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Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge Completion Still Years Away

This simple drawing shows the size difference between the old Harbor Bridge and the new one under construction in Corpus Christi. Courtesy photo

Completion of the new Harbor Bridge is still “a few more years away,” said Lynn Allison, public information manager at Flatiron/Dragados LLC, the bridge's developers. She gave a presentation on the project to a well-attended Zoom meeting of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Committee.

More than 100 people signed on to the online meeting Friday, June 12. Usually, only about 15 people attend in-person chamber committee meetings — just one small positive that has come from adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, noted both chamber and contractor representatives.

A second involved traffic.

“Our COVID-19 silver lining is the reduced traffic over the last several months,” Allison said. “It has really helped us in moving this project along.”

Already two years behind schedule, every time advantage helps, chamber CEO John LaRue said.

“We want this project done as quickly as we can,” LaRue told the Flatiron/Dragados representatives.

The biggest holdup, Allison explained, is the work stoppage on the main span of the bridge. The original engineer of record, FIGG-Bridge Engineers Inc., was fired in January after the National Transportation Safety Board cited FIGG’s work on a bridge that collapsed in 2018, killing six people.

“We hope to soon be announcing a new engineer of record,” Allison said during her presentation to the committee. “Then, we can start working on that main span of the bridge.”

No new cost estimate or projected date of completion can be determined until a new engineer of record has been hired and has been given time to do an analysis. Allison also reassured the chamber that the integrity and main design of the project is secure.

“We believe the quality of assurance is in place,” she said. “It has been checked and rechecked. We expect a new evaluation from the new engineer of record, and no changes are anticipated.”

She also noted that, despite the main span pause, “a tremendous amount of work is still going on.”

The original date of completion was in 2020. It was moved to 2021 and then again to 2023. When the bridge does finally open, the old Harbor Bridge will be torn down, which should take an additional year.

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