In early efforts to develop a major port here on Galveston Bay, Texas City capitalists, acting against the advice of engineers, dug a ship channel directly through and across the Bay's natural water line. As a result, currents carried silt into the man-made channel that required constant dredging to keep the waters navigable. To solve this problem, the Texas City dike was designed to divert the flow of silt by deflecting the waters of Galveston Bay out to the Gulf of Mexico. With the help of civic leader Hugh B. Moore, funds for the dike's construction were authorized in the 1913 U. S. Rivers and Harbors Act.
Under the direction of William Moore and Lt. Col. C. S. Riche of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' Galveston District, the dike was completed in 1915 at a cost of $1.4 million. Originally 28,200 feet in length, it was extended to its current 5.4 miles in 1934. Thus protected from the bay's tidal action and from excessive silting, the Texas City channel became a busy shipping lane, which led to significant economic growth for the community.
In the latter part of the 20th century, the Texas City dike became a prime recreational site in this part of Galveston County, boasting fishing piers, bait shops, boat launch sites, refreshment stands, and a marina.