Jul 11, 2013 2:58 PM by Rachel Cole - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI -- TxDOT officials met with the Southside Business Council Thursday morning to discuss where the new Harbor Bridge should be built.
There are four possible routes in the running. One option, takes traffic along Nueces Bay Boulevard and would place the bridge over the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
Another option, will put the bridge very close to the current bridge and will remove the sharp curve along the Port Avenue exit, which has been the site of several crashes over the last few years. The other two routes will take cars from the Crosstown Expressway directly to Highway 181.
During the meeting, TxDOT officials said they haven't chosen a design. There are still several factors they have to take into consideration before making a decision.
Before a route is selected, project leaders say they don't want the bridge to interfere with any future developments. They also want to make sure the bridge won't disturb any nearby wildlife habitats.
"Endangered species, that sort of thing which we do have some wetland issues up here along the Rincon Channel but we have a lot of social impacts on this project because it's within our community and we understand that," Christopher Amy said.
Amy is the environmental coordinator for the project and he says community input is the key to success of the bridge and where it will be built.
"We've been having a lot of neighborhood meetings, in folks' houses in the neighborhoods and formal meetings in the churches and trying to get a good sense and pulse of what's going on," Amy added.
After receiving feedback from residents during a meeting seven months ago, the plans went from a scattered board full of various routes, roads and alternate commutes and now, a clean cut blue print of the 4 possible locations for the bridge is available.
"We've actually condensed all that down and don't have a big interchange anymore," Amy said.
TxDOT also wants to make the new bridge safer. Amy says the new bridge will be less steep and have a gradual incline.
Overall, he says the goal is to build a bridge that will allow larger ships into the port. Plus, they hope it will be something Corpus Christi can be proud of.