State prepares to close Rollover Pass, build pier

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has released his proposed plan to build a pier on Bolivar Peninsula for public comment as the closure of Rollover Pass nears in the coming months.

The Texas Legislature authorized $5.85 million in 2009 to close the popular fishing pass following Hurricane Ike’s devastation of the area. Exhaustive studies have concluded that Rollover Pass significantly contributes to erosion on Bolivar beaches, threatens the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, causes high salinity levels in the Galveston Bay system and costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs each year.

“Rollover Pass will soon close and it’s important now that folks tell us what they think about our plan for what could follow,” Patterson said. “Replacing Rollover Pass with a 1,000-foot pier could not only be great for fishermen, but for surfers and area business too — just without all the erosion and annual costs to taxpayers.”

Patterson said his plan to build a pier on Bolivar was developed with input from Galveston County; PenDeCo; the Gulf Coast Rod, Reel and Gun Club; the Gilchrist Community Association and Surfrider Foundation.

Patterson took one of the last remaining steps required by the Legislature to close Rollover this week by posting his declaration in the Texas Register that the pass causes increased erosion and needs to be closed.

To learn more about the proposed pier and to comment on the Rollover Pass Recreational Amenities Plan visit www.glo.texas.gov/coastal and look for the link under “what’s new.” A summary of the erosion research already conducted on Rollover Pass and its problems can also be found there.

“I urge anyone interested in Rollover Pass to take a few moments to review the facts about why the pass must be closed and tell us whether the proposed Recreational Amenities Plan is what they want to see next,” Patterson said.

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