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Whitecap North Padre Island adds new feature to canals with box culverts

Culverts allow cars to drive over and access the site while water flows through canals, preventing dead ends.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The first phase of construction continues for Whitecap North Padre Island, a 240-acre planned community on Padre Island.

Project engineers are installing pre-cast concrete box culverts across the property. There will be seven crossings with more than one hundred sections of culverts.

Mark Dison with LJA Engineering, which is the design engineer for Whitecap NPI, has 22 years of experience.

"This is probably one of the largest developments, if not the largest development North Padre Island has ever seen," Dison said.

The purpose of the culverts is for cars to drive over and access the site, allowing water to flow through canals and prevent dead ends.

Larger boats can get around the property by passing under one of seven bridges that provide 12 feet of clearance at normal tide. Only small boats like kayaks can fit through the culverts. 

"We wanted to provide, you know, more recreation area for kayaks and each of these crossings will have five feet of water at normal tide with four feet of air space," he said.

Three of seven locations of culverts are already installed, and Dison said they can improve water quality for aquatic life.

"With the daily change in tide it, it allows water to flow freely back and forth and provide freshly oxygenated water on a continual basis," he said.

Dilson explained that creating a connection between the property and saltwater in the Gulf of Mexico can help preserve the environment that Padre Island is known for.

Water flowing into the canals is controlled by the size of the opening under Park Road 22. He said while they can not control how much water comes in, they can control where it goes once it is there. 

"We want to create a beneficial space here for aquatic life and the residents as well," he said.

Plans for the property also include a nature preserve and at least one hundred-eighty acres of residential and mixed-use space.

Dison added the culverts will be located at the northern and southern entrances and five other locations.

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