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Corpus Christi to Pay its Harbor Bridge Bill

The new Harbor Bridge will include a shared pedestrian and bicycle path with its six lanes for traffic and a median. The almost $1 billion project is expected to be open to traffic in late spring 2020.

Corpus Christi soon will be paying its part of the Harbor Bridge Project. City Council members agreed July 31 to execute the final agreement to make a promised $21 million payment to the Texas Department of Transportation for its part in bridge construction. The money will be used to relocate water, wastewater, and natural gas utilities.

“The new Harbor Bridge is a once-in-a-lifetime project that epitomizes the great cooperation and partnerships needed to make something this significant happen,” Mayor Joe McComb said. “The city understands the opportunity this bridge presents, and we have an obligation to improve mobility and safety for our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

The transfer of funds makes possible the work on utility relocations, which is an essential part of moving the five-year project forward without interruption. Construction should be complete by late spring 2020.

“To keep this project moving forward, there needs to be constant communication and cooperation between the contractor, TxDOT, and the local governments,” said state Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi). “In every step along this complex project, we have to keep working together.”

Total cost of the project is expected to be about $803 million, although some estimate the project will come in closer to $1 billion. The price tag is for 6.44 miles of the U.S. 181 bridge and connecting roadway, including another 1.6 miles of Interstate 37 and about one mile of the Crosstown Expressway. The bridge will be six lanes wide — three in each direction — with a median barrier, shoulders, and a shared bicycle and pedestrian path. The final expense item on the bridge project will be tearing down the old Harbor Bridge once the new bridge is open to traffic.

TxDOT will pay for most of the bridge. Besides the city’s $21 million, the Port of Corpus Christi has agreed to contribute $15 million over the five-year build period.

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