CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation is about to begin an $86 million rebuild of the aging bridge over the Nueces River at Labonte Park and the overpass at I-37 and Highway 77.
The project is expected to take five and half years, part of which will be dedicated to raising the level of the bridge about five feet.
This is part of the improvements to expand the interstate. TxDOT Public Information Officer, Rick Dailey said the improvements are meant to better prepare for storm conditions.
“The thinking behind that is to accommodate storm surge and rises in the river,” Dailey said
This project is not only going to rebuild the bridge, but the state is also going to tear down and rebuild the overpass at I-37 and Hwy 77 just north of the Labonte Park Bridge.
"That’s where you will see the first work,” Dailey said. “We’re also redesigning the entrance and exit ramps in that section.”
The construction project was anticipated to be completed sooner, however, planners wanted to keep the roadway open for the 45,000 vehicles that travel it daily.
"It could have been done quicker, but the lanes would have had to have been reduced,” Dailey said.
Dante Gonzalez, Interim Director of Corpus Christi Parks, said he’s been assured by TxDOT that everyone will be able to continue to use the facilities through different phases of the construction project.
"One of the things we got from them was access to the Labonte Park," Gonzalez said, who added that work is not anticipated to happen during major holidays.
The speed limit along the construction area is being lowered to 60 mph. The project should be completed by 2027.