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Excitement in the air as new Harbor Bridge takes shape

Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 19:49:14-04

It’s full steam ahead at the site of the new Harbor Bridge. Up until now, it’s been mostly prep work on the $800 million project. Now, the project engineer says crews have reached several big milestones within the past month, and the bridge will begin to take shape by the end of the year.

“We’re hitting on all cylinders now, so it’s exciting,” Nick Manfredini said, the project engineer. “Soon enough, it’s going to be quite amazing.”

It’s been just over two years since ground was broken for the new bridge. But in the past month, crews finished placing 14 support columns at the site of the project. The columns will support the concrete segments that will eventually make up the road. The columns also give drivers and visitors a good idea of the route the new bridge will take.

Also recently, massive concrete structures, called pier segments, have been transported from the pre-cast yard in Robstown. The pier segments weigh about 100 tons a piece. They will be used to support the roadway for the bridge.

550 of the pre-cast segments, that will go on top of the pier segments, have already been made as well. A total of 2,600 segments will be used for the bridge. The segments are stationed in Robstown until it is time to transport them.

Within the month, crews will also be assembling a large crane. After that, phase two of construction begins. The crane will then be used to place 17 pre-cast segments at a time, between two supporting columns.

The project engineer says that’s when bridge construction will really pick up the pace.

“We’re doing all of the hard work off site at the pre-cast yard,” Manfredini said. “So the elements are already built when we’re bringing them in, so we’re really just picking them up, and gluing them together.”

When the 17 segments are in place, they’ll form what is called a ‘span,’ or the foundation of the new road.

“I think everyone can feel the excitement for something like this,” Manfredini said.

Engineers still plan to finish the bridge by Spring 2020. That’s also when demolition of the old bridge will begin. Demolition of the old bridge is expected to be finished in Spring 2021.​

Click here for more information about the Harbor Bridge Project.