Corpus Christi Caller Times 2:56 PM 7/2/14 By Dave Hendricks
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas Department of Transportation recently invited four construction teams to submit proposals for the approximately $700 million Harbor Bridge replacement project — among the largest infrastructure contracts anywhere in Texas.
Attempting to avoid delays and simplify the complex project, the Department of Transportation wants the winning contractor to both design and build the new bridge.
“And that’s the next step,” said Rickey Dailey, a spokesman for the department’s Corpus Christi District. “Is to ask these teams to come in with their vision for the project.”
The Department of Transportation initially issued a formal request for qualifications, asking potential contractors to submit résumés, financial records and other documents demonstrating their ability to build the bridge. Seven construction teams responded and the Department of Transportation invited four to submit proposals.
While the Department of Transportation wants the proposals early next year, several key details remain undecided, including the exact proposal deadline. During an April 22 presentation, engineers said they planned to accept proposals in January 2015. That plan remains subject to change.
Contractors have wide latitude to suggest potential designs and even potential financing arrangements for the new Harbor Bridge.
“Under legislative authority, the Texas Department of Transportation is pursuing a design-build agreement with a single contractor to develop, design, construct and potentially maintain and partially finance the Harbor Bridge project,” according to a June 27 news release. “The design-build approach helps accelerate a project by bundling its various activities under a single development team rather than distributing the responsibilities among separate contractors.”
With an approximately $700 million budget, the bridge project attracted several major contractors and construction teams:
Denver-based Flatiron Constructors, a subsidiary of German construction company Hochtief, partnered with Dragados USA, itself a subsidiary of the ACS Group, another massive multinational construction company and contractor headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
The Flatiron-Dragados USA partnership intends to submit a proposal for the project, according to a statement from spokesperson Christie DeLuca, who represents the construction team.
“Flatiron and Dragados, along with our team’s designer, FIGG, have designed and constructed 31 cable-stayed bridges throughout the world, and nine cable-stayed bridges in the U.S.,” according to the statement.
Flatiron helped build the eight-lane Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. The $541 million bridge opened in July 2005, according to the company’s website, and was the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.
The cable-stayed bridge design supports the bridge deck, which holds the roadway, with cables attached to the bridge pylons. Examples of the cable-stayed bridge design include the Fred Hartman Bridge between Baytown and La Porte.
Dragados USA also brought extensive bridge-building experience to the table, having constructed more than 1,000 bridges worldwide, according to the company’s website, including several cable-stayed bridges in Spain.
The Department of Transportation also invited Walsh Infrastructure, a division of Chicago-based Walsh Construction, to submit a proposal. Walsh bills itself as the third-largest bridge builder in the United States, according to the company’s website, which lists major bridge projects in Connecticut, Mississippi and Illinois.
Walsh didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Traylor Bros., a heavy civil construction contractor based in Evansville, Indiana, proposed working with San Antonio-based Zachry Construction on the Harbor Bridge replacement project.
Zachry Construction helped build the combination border fence-levy in Hidalgo County, among other projects across Texas.
Traylor Bros., which built the Fred Hartman Bridge in the early 1990s, is working on another major cable-stayed bridge in New York — a $3.9 billion project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River.
Baton Rouge-based Area Manager Greg Cangelosi said Traylor planned to submit a proposal for the Harbor Bridge replacement project, but declined to comment further. Zachry Construction didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Kiewit Corp., which operates a 400-acre fabrication yard in Ingleside, also received an invitation from the Department of Transportation.
If selected, Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. would handle the Harbor Bridge replacement project with another division called Kiewit Development Co. Other Kiewit divisions have built bridges in New York, Washington and Louisiana.
Asked for comment about the Harbor Bridge replacement project, Kiewit’s corporate communications department replied with an unsigned statement: “Thank you for contacting Kiewit. Unfortunately, we are not interested in pursuing this opportunity” and didn’t respond to follow-up questions.
March 2014: TxDOT solicits resumes from potential contractors. Seven construction teams respond.
June 2014: TxDOT picks four construction teams to submit proposals for the new Harbor Bridge.
January 2015: Proposal deadline for the Harbor Bridge project.
February 2015: TxDot plans to award the Harbor Bridge project, subject to negotiations.
Source: Texas Department of Transportation


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