CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The emergency fixes to the Yorktown Mud Bridge have spurred the city of Corpus Christi to hire a structural engineer dedicated to reviewing TxDOT inspection reports on local bridges, said public works director Ernesto de la Garza.
"My assistant director of stormwater Gabriel Hinojosa is working to develop that very program," he said Wednesday. "That is in the works."
With that position's expertise, de la Garza said the city will now be better equipped to decipher recommendations in reports, and better prioritize and budget accordingly based on those reports.
As the structural fixes under the Yorktown mud bridge continue for at least two more months, de la Garza also said the city's contractor is working with its subcontractor in order to increase crews' workdays to 12 hours.
"If they can pull that off, that'll be better news for us so that they can be done soon than later," he said.
The city also announced it is taking the opportunity to makes some fixes to the road -- specifically potholes and drop-offs at its edges.
"After the bridge is open, we're gonna have that work completed underneath, but, as well, you'll have a brand-new surface on top." he said. "So it will appear as a brand-new bridge."
De la Garza said the city also received TxDOT inspection notes Wednesday morning, and was relieved to see that the agency's divers didn't find problems under the mudline while carrying out an underwater inspection, which de la Garza also said is good news for the city's current repair timeline.
The most recent update on the structure's progress was held at Corpus Christi City Hall and featured a recap of information previously shared with the public -- the current timeline has fixes ready in early April; and that TxDOT has agreed to move up its timeline from to completely replace the bridge from 2026 to 2025.
That would put the new mud bridge's completion date in about 2027, if all goes according to plan, and it will be build around the current bridge, similar to how the new Harbor Bridge is being built alongside the old one.
The current repairs will come with a price tag of about $3 million, and the 2025 reconstruction will cost around $20 million.