GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — Crews started putting up fences blocking fishermen from Rollover Pass in Galveston County Monday.

Earlier this month, the Texas General Land Office announced a $7.4 million contract with Brizo Construction to fence off the pass. The project is expected to be completed April 2020. 

The closure of Rollover Pass was authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2009, under Senate Bill 2043. Rollover Pass is a man-made strait that was cut into the Bolivar Peninsula in 1955 by the Texas Game and Fish Commission (now Texas Parks & Wildlife) at the peninsula's narrowest point. 

Rollover pass connected the Gulf of Mexico with Rollover Bay and was intended to improve water quality and salinity in the bay and help with fish migration while also improving local fishing conditions.

The state of Texas determined that the pass allows sand to drive into East Bay and prevents buildup of sand on Bolivar beaches. State officials decided to close off the pass to prevent beach erosion and to save the cost of having to dredge the bay.

Officials have proposed building a public park and recreation area with a new fishing pier on the Gulf side of the peninsula after Rollover Pass closes. 

These projects are expected to be built as soon as possible. The Texas GLO is currently in the pier permitting process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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