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New Causeway


cffblog6.jpgMay 22, 2017 Monday)

The new causeway over Copano Bay was opened for traffic April 21, and officially dedicated May 1. It replaced the causeway that had served drivers since 1967 (50 years), and which itself replaced a bridge that had been constructed in 1931 (now a fishing pier).

Seven years were required for construction of the new bridge. Original estimate was $79 million, but final cost was $107 million (highest of several published estimates).

I was asked to say a prayer at the dedication in 1967, and the name, "Lyndon B. Johnson" was given to the causeway at that time. The president did not come, but our representative in the House of Representatives, John B. Young, was present for the ceremony. Many years afterwards, I was asked to say a prayer at the opening of our Highway 35 Bypass. As time goes by, there are fewer occasions at which there is an invocation.

Not long afterwards, a community choir presented a Christmas concert at the high school auditorium, and the choir's spokesman, in making announcement, said the choir had no name but with tongue in cheek suggested it be called the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Choir. I don't think it was ever named.

Much has been said about the safety of the new causeway. Hopefully, it will be much safer than its predecessor. Design changes aimed to accomplish that.

newcopano.jpg

For many years, if one wanted to go from Live Oak Point at the north end of our peninsula to Lamar, across the bay, that person would have to go by boat. If he or she wanted to ride their horse, drive their wagon or carriage, or, later on, their automobile, they would have to drive around Copano Bay and come back to Lamar from the north. Needless to say, that didn't happen often. But today, thanks to the causeway, Lamar is part of the county that includes Fulton and Rockport, as well as Estes and other small communities and developments. And the north end of Aransas Pass.

I moved to Rockport 52 years ago. I've witnessed many changes in our community through the years. One wonders what the next 52 years hold. When I moved here in 1964, there was still a lot of talk about the 1919 hurricane, 45 years earlier. It has now been 47 years since Hurricane Celia. Something to think about.

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