When Colonel Sam Robertson bought Pat Dunn's interests in Padre Island in 1925, he envisioned developing the Island into the Miami Beach of the Texas coast.
In 1927 he built the first causeway from the island's northern end to Flour Bluff on the mainland. He named it the Don Patricio causeway in honor of Patrick Dunn. The construction was very simple: four wooden troughs supported by a trestle. The troughs were spaced so that a standard automobile could place it tires in them and drive across. One pair of troughs was for eastbound traffic and one was for westbound.
In the first month of its operation, 1,800 cars used the causeway and 2,500 used it the second month. After that use dropped, possibly because two or three trips across the causeway would ruin a set of tires from rubbing against the wooden planks.
In 1933 a hurricane hit Padre Island and washed away the Don Patricio Causeway, leaving Padre Island once again largely inaccessible by vehicles.
If you look to the south as you drive across the new causeway, the remains of the old causeway can still be seen.