|Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge|
The Harbor Bridge crossing into Corpus Christi
|Carries||6 lanes of US 181 and SH 35|
|Crosses||Port of Corpus Christi|
|Locale||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Official name||Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge|
|Design||Through arch bridge|
|Longest span||620 ft.|
|Clearance below||138 ft|
The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is a through arch bridge located in Corpus Christi, Texas which carries six lanes of US 181 from downtown Corpus Christi to Rincon Point, known to locals as North Beach. The harbor bridge crosses the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, which serves the Port of Corpus Christi, which is one of the US's busiest seaports and handles nearly 26,000 vehicles daily. A new bridge is currently under construction, which would allow larger ships to pass beneath. It is common for individuals to attempt suicide by jumping off the Harbor Bridge.
Prior to the modern depth of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, it was nothing more than a muddy slough. Around the mid-1800s a wooden bridge was built over the slough, then called Hall's Bayou. In 1920 the "Rivers and Harbor Act" authorized dredging a channel 25 feet deep and 200 feet wide from Aransas Pass jetties to Corpus Christi. Dredging was completed and the port was opened in 1926. The bridge stood 121 feet long, 52 feet wide, and had one end that could be raised 140 plus feet. It was built by the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Co. The bridge, which was painted black and covered in grease to protect it from corrosion, amazed many residents of the city upon learning that it needed little electrical power to be raised and lowered. The operations of the bridge were complex, consisting of whistles between ship and bridge operators. When the bridge had to be raised, this caused frustration for those who had to cross the bridge, as it was raised well before ships came close, and had to stay raised for up to 20 minutes or more, and sometimes up to 30 times a day.
A new LED lighting system was unveiled to the public on December 4, 2011, at a public lighting ceremony held at Whataburger Field. The $2.2 million project was a joint venture between the City of Corpus Christi, the Port of Corpus Christi, the Texas Department of Transportation, and American Bank. The lighting system comprises more than 950 Philips Color Kinetics fixtures, and has over 11,000 individually addressable RGB nodes.
In 2013 two men and one Woman died in separate incidents after jumping off the bridge.
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