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TxDOT and Flatiron Dragados reach agreement on four safety issues

harbor bridge.jpg
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 17:54:52-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation and a spokesperson for Flatiron/Dragados, LLC. said the new Harbor Bridge will open in the first half of 2025.

During a briefing to the Corpus Christi City Council Tuesday, the developer said just over 400 full-time and nearly 400 sub-contracted workers are working on the bridge around the clock and that they are looking for another 50 qualified workers.

TxDOT Corpus Christi District Engineer Valente Olivarez also addressed any potential lingering safety concerns related to the bridge.

As KRIS 6 News previously reported, construction was halted on the bridge when a third-party engineer retained by TxDOT identified several design flaws, including five major areas of nonconforming design in July 2022.

"So the reason we stopped construction and went through everything we went through — early fall into late fall into winter — about this project being suspended and work not moving forward was because of the design issues that we caught, right? So we didn't give on those design issues because we want to make sure that when this bridge is complete it's safe," Olivarez said. "I'm driving it, my family (is) driving it, my friends are driving it. So whatever's built out there we're telling you it's going to be a safe bridge. We would not get to the point right now where we've allowed them to keep to start working again if we weren't going to treat it the same way we did back in the summer of 2022."

Olivarez said that TxDOT is continuing to work with the bridge consultant that initially identified the areas of concern. And that TxDOT hadresolved four of five major concernswith the developer, Flatiron/Dragados, LLC.

As KRIS 6 News has previously reported, one safety issue is related to the integrity of the bridge when faced with hurricane-force winds.

Olivarez said that the accepted fix, as well as others, is in the process of being implemented and includes adding additional drill shafts and extending the footings.

Flatiron/Dragados is responsible for the cost of design fixes, but it is still unknown how much the new Harbor Bridge will cost.

Olivarez said there is currently $80 million worth of outstanding change orders. He also could not provide a total cost of the project to date but said it would be provided to KRIS 6 News.

Click HERE to read all the documents released by the Texas Department of Transportation.