TxDOT has determined that US 181 and the Harbor Bridge must be improved to maintain a safe and efficient transportation corridor. The existing bridge has safety issues associated with the lack of shoulders, steep grade, a reverse curve, and an accident rate that is higher than the statewide average. The Harbor Bridge also has high maintenance costs and provides no acceptable access for those on foot or on bicycles. Furthermore, the bridge’s 138 feet of navigational clearance, which met World War II standards when it was built, make it difficult for the Port of Corpus Christi to compete with other Gulf Coast deep water ports because of larger ship sizes today.
A new bridge would allow TxDOT to improve safety, thereby reducing accident rates; provide better opportunities for moving people and goods (including military equipment and Port assets) throughout the region; provide adequate capacity to meet future traffic demand; and provide greater economic development opportunities for the Port of Corpus Christi.