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Author Topic: Houston: ship channel bridge project  (Read 22979 times)

TXtoNJ

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2018, 05:23:52 PM »

I'm assuming they will build the west span first, demolish the existing structure, and then finish the east span? If so, would you guess completion in the 2026-2028 range, with the first lanes opening around 2022-3?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2018, 05:40:35 PM »

I'm assuming they will build the west span first, demolish the existing structure, and then finish the east span? If so, would you guess completion in the 2026-2028 range, with the first lanes opening around 2022-3?

Yes, your construction sequence is consistent with my understanding. The new northbound span (east span) will be in about the same position as the existing span.

According to the Traylor site, project completion is scheduled for December 2023. That's a fairly aggressive schedule, considering that each of the three major phases (built west span, remove existing span, built east span) must proceed one at a time in series, after the prior phase is complete.

MaxConcrete

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Construction has begun, as reported in this article
https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/06/01/1b-construction-project-to-replace-houston-ship.html

The business journal article references an article in Roads and Bridges, which provides extensive technical details and has some nice depictions
https://www.roadsbridges.com/ship-and-handling#

The article says the "existing bridge [will be] demolished". My understanding from earlier reports that the main span would be deconstructed, basically disassembled one segmental section at a time, in reverse order to how it was built. I don't know if that qualifies as demolished, or if the plan has changed.

The existing bridge, opened in 1982, will probably reach its 39th birthday before it is removed. This is Houston, where short building and infrastructure lifespans are common.
I recently posted photos of the high school I attended, which opened in 1969. A couple weeks ago it was reduced to rubble.
http://houstonfreeways.com/Home/photos/sharpstown-high-school-demolition-2018





« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 12:31:10 AM by MaxConcrete »
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Chris

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2020, 01:42:41 PM »

https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/hctra-to-pause-construction-on-ship-channel-bridge-to-fix-possible-structural-weakness/285-ae4a99a4-211d-4fcf-b0e5-dd3ead6ba772

The Harris County Toll Road Authority's largest project to date is being put on hold to fix a potential design flaw in the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Bridge, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

HCTRA announced they plan to pause construction on the main pylons of the cable-stayed portion of the bridge replacement project. HCTRA hired an independent consultant to review the design.

That consultant identified an issue related to the design of the curved portions of the pylon legs.


That doesn't sound good...

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2020, 07:28:14 PM »

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2020, 06:58:35 PM »

The completed engineering review has uncovered a long list of issues. This could cause a lengthy and expensive delay.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Engineers-raise-significant-concerns-on-15118122.php

Quote
Engineers raise ‘significant concerns’ on Ship Channel Bridge design, delaying billion-dollar project
In their final report, the COWI evaluators detail their concerns with the bridge’s design, including worries that:

  parts of the massive pillars meant to hold up the cable stay bridge do not meet the county’s specifications

  pylons sunk into the boggy ground along Buffalo Bayou do not meet the county’s set design standards, along with inadequate structural capacity for the base of the towers

  curves along the giant towers do not meet capacity requirements for carrying the load

  cables that support the bridge and thread through the massive towers do not met the project’s standards for avoiding slight movements

Combined, the issues raised by COWI affect nearly every major facet of the design and construction of the bridge, from below ground to high above the roadway where the towers will rise to 514 feet.


Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2020, 09:30:27 PM »

So they will have to tear it down and start anew?
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armadillo speedbump

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2020, 03:03:28 AM »

Goodness gracious!  Several people at FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc. belong in jail.  Starting with the founder's daughter that used the Gurl Power angle to get contracts and glowing writeups in the media pre-FIU debacle, and seemed more concerned with artistry than safety.

How did construction get this much built without discovering these problems?  If a county commissioner hadn't requested a new review after the Miami collapse, the faulty design would have been completely built?  Shouldn't heads roll at HCTRA and TXDOT?  The FIU bridge disaster may have saved more lives by preventing an even bigger disaster.

Then there's this from the Miami collapse followup:

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/judge-demands-to-know-why-fiu-bridge-engineers-phone-has-water-damage/143913/

But there’s a big problem with getting that evidence: three months after the collapse, the phone used by the most important engineer on the project suffered “water damage” before anyone tried to back up its contents.

That’s what lawyers for the engineer’s employer, FIGG Bridge Engineers, are telling a state court handling lawsuits against FIGG and others involved in the project.

But, after hearing testimony from FIGG vice president C. Denney Pate -- who said his wife accidentially washed his phone with his laundry one year ago -- Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey called FIGG's credibility into question.

Without questioning Pate's sworn testimony, she did criticize his employer's handling of potential evidence in the case, saying the company "fundamentally misrepresented" for months the status of the cellphone and its efforts to recover data from it.


