The construction of the new US 181 Harbor Bridge is the culmination of years of research, dedication, collaboration, and public participation involving a number of local entities under the leadership and direction of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The project is now in the final phase which includes the design and construction of the bridge.
The project includes replacement of the existing Harbor Bridge and reconstruction of portions of US 181, I-37 and the Crosstown Expressway. The project will include the development, design, construction, and maintenance of a total of 6.44 miles of bridge and connecting roadway. The bridge will include six-lane sections of US 181, three lanes in each direction with a median barrier, shoulders, and a bicycle and pedestrian shared-use path. Additionally, the project includes the reconstruction of approximately 1.6 miles of I-37, reconstruction of approximately one mile of the Crosstown Expressway and demolition of the existing Harbor Bridge.
Why do we need a new bridge?
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 deepwater 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.