Red Route Selected as Likely Choice for Harbor Bridge Replacement

The Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration released a preliminary assessment Thursday pointing to the "red route" as the preferred route of the Harbor Bridge replacement project.

In a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the "red route" was selected out of four possible routes for the Harbor Bridge replacement after considering many factors, including the economic, environmental and social effects of the project, as well as comment and participation from the public.

One of those other alternative routes would have called for the demolition of the Galvan Music Company and Ballroom at Agnes and Crosstown. The family-owned building has been there since 1949, and Bobby Galvan says he's relieved.

"It means a lot to all of us that we can stay here, and we are definitely grateful that they are going to continue letting us stay and operate," Galvan said.

The new Harbor Bridge would be about 1,000 feet west of the existing Harbor Bridge, and to build it, portions of Highway 181, I-37 and the Crosstown Expressway would need to be reconstructed. The bridge would have three 12-foot lanes going in each direction, a median barrier, inside and outside shoulders and a 10-foot bicycle/pedestrian path.

The Harbor Bridge replacement project could cost between $558-$679 million. TxDOT has already set aside $633 million for the project, and local sources have provided another $100 million.

A final decision on the route will be made following additional public review and comment at a Feb. 18 public hearing at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center. That decision is expected to be made in late 2015, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.

To read the entire Draft Environmental Impact Statement, click here.


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