Until the new pass was cut in 1934, the channel from the Gulf of Mexico into St. Andrews Bay was too shallow for large boats and steamers to enter far enough inside the bay to dock. To make St. Andrews Bay a viable port for business interests, a project was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers to widen and deepen the entrance channel to St. Andrews Bay.

Work was done from 1935 to 1937 to make this approach channel that was to be 450 feet wide and 29 feet deep, and protected by two jetties, each approximately 100 feet long. At that time there were no roads to the spot of the construction, so workers had to make a 6 mile boat trip each way to get to work every day. The many tons of marble and granite were transported from Birmingham and Sylacuaga, Alabama by train to Bay Harbor. From there the materials were transported by barge to the job site.

During early 1937 a short railroad, approximately 3,100 feet long, was built from the west beach to the jetties to facilitate work on this project. This is still touted as the only marble channel in the world.