Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park Shoreline Protection Project Groundbreaking


Cameron County is pleased to announce the construction of the Shoreline Protection Project Phases 3&4 and new Educational Pavilion located at Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park in Rio Hondo, TX, in Cameron County Precinct 3. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Courtesy Image
Cameron County is pleased to announce the construction of the Shoreline Protection Project Phases 3&4 and new Educational Pavilion located at Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park in Rio Hondo, TX, in Cameron County Precinct 3. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Courtesy Image
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Texas Border Business

Cameron County is pleased to announce the construction of the Shoreline Protection Project Phases 3&4 and new Educational Pavilion located at Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park in Rio Hondo, TX, in Cameron County Precinct 3. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. located at 37844 Marshall Hutts Rd, Rio Hondo, TX 78583. These two projects are in partnership with the Texas General Land Office.

Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park situated in the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge, is open daily to the public and attracts many visitors annually. The amenities at the park include R.V. site rentals, tent camping areas, restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, a nature trail, lighted fishing piers, public boat ramps, and an observation tower used for sight-seeing of native vegetation and wildlife living in the refuge.

Courtesy Image

The Park has approximately 4,200 linear feet of shoreline immediately adjacent to the park facility improvements. Over the past years, tropical storms and hurricanes have caused drainage into the Arroyo Colorado, and the increased currents in the waterway have exacerbated shoreline erosion. The embankment along the shore of the Arroyo Colorado has eroded approximately 16 to 18 feet inland, and shoreline analysis indicate that continued erosion may exceed 1-1.5 feet per year. Current shoreline erosion has also been accelerated by frequent barge traffic in the Arroyo Colorado and the yearly loss of shoreline has resulted in a loss of property adjacent to existing park infrastructure.

Phase 3 & Phase 4 of the Shoreline Protection Project will consist of stabilizing approximately 1,640 LF. of eroding shoreline. Construction will consist of approximately 620 LF. of articulated concrete block mattresses and concrete block wall system (gravity wall), 460 LF. of living shoreline consisting of a rip rap breakwater and a vegetated slope stabilization (Habitat Bench), and an approximate 560 LF. gravity wall shoreline to protect the existing R.V. and campsite facilities.

The total project cost, both engineering and construction, for the Shoreline Restoration improvements is approximately $1,892,634 and is being funded through the Texas General Land Office Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act Program (CEPRA) matched with County funds (CEPRA 60%: $1,135,580.40, County 40%: $757,053.60). The Engineering Firm working on this project is Mott MacDonald and the General Contractor selected for this project is Shirley & Sons Construction Co., Inc.

The Educational Pavilion is approximately 40′ x 48′ in size and will accommodate large groups and allow gatherings to take place such as presentations, school picnics and field trips, family outings/reunions, the Arroyo trash clean-ups and children fishing camp events. Interpretive signage and a kiosk with educational resources about the County’s coast and wildlife will be available, along with picnic tables and trash receptacles. This pavilion will be illuminated with environmentally friendly lighting for sunset activities and as an additional security measure for all visitors. This new educational pavilion will be an additional amenity where the children of Cameron County can continue to learn about the area’s natural habitat and have fun.

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The total project cost for the Educational Pavilion is approximately $200,000.000 and is partially being funded through the Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program. 60% of the project is federally funded ($120,000), and 40% of the project is County funded ($80,000). The General Contractor selected for this project is Park Place Recreation Designs, Inc.

Texas General Land Office Deputy Commissioner Mark Havens stated, “The General Land Office is proud to support local initiatives that foster responsible stewardship of the Texas Coast. We are committed to helping provide grant funding as a critical part of protecting our state’s delicate coastal ecosystems while simultaneously enhancing the visiting experiences for all who enjoy the coast. We are thankful for our continued partnership with Cameron County and we look forward to collaboration on future projects.”

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. stated, “I want to thank the Texas General Land Office for the continued great partnership with Cameron County for the protection, restoration, and beautification of our Park amenities. Hand in hand we continue our efforts to expand recreational and educational opportunities while protecting our ecosystem that’s one of a kind in Texas. Together, we will continue to implement quality of life projects for our families to enjoy.”

Cameron County Commissioner Pct.3 David A. Garza stated, “I have been honored to spearhead efforts in protecting the shoreline at Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park, which in partnership with the GLO, will allow us to construct a living protective shoreline by restoring approximately 1,640 linear feet of the park’s current infrastructure. This new educational pavilion in Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park will provide an additional outdoor educational experience that our children will get to enjoy alongside our recently announced South Texas Ecotourism Center in Laguna Vista. Thank you, Texas General Land Office, for the continued great partnership.”

Cameron County Parks Director Joe E. Vega stated, ••These two exciting projects will spur economic and environmental benefits to our Parks system and will be an additional recreational and educational experience that everyone can look forward to visiting. I join the Cameron County Commissioners’ Court in thanking the Texas General Land Office for this wonderful partnership.”

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