Proposed Ike Dike Project in Galveston, Texas


  • Maria Adey Memorial University of Newfoundland


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


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.

Author Biography

Maria Adey, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Term 8 Student Civil Engineering


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

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

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






Coastal and Ocean Engineering (ENGI.8751)