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Exploring new heights: KRIS 6 News attends Harbor Bridge construction tour

Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 19:37:54-04


Business leaders and members of the media took to new heights for a private tour of progress on the new Harbor Bridge Project.

When complete, the bridge will be the longest cable-stayed span in the U.S. and Canada.

KRIS 6 News reporter Emily Hamilton got a sneak peak of the three major elements of the new landmark that engineers believe will put South Texas on the map as a premier tourist destination.

“You can feel the energy here and I think the local economy will really benefit from it,” Nick Manfredini said.

First, attendees climbed to the top of the platform of the North Beach approach everyone has been gawking at.

The giant yellow Gantry crane is the largest of its kind and picks up cement platforms one-by-one to place them on pillars of the future bridge.

Manfredini is the project engineer and said if you happen to be in the right place at the right time in the coming days, you may see the piece of machinery in action.

“Behind me are more future piers for US-181, and this Gantry crane should be launching to the next span this weekend to build another 180-foot span of 17 typical segments to make up the future bridge,” Manfredini said.

Next, the group headed to the footing of the future cable-stayed bridge on the South side of the project.

Crews are working on two legs of a tower pylon, which will be the tallest point of the bridge, and the largest of its kind south of San Antonio.

The tour closed out with a look at the first structure to be completed on the project.

The Stillman Pedestrian Bridge is now open to the public.

“Being able to walk across it, having the shared-use path that’s now ten-foot wide where you can have pedestrians and cyclists on there at the same time, I think you’re going to see more usage with regards to that,” Lorette Williams said.

Project coordinators and engineers are confident the pedestrian-friendly structure will draw in tourism the Coastal Bend has never seen before.

The new Harbor Bridge Project was originally scheduled for completion in 2020. That date has since been pushed back until sometime in 2021.