Inflation could push the cost of Texas’ coastal barrier project — already expected to be the largest civil engineering project in U.S. history — to $57 billion, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
That’s 68% higher than the Corps’ most recent estimate of $34 billion to build the “Ike Dike,” the massive system of gates across the mouth of Galveston Bay intended to protect the Houston region from storm surge during hurricanes.
Danielle Goshen, a policy specialist for the National Wildlife Federation, said she thinks ballooning costs put the project at risk of never being built.
“This is a huge burden for the five counties that will be asked to vote on increases in property taxes,” said Goshen, who has criticized the project due to potential ecosystem disruptions. “I do believe that we’ll start to see political support for this start to wane.”