Delayed Houston Ship Canal Bridge nearing first phase

The delayed Houston Ship Canal Bridge is nearing its first phase completion.
Road Structures / February 23, 2024 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
An artist’s impression of the delayed Houston Ship Canal Bridge in Texas, with its first phase now nearing completion – image courtesy of © Mike93262|

The first phase of the new dual cable-stayed bridge structure spanning the Houston Ship Canal in Texas is close to completion. The project has been delayed due to a number of major issues.

The 6.6km link was originally expected to cost US$962 million but problems were found with the design. A number of the concrete pylons that had been constructed then had to be demolished. The design was modified and along with the demolition, this added some $300 million to the pricetag.

The Houston Ship Canal Bridge carries the Sam Houston Tollway and the project is being managed by The Harris County Toll Road Authority.

The new link features two bridges, one for Northbound traffic and the other for Southbound traffic, which are being constructed close together. Both of the new bridges will carry four lanes, doubling capacity compared to the existing link. The new bridges will also have full width shoulders as well as more protection against high winds.

The Southbound link is being built first and when it has been completed in 2025, all the traffic from the existing bridge will be transferred to it. Demolition work will then commence for the existing bridge, followed by construction of the new Northbound bridge, which is due for completion in 2027.

The original box girder bridge opened to traffic in 1982, featuring four lanes in either direction and with 53m clearance for vessels.