CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Port of Corpus Christi is located between the current Port Bridge and the new bridge physically. It’s also kind of a metaphor that they’re currently stuck in the middle of.
With news of the new Port Bridge delayed as we await a decision on the contractor, how has the project affected the Port?
“We know it will have a negative impact on some of the big plans we have at the Port of Corpus Christi,” said Charles Zahn, chairman of the Port Commission.
Zahn and Port Chief Executive Officer Sean Strawbridge said construction from the project has had little impact on their business.
For example, Strawbridge said they’ve had to reroute ships in the Joe Fulton Corridor.
“Certainly, there have been disruptions to our business,” Strawbridge said. “There’s also new business that we can’t attract until that bridge is finished. And even though we’re having a great year, again, there are some additional opportunities that we’d like to pursue when that bridge is finished young.”
“We have 100,000 people who work directly, indirectly with the Port of Corpus Christi. So we have good jobs in the Coastal Bend. And those good jobs depend on us to continue to attract business,” Zahn said at a news conference of city, county and state leaders Wednesday.
Texas Senator John Cornyn visited the port on Wednesday. Familiar with the situation, he agrees with the Texas Department of Transportation that safety should be a priority.
“I would say safety is job number one. This is a non-negotiable red line. And, I know that’s been the focus of everyone here in Corpus Christi to make sure that safety comes first,” he said.
Zahn and Strawbridge shared similar sentiments.
Strawbridge added that it’s hard to ignore the impact construction has had on surrounding communities, given how long the project is taking.
“This has gone on too long,” Strawbridge said. “And, it’s certainly a tax on this local community when you look at all the disruptions to traffic patterns.”
TxDOT has given their contractor Flatiron/Dragados LLC 15 days from August 16, to provide a plan on how to address the safety concerns they have been given.
If Flatiron/Dragados fails to do so, they will be replaced. An expedited process would begin to find a new developer.
For the latest local news updates click here or download the KRIS 6 News app.