galveston Island, the city of Galveston and the Bolivar peninsula. Ike was a category 2 hurricane when it made landfall in Galveston and consisted of 200 km/h hour winds at the hurricane eye and storm surges of up to six metres in height. The hurricane resulted in $25 billion in damages and left 1,500 people homeless. [1]

A 17-foot high seawall currently protects the city of Galveston, while a 27-kilometre network of levees protects Texas City. The levees were designed to withstand a 100-year storm event, but were damaged as a result of Hurricane Ike. North of Texas City is the Port of Houston, which is the second largest port in the country and an important economic centre. The Texas City Dike was nearly topped during Hurricane Ike and future storm surges present a threat to the Port of Houston. [2]

To address the threat of future hurricanes, Dr. William J. Merrell and the Texas A&M University in Galveston have proposed the construction of the Ike Dike. This project would consist of strengthening the existing Galveston seawall, protecting the rest of Galveston and Bolivar by adding revetments and raising coastal highways, and constructing sea gates at the San Luis Pass and Bolivar Roads. [3]

The following paper will overview the existing storm surge infrastructure and provide a brief analysis of the cost, benefits, and challenges associated with the proposed Ike Dike. It will also examine the environmental impacts of the Ike Dike, as it will alter the water exchange between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Keywords


(Coastal Engineering, ENGI 8751), (CASE STUDY), (CIVIL)

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References


Wikipedia, “Hurricane Ike” [online], [cited January 16, 2013], available from World Wide Web:

Kasper Stoeten, “Applying best practices from the Delta Works and New Orleans to Galveston Bay”, Texas A&M University, 2012

William J. Merrell, “The Ike Dike – A Coastal Barrier Protecting the Houston/Galveston Region from Hurricane Storm Surge” Presentation, Texas A&M University, 2011

William J. Merrell, “Let’s Build the Ike Dike”, Texas A&M University

Clark Bartee, “Galveston Seawall and Grade Raising Project: Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island, Texas”, International Engineering History and Heritage, p 461-469, 2001

Wikipedia, “Galveston Seawall” [online], [cited February 20, 2013], available from World Wide Web:

Jeff L. Brown, “Texas Coastal Communities Ponder Storm Surge Barrier”, Civil Engineering News, 2010

Wikipedia, “Texas City Dike” [online], [cited February 20, 2013], available from World Wide Web:

William J. Merrel, “The Ike Dike: A Coastal Barrier Protecting the Houston/Galveston Region from Hurricane Storm Surge”, Macro-engineering Seawater in Unique Environments, 2011, p 691-716

M. Ruijs, “The Effects of the Ike Dike Barriers on Galveston Bay”, Delft University of Technology, 2011

Wikipedia, “Tidal Prism” [online], [cited February 20, 2013], available from World Wide Web:

Galveston Bay Foundation, “Strategies for Future Hurricane Mitigation”, 2009


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