TX Bridge to be Longest Cable-Stayed in US
Initial construction activities have begun on what will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States upon its completion in 2020.
The new Harbor Bridge, in Corpus Christi, Texas, will carry U.S. Route 181 across the Corpus Christi Ship Channel off Corpus Christi Bay, replacing the current Harbor Bridge, a through arch bridge that was built in 1959.
Preparatory work was originally scheduled to begin Tuesday (March 28), but weather concerns forced crews to delay the start until Thursday.
The new bridge, to be constructed of concrete, will have a main span length of 1,661 feet, surpassing Louisiana’s John James Audubon Bridge as the longest cable-stayed bridge in the country. The joint venture Flatiron/Dragados LLC was chosen in 2015 by the Texas Department of Transportation for the design-build contract for the project.
The bridge’s main tower will be 538 feet tall, which the project team says will make it the tallest structure in South Texas. It will clear the water by 205 feet, an increase of 67 feet over the current bridge’s clearance, which will allow larger ships to pass into the Port of Corpus Christi.
According to Flatiron/Dragados’ plans, the bridge will be constructed with twin precast box girders with precast delta frames, creating maximum strength in extreme wind. Stays will be covered with white casings to provide a backdrop for a nighttime lighting display.
The bridge's main tower will be 538 feet tall, according to Flatiron/Dragados' plans.
The approaches, according to the designers, will be constructed with long spans in order to reduce the number of piers necessary by 25 percent. Concrete piers will be “slender,” according to the plans, in order to reduce the approaches’ footprint.
According to TxDOT, the total cost of the project—including the construction of the new bridge and the demolition of the current one—is approximately $802.9 million.
Longest Cable-Stayed Bridges
The longest cable-stayed bridge in the world by main span length is the Russky Bridge, opened in 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia, with a main span of 3,622 feet. The longest cable-stayed bridge by total length is China’s Jiashao Bridge; six of the world’s 10 longest cable-stayed structures in the world are in China.