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TxDOT, Flatiron Dragados agree on fix for one safety issue on new Harbor Bridge

harbor bridge.jpg
Posted at 3:40 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2023-10-12 18:36:04-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Flatiron/Dragados LLC. (FDLLC) have agreed to fixes for one of five major nonconforming design flaws of the new Harbor Bridge, which means mobilization of work will begin next week to restart work on the main span.

That fix involves adding steel to connections between delta frames, said Valente Olivarez Jr., TxDOT Corpus Christi District Engineer.

As KRIS 6 News has previously reported, TxDOT halted work on the bridge's main span due to safety issues, saying the design of the bridge was "highly problematic."

In a tour with members of the media Friday, both TxDOT and FDLCC said the entities are aligned on the same goal — completing the new Harbor Bridge, completing it safely and efficiently.

Olivarez says the timeline for completion of the bridge is 2025, although he could not give a specific month.

And neither TxDOT nor FDLCC could say how much the new Harbor Bridge would eventually cost taxpayers. Although the cost to perform design fixes will be paid for by FDLCC.

"The biggest thing that's happening right now is that we're completing the design, this is a great milestone completing the delta frame, and getting ready to go back to work on that next piece of this is obviously getting back to the rest of the cable-stayed bridge," said Dale Nelson, vice president for Flatiron and spokesperson for FDLCC. "The cranes will start going up and that will just get us ready for when the design is complete and we're ready to start the cable stay component of the project again."

In addition to the mobilization of cranes, work will also begin next week at the pre-cast yard.

Friday was the first time FDLCC answered questions since TxDOT stopped work on the main span.

KRIS 6 News asked about the change in the position given documents that highlight the company's insistence, dating back to early 2021, there were no safety issues with the new Harbor Bridge.

"There was a lot of discussion over the course of the year to get on the same page regarding the design," Nelson said. "And although there are things to this day FDLCC and TxDOT don't necessarily agree on, what we ultimately decided, it was the best course of action for ourselves, for TxDOT, for the state, was to figure out a way to close the gap and to get back to work, so that's what we've really been focusing on at this point is getting aligned on the design, completing it and getting the bridge back up and under construction and completed as soon as possible."

He says the teams are working collaboratively to focus on completion and getting a date that the bridge will be complete.

But, FDLCC says to complete the bridge they are in need of skilled workers. They say for those interested, call 361-360-6500.