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City hopes to build new beach access road on State Highway 361

Corpus Christi Fire Department Battalion Chief Daniel Valdez said the new road will significantly help when responding to emergencies.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi's Engineering Department Head Jeff Edmunds said now is the time to help more people get to the beach from SH 361 as it heads to the ballot for voters in November. 

The proposed location is between current beach access roads one and two, which are almost eight miles apart. Edmunds told 3NEWS it's needed for both access to the beach for beachgoers and also for public safety.

Corpus Christi Fire Department Battalion Chief Daniel Valdez echoes this sentiment and said it will significantly help when responding to emergencies.

"Whenever we can reduce our response time by having more access, that means we get there quicker, we're able to get our equipment to the patients a lot faster, and any additional resources we need to get," Valdez explained. "It always allows for a faster response." 

Edmunds said the proposed project is still in its planning phase, but the plan is for it to go on vacant land somewhere near Port Royal Ocean Resort. He estimates that it will cost about $4.4 million for the access road and work on SH 361, and that construction will be determined by multiple factors. 

"Avoiding wetlands mitigation out there and constructability aspects," Edmunds added. "You've also got to look at TxDOT's concerns about proximity to the other driveways." 

As for emergency response, Valdez said the new access road will be reflective of the city's continued growth in the area. 

"As things continue to grow and there are new developments happening, the fact that the city is looking forward and growing along with that and preparing the infrastructure to meet the demands of the community, I think is very good," Valdez shared.

Valdez also said the access road will help to assist departments like Nueces County ESD 2 and the city's lifeguards to have faster access to emergencies on the beach.

After the November vote, city officials said they hope it will be built sometime in 2024 after planning and obtaining the permits they need.

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