The 2.25-mile long US 181 bridge spanning the Corpus Christi ship channel, originally opened in 1959, is being replaced due to the need for a higher-capacity roadway, and to reduce the navigational restrictions for ships traveling under the existing bridge. The four-lane bridge is being replaced with twin parallel cable stay bridges containing a 1,655-foot main span over the channel. The two main pylons feature 538-foot towers supported by 21 shafts measuring 10 feet in diameter, drilled to a depth of 230 feet. Due to the high-water table and soft alluvial soils found at the site, the shafts are being constructed with a short permanent casing in the top 50 feet and bentonite slurry below the casing. A total volume of 300,000 gallons of bentonite slurry is needed to excavate one shaft of this diameter and depth.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Flatiron/Dragados
LLC OWNER: Texas Department of Transportation