Transportation

Improvement Project Starts On A Crucial Hurricane Evacuation Route

State Highway 87 is the only route on and off the Bolivar Peninsula and it can flood even during high tides.

The segment of SH 87 that’s being improved runs along the coastline.

TxDOT is now starting work on a $21 million dollar project to raise the elevation of State Highway 87. The plan is to raise it by about two feet. That’s from Rollover Pass east to State Highway 124.

“Over the years it’s had some significant issues with high water problems,” says TxDOT’s Danny Perez. “It’s mostly from high tide issues but also from significant weather that’s impacted that area.”

The segment of the road that’s being improved skirts along the coastline. Perez says they’ve reinforced the concrete barrier that runs alongside the road but it’s endured wear and tear over time.

And Perez adds that maintaining that eastward route is crucial, because if the Bolivar Ferry has to close on the west side, that’s your only way off the peninsula.

“This gives you an option during significant weather, during high tide situations, because at any point in time conditions can change,” explains Perez.

Along with raising the road, TxDOT also plans to make improvements where SH 87 meets SH 124, the road that heads north.

“We’re also eliminating the curve that tends to take the brunt of the high water from high tides or significant weather events,” says Perez. “By taking out that curve and moving it further inland that will prevent the water from overtaking the road.”

The completion date for the SH 87 project is fall of 2019. Perez says they plan to keep traffic moving through the construction zone while that work is underway.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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