Stalled ship channel bridge project will resume with increased budget, longer timeline

$1.4B with 2025 completion is the new goal, HCTRA says

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Work was halted on the replacement Ship Channel bridge project nearly two years ago however, just this week, Harris County Commissioner’s approved a funding plan to get the project back on track.

KPRC 2 Investigates reported over the summer that the firm hired to audit the project will take over as the new company in charge of the project:

RELATED: Houston Ship Channel bridge project costs, timeline still unclear

The previous bridge project was halted after an audit of the work completed found it to be sub-standard.

The new plan adds $300,000,000 to $400,000,000 to the one billion dollar project and initially extends the timeline to 2025.

We asked HCTRA questions about the new deal with COWI North America.

The following responses were provided by spokesperson Roxy Sibrian.

Is it part of the normal job procurement practice to hire the same company to do the project that audited it?

Our agency follows a qualifications-based process for the selection of professional services. In 2019 and [in] 2020 the same process was followed.

What are the total cost and delivery date of the ship channel bridges project?

The overall project cost is estimated at $1.4 billion, which includes construction management.

What protections are in place for delivery date slippage and cost overruns?

The construction contract includes liquidated damage clauses that are standard for a construction contract of this nature, to mitigate potential delays in the schedule. Managing cost begins with having sound initial cost estimates prior to the execution of any construction contract.