The Texas City Dike

image The Texas City Dike is a pretty amazing piece of real estate.  A number of years ago, I was looking around Google maps and I saw this giant toothpick sticking out of the mainland into Galveston bay.  It was long and skinny and man-made strait.  What the heck was it?  After zooming in I found that it was called the Texas City Texas_City_dike_after_IkeDike.  I had not taken up fishing yet and have never heard of it.   It was sticking out of a small refinery town SE of Houston called appropriately enough – Texas City.  After some quick internet reconnaissance I found it it was built in 1935, it was 5 miles long and made of granite rocks.  A road was added and boat ramps, bait shops and a large fishing pier.

I had to see it.  A week or so later I packed up Linda and Katie in the convertible and we were off to see the dike.  It was very cool.  There were docks and beaches, parking areas and fisherman all up and down the strip on both sides.  When we got to the end it was as if we an almost driven across the bay to Galveston.  We were closer to Galveston and Boliver than we were to Texas City.  The ship channel goes right past the dike.  Giant freighters, tankers and cruse ships constantly travel the channel.  It’s quite the sight to see.txcitydike

When Ike hit in Oct 2008 the dike was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The hurricane winds and 11 foot storm serge wiped out everything on the dike including the road.  Fisherman were distraught, not only had they lost 10 miles of prime bay shore fishing but the debris from the dike was scattered everywhere in the water, it wasn’t save to drive a boat anywhere near the dike.


Fast forward 2 years and the Texas City Dike is reopened.  There aren’t any bait shops of fishing piers (they decided not to rebuild or run power to the dike) but the road is new, beaches were replenished and there are 3 boat ramps open, and of course 10 miles of prime bay shore bank fishing.  On the weekends they charge $5 a car to get onto the dike.  The use the money to pay for the rebuild and keep the place cleaned up.  I think it’s a good deal.  I recommend you visit the dike.  There are picnic tables and places to walk along the water, watch the giant ocean going ships go by or the little fishing boats come and go.  The dike is one of those local treasures that makes Houston a great place to live.



Arial photo by Robert Laird,

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