Page 34 - Galveston Monthly - September 2017

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By the time the Interurban ceased operations on
October 31, 1936, the west half of Broadway had become
almost entirely unrecognizable from the electric railway’s
inaugural trip twenty-five years prior, and it would never
be able to recover its quaint residential charm from
the turn of the century. Still today, the city’s Broadway
entrance is anything but scenic, and drivers must endure
an ostentatious amount of automotive facilities, courtesy
of grandfathered zoning clauses, before catching a
glimpse of the grandeur that once defined the historic
In 1937, city and state officials decided to construct a
new causeway for automobile traffic just to the west of
the Interurban causeway, which would remain but be
used strictly as a rail bridge. Also within these plans, the
deeds for Interurban’s right of way into the city, from 59
Street to the old causeway, were given over to the state
highway department for the construction of a four-lane
highway between Broadway and the new causeway.
In 1952, the city would annex the area from 57
to 103
Street and development ensued along the peninsula,
which included at different times the Oleander Drive-in
movie theater and the Galvez Shopping Mall.
In 2003, construction commenced on the present-day
causeway which was not completed in totality until 2008.
The height of the bridge required a long approach down
onto the island, but fortunately the path of the Interurban
and the state highway had cleared the way.
Interestingly, the causeway officially lights down upon
the island at 59
Street, almost the exact location where
Galveston and the splendor of Broadway became visible
to passengers of the Interurban. If history could speak,
this would be its way of saying that perhaps Broadway
should be beautiful once again.
Coca-Cola bottling factory at 5302 Broadway
The old Galveston Causeway and the new elevated Causeway 1961