The team of Arup and CFC has been tapped to complete engineering work on the new $930 million U.S. Route 181/Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi, Texas. Arup-CFC takes over for original engineer-of-record FIGG Bridge Engineering, which was removed from the design-build project in February at the request of the Texas Dept. of Transportation over concerns about the firm’s involvement in the fatal March 2018 collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University.
According to a TxDOT statement, Flatiron/Dragados, the joint venture leading the project, selected Arup-CFC to lead a team of experts tasked to review, recertify and complete design of the cable-stayed bridge’s signature six-lane, 1,661-ft-long main span, which will rise just over 200 feet above the Corpus Christi ship canal, and be supported by towers up to 538 ft tall. Flatiron/Dragados has previously stated that it anticipates no major changes to the existing design.
Although TxDOT suspended design work on that section in November, construction has continued elsewhere within the 6.4-mile project corridor, including the bridge approaches and a nearby interchange for U.S. 181, I-37 and State Highway 286. In June, Flatiron/Dragados reported that it had completed installing half of the 101 cast-in-place column pier caps for the north and south approaches.
Neither TxDOT nor Flatiron/Dragados has announced a revised timeline or cost estimate for what would be the nation’s longest cable-stayed bridge. Begun in the summer of 2016, the project is already three years behind schedule, the result of what the contractor has said is a combination weather, permitting issues and other unforeseen circumstances.