Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Padre Island and A Big Bridge

 Location: Mustang Island State Park; Corpus Christi, Texas

Today is day 4 of 5 here at Mustang Island. So far, the days have been mostly overcast and windy. The temperature dropped to the lower 60's last night which, to me, is perfect sleeping weather. The weather hasn't cooperated yet for any sunrise pictures although I hope it clears tomorrow or the next day. If not, there are possible sunrises at the next two campgrounds.

This is the campground here at Mustang Island State Park. It is a barebones, water/electric campground. It is basically, a large paved parking lot with 24 back-in campsites on each side. From end to end, it is a 1/4 mile so if you walk it, it is 1/2 round trip. The beach is a couple hundred yards away with driveable access. I like it a lot.

I took a slow drive on Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi. It is the city street that runs along the coast of Corpus Christi Bay. It eventually ends up at the construction project I wanted to see. The last time I was here, a few years ago, there was an ongoing construction project to replace the bridge over the ship channel of the bay. I could tell back then it was going to be a massive project. As I was driving here from Goose Island, I could see the progress that had been made. I could tell something was wrong, because the project should have been much farther along and almost completed. It wasn't. Just a quick look, which is what I got while driving on the adjacent bridge, the project was 2 to 3 years from completion. 

I came back for a better look from the city streets below the project. In a way, I wish I hadn't have seen anything and stayed away. Just parking on the city street and looking, I noticed several things that would have drawn must more attention from me had it have been a bridge I was responsible for in my previous career. But hey, I didn't write down my concerns or call TxDot to make a report. I calmly drove away. The problem though, I couldn't shut my mind down from thinking about the project. When I got back, I looked the project up online and found out it had been delayed due to multiple design and construction problems. The nearly one billion dollar project was a design-build project, which in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster one day, somewhere in the country. Maybe I'm just old fashioned and stuck in my old ways. Over the last few years, I've made great progress about putting my old career in the rear view mirror. This bridge project may have made me back-slide some. Oh well, I have enough memory demons to deal with on other subjects and really didn't need any more.

Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi. Lots of fancy homes and condos to the left. Very little bit of traffic when I was there on a weekday. As summer gets going, it will probably be bumper to bumper.

The contraption on top of the bridge is what lift pre-cast decks in place. Once a span is complete, it moves on to the next one. 

Looking out at the main cable support piers for the future Cable-Stayed Bridge. On the bottom left corner you can see a pre-cast deck segment waiting to be lifted in place in the future.  

Just a block away from the bridge is the Whataburger Field where the Astros AA team plays. They are called the Corpus Christi Hooks. I'm not sure about that name, it seems they could have come up with something better. 

I also drove down to the Padre Island National Seashore. I've been there before, but felt obligated to make the short drive to check it out again.

There isn't much on the way to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). At one time, cattle roamed this area, but not much anymore.

Nice welcome center. The flag was flying at half staff due to the shooting in Tennessee.The wind was blowing steady about 20 mph or so with gusts easily in the mid 30's. 

Maybe better than a bench. Four rockers with a view of the Gulf of Mexico. 

This is first come, first serve, no campsite services, Malaquite Campground. It resembles a narrower version of Mustang Island State Park. The beach is just on the other side of the dunes. This is the place I thought about coming to instead of Magnolia Beach. I nixed that idea due to excessive temperatures, no cell service and possibly being full when I arrived. I'm glad I went to Magnolia instead.

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe I'll Cya down the road 


  1. Thanks for an excellent spot on report. I heavily agree with your analysis of the Corpus new bridge. Padre Island NS is still my favorite beach system I have ever been too.

  2. I lived in Portland TX for 10 years from 1998 to 2008 and was over the Harbor Bridge many many times!! Loved it down there but the humidity and heat indexes were brutal in the summers!!! Back in DRY Oklahoma panhandle now. Sure don't have any humidity here!!
    Don in Okla.

    1. Hello Don. I agree with the humidity, but the wind and clouds lately has been keeping it tolerable. My lasting memories of Oklahoma is the is unrelenting wind. It seems like it is always blowing strong when I'm either there or just passing through.

  3. My only design-built project was an airport terminal, it turned out okay but I’m with you on old fashion construction projects. I never built a bridge with those kind of bents. Man are they tall! Thanks for sharing.

  4. It's going to be a huge bridge and overshadow everything in the area. It would be interesting to know why they chose this location. About 10 miles west would have allowed for a much smaller and cheaper bridge. Oh well, I'm not in the business anymore. Be safe on ya'll's travels.