CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott was in Corpus Christi to deliver the State of the State Address. Doors for the luncheon opened 11:45 a.m. at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center.
Mayor Paulette Guajardo and Nueces County Judge Connie Scott also had a special statement prepared for the event.
During the Governor's visit, Abbott mentioned legislative efforts to cut property taxes with the state's budge surplus of $35 billion. He also touted strong economic development and job growth, saying the potential of Tesla coming to Nueces County would be an asset to the Lone Star State.
"Part of our strategy is for the state of Texas to be involved in producing more lithium and refining more lithium," Abbott said. "So we will be the source point for the lithium we need and what our businesses need to keep Texas flourishing."
Governor Abbott touched on the region's infrastructure, referencing the state's $100 billion plan to build major roads across Texas. That plan includes the new Harbor Bridge, according to Abbott.
"I know it's a very big priority for him, (a) huge project," Corpus Christi Mayor, Paulette Guajardo said to KRIS 6 News. "But, you know, I think he's aware of what Corpus Christi means to the state of Texas."
"The design flaws that lead to the slow down of building the bridge was far more than frustrating, it was angering to me," Abbott said. "But, I know, more so with you because you had to live with it every. But I think we can agree to this, that the defects in the design could've lead to a catastrophy like what we saw in another place."
According to the Governor, the Texas Department of Transportation has told him they've resolved all design flaws and concerns related to the new Harbor Bridge. He said TxDOT is also maximizing labor efforts to get the bridge built as quickly as possible.
The new Harbor Bridge isn't the only infrastructure local to Nueces County that is on the Governor's radar. He said they are committed to accelerating the second causeway leading to Padre Island as well.
He said an environmental impact study typical launches the development of such structures. For the second causeway, the study was scheduled to begin in 2035 but Abbott pushed for an acceleration.
"I told TxDOT, I want them to begin now and that's exactly what they are doing." he said.