Welcome to the Harbor Bridge Website
On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) held a Public Hearing to discuss plans to improve US 181 Harbor Bridge and to accept public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation prepared for the proposed project. The hearing, which consisted of an open house, a presentation, and a public comment session, took place at the Solomon Ortiz Center in Corpus Christi.
The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation closed on March 18, 2014. TxDOT and FHWA are currently considering all comments received as they prepare the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation, which is scheduled to be issued by late 2014.
The proposed project includes the replacement of the Harbor Bridge and the reconstruction of portions of US 181, I-37, and the Crosstown Expressway in Corpus Christi, TX. The project is needed to maintain the long-term operation of a US 181 crossing of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and to address safety risks caused by design deficiencies. The project limits extend both north-south along US 181 and the Crosstown Expressway and east-west along I-37, and include: US 181 at Beach Avenue on the north; Crosstown Expressway at Morgan Avenue on the south; I-37 and Up River Road on the west; and I-37 and Shoreline Boulevard on the east.
Four alternatives plus a No-Build alternative are being considered, and a preferred alternative (Red) has been identified for the proposed project. The proposed project would potentially involve the relocation of residences and businesses, and about 30 acres of right-of-way for the Green Alternative, 69 acres for the West Alternative and about 50 acres each of right-of-way for the Red and Orange Alternatives. In addition, the project would potentially require the use or taking of public land designated for use as parks and recreation areas, including Lovenskiold Park, TC Ayers Park, and the Rincon Channel Wetlands. All four alternatives involve impacts to wetlands and existing floodplain. The existing Harbor Bridge is considered to be a historic resource and would be removed as a result of the proposed project.
The preferred alternative would consist of a controlled-access facility on a new location and would include six lanes within a right-of-way width that varies between 200-430 feet, three 12-foot lanes in each direction with a median barrier and 12-foot inside and 10-foot outside shoulders. The alternative includes a 10-foot bicycle and pedestrian shared-use path on the main span of the bridge and on the bridge approaches.
The preferred alternative would require the acquisition of approximately 50 acres of new right-of-way, including 0.32 acres of Lovenskiold Park, 5.14 acres of T.C. Ayers Park, 39 residences, and three businesses, and would cause the displacement of four warehouses. Other environmental impacts would include community impacts, access changes, impacts to land use, floodplains, water quality, vegetation, hazardous materials, and traffic noise.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation prepared for the proposed project is available on this website ( Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Section 4(f) Evaluation for the US 181 Harbor Bridge Improvements Project) The Draft EIS also includes an analysis of the impacts of the project on historic sites and on publicly owned parkland (the Section 4(f) analysis).
Although the Draft EIS identifies a preferred alternative, the final selection of the preferred alternative would occur only after a public comment period including a public hearing, the comments are considered, and the environmental effects are fully evaluated.
Want a paper copy?
Paper copies of the Draft EIS and other information about the project may also be requested from the department’s district office located at 1701 S. Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78416. Submit requests in writing to the attention of Christopher Amy, Texas Department of Transportation, or by email at HarborBridgeDEIS@urs.com. Paper copies may be obtained at the requestor’s expense.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Corpus Christi District, is determining whether the Harbor Bridge, which spans the Corpus Christi Ship Channel at U.S. 181, should be replaced. A Feasibility Study completed by TxDOT in 2003 concluded that U.S. 181 and the Harbor Bridge must be improved to maintain a safe and efficient transportation corridor.
With substantial public input, TxDOT is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates several potential alignments for a new bridge, as well as a “no-build” scenario (leaving the current bridge in place).
What are the project limits?
The project limits (where construction would eventually take place), extend approximately 2.3 miles along US 181, approximately 0.7 miles along the Crosstown Expressway and approximately 2.5 miles along I-37, and include: US 181 at Beach Avenue on the north; Crosstown Expressway at Morgan Avenue on the south; I-37 and Up River Road on the west; and I-37 and Shoreline Boulevard on the east.
The project is being developed under Section 6002 of Public Law 109-59, “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users,” (SAFETEA-LU), enacted on August 10, 2005. SAFETEA-LU implemented the development of a Coordination Plan for all projects for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.
The purpose of the SAFETEA-LU, Section 6002 Coordination Plan is to facilitate and document the lead agencies’ structured interaction with the public and agencies, and to inform the public and agencies of how the Coordination Plan will be coordinated and revised. The Coordination Plan will promote an efficient and streamlined process, and good project management through coordination, scheduling, and early resolution of issues as well as to encourage public and agency participation in and comment on the environmental review process for the Harbor Bridge Project. This Coordination Plan will be updated following each step of the NEPA process to describe the development of the EIS and public involvement processes.
Why this website?
We need your ideas and suggestions as we work through the EIS process for Harbor Bridge. This website helps us communicate and collaborate with you as the project proceeds.
Visit this web site often to learn about project developments as they occur, and to submit your comments and questions during the entire process.