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Will new design firm bring new Harbor Bridge costs?

Posted at 9:43 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 23:46:03-04

It’s been nearly eight months since work on the main span of the new Harbor Bridge has been at a standstill. In most cases, unfortunately, time is money.

On Tuesday, Flatiron Dragados LLC, the firm in charge of building the new Harbor Bridge, selected a new engineering firm to oversee design work.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Rickey Dailey said right now, however, it’s hard to tell what the financial impact is.

“Any additional costs or associated delays, they can’t be determined at this point until a new schedule is in place,” he said.

Dailey said other parts of the project been moving forward. In fact, about 50 percent of the project is roadwork in the surrounding area, has been full steam ahead in recent months.

He also said safety is a top priority for TxDOT, as well as maintaining the design for the Harbor Bridge, which is why the new firm, Arup CFC, will review and re-certify the current design.

“The intent is to maintain the design that we’ve previously presented to the community, what everybody has become aware of," Dailey said.

Meanwhile local business owners like Nick Catalano, who owns Yo Philly Cheesesteaks on North Beach, has been watching the bridge's progress since work began.

Catalono said business took a hit when the design work was suspended, but he's optimistic that a new firm in town will mean more customers.

"As soon as they start production again with the bridge, it'll definitely bring the workers back," he said.

It's still unclear when construction of the Harbor Bridge will be completed. However, TxDOT said it is about 60 percent complete.