CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many people living or working in the Coastal Bend have probably used the Harbor Bridge to get to and from somewhere. They’ve also noticed the new bridge being built next to it.
That bridge, however, was supposed to have been completed this year. That’s according to TxDOT’s public information officer for Corpus Christi, Rickey Dailey.
Previously, the Figg Group had worked on the design of the new Harbor Bridge, but they got fired after a previous bridge they designed in Florida collapsed.
Flat Iron Dragados is the current developer working on the new bridge.
Dailey said finding and hiring a new engineer of record for the bridge added a year to the project. The actual work itself under the new engineer also added another year, totaling an additional two years to the project.
According to Dailey, there is no set completion date for the project, but they are currently working on it.
Dailey said construction is currently being done on the towers of the bridge.
“We’re moving along now and like I said there is significant progress and the work on those two main towers is a significant step,” he said.
Dailey said there will be new added features added to the bridge, like higher clearance for ships and less sharp turns for drivers.
"With the shoulders, we will have more room to operate. Emergency crews will have more room to operate if there is a crash or an incident and also motorists will have kind of a safe refuge if you have a flat or car trouble,” Dailey said.
He said the current bridge was built in 1959, and over time the salt in the Coastal Bend environment deteriorated the steel of the bridge.
“The two main things that kind of worked into the thought of building the new bridge was one, safety, and the old bridge is nearing the end of its life,” he said.
There are plans to demolish the original Harbor Bridge once the new one is complete, and he said that would take up to a year. He said this new bridge will be the longest concrete segmental bridge in North America.