It is scary reading the list of bridges they and their hive of sister companies have built.
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In_Correct

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2020, 11:17:28 AM »

Even if it is about a construction company not the bridge design, I still agree that the entire Suspension Bridges and Cable Stayed Bridges are much taller, and easy to look at from a distant distance. The durability and safety of the bridges are lowest priority. Or there would be plenty of Cable Stayed and Suspension Bridges for freight rail. I have not encountered any. On the contrary, they built a truss bridge over Interstate 35. If H.C.T.R.A. built a Cantilever Truss Bridge instead instead of trying to build that fancy one, they would have opened it by now.
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Chris

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2020, 12:27:14 PM »

This is the same bridge designer that has also been kicked from the Corpus Christi bridge project.

MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: HCTRA appears to be readying huge ship channel bridge project
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2020, 10:29:11 PM »

FIGG has been removed from the project and is expected to be replaced by COWI.

There's not yet any official word on the cost or expected delay. That may not be known until COWI provides its plan for remediation.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/harris-county-ship-channel-bridge-houston-tx-15475117.php#photo-19798418

Quote
Harris County commissioners decided Tuesday to fire the engineering firm for the new Houston Ship Channel Bridge but held off on hiring a replacement, leaving the status of the county’s costliest ever infrastructure project partially in limbo after it has already been beset by a monthslong delay.

The move follows a decision last month by the Federal Highway Administration to suspend and debar FIGG Bridge Group, whose Dallas office designed the $1 billion bridge. The company, based in Florida, came under scrutiny when its Tallahassee office designed a pedestrian bridge that collapsed in February 2018 at Florida International University, killing six. The firm is now ineligible for work on federally funded projects.




This photo, included in the news report, is from January 2020

Plutonic Panda

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bwana39

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2021, 10:04:49 PM »

Drove through here last weekend. The bridge construction is pretty much going full speed.
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nolia_boi504

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2021, 10:21:32 PM »

Drove through here last weekend. The bridge construction is pretty much going full speed.
I did too! It's been a few years since I had an opportunity to drive thru that part of town. Definitely exciting seeing the approaches so far along.

The work on the tower wasn't apparent to me. Is that progressing along now? So we have a timeline for completion of the first span?

Pixel 4

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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2021, 07:34:06 PM »

The following appears in the agenda for the the next meeting of Harris County Commissioners court

Quote
Request for approval of a contract amendment with Ship Channel Constructors, LLC, a limited liability company the members of which are Traylor Bros., Inc. and Zachry Construction Corporation, for construction of the ship channel bridge replacement project to increase the contract value by a not-to-exceed amount of $291,500,000 and to update necessary contract documents associated with this amendment. The majority of this increase impacts in FY 26-28.

We knew the price would go up due to the lengthy delay, but this increase is way more than I expected. The original overall project cost was listed at $962 million, so the increase is 30% of the total cost. However, the total cost includes work on the approaches and other costs (like very expensive utility relocations) which is not affected by the bridge problems. The bridge contract is for $568 million, and this is a 51% cost increase. Yikes.

For that huge overrun, I'm thinking they need to demolish the completed work on the main supports do major work on the foundations. I'm also wondering if the bridge design will change. I'm sure there will be more info when this contract amendment is approved.

We can expect news reports on this and probably some controversy when this is approved at the November 30 meeting.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 07:59:59 PM by MaxConcrete »
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2021, 07:44:47 PM »

In my mind I keep getting this confused with the Corpus Christi bridge as to the problems going on with each of these projects. This is the project it was halted because it was the same contractor involved in the collapse of the Florida pedestrian bridge, right?
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2021, 07:49:51 PM »

In my mind I keep getting this confused with the Corpus Christi bridge as to the problems going on with each of these projects. This is the project it was halted because it was the same contractor involved in the collapse of the Florida pedestrian bridge, right?

Yes, the bridge designer/engineer is Figg, the same firm that designed the ill-fated Florida pedestrian bridge.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2021, 08:17:29 PM »

In my mind I keep getting this confused with the Corpus Christi bridge as to the problems going on with each of these projects. This is the project it was halted because it was the same contractor involved in the collapse of the Florida pedestrian bridge, right?

Yes, the bridge designer/engineer is Figg, the same firm that designed the ill-fated Florida pedestrian bridge.
OK and that is the same design firm that is doing the Corpus Christi Harbor project
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CoreySamson

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2021, 11:57:55 AM »

What's the timetable for the bridge's completion now?

Great Lakes Roads

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2021, 05:08:03 PM »

What's the timetable for the bridge's completion now?

2028, according to a news station from Houston.
https://www.fox26houston.com/news/toll-road-authority-explains-300-million-fix-for-ship-channel-bridge-project

And the sleek concrete cable-stayed bridge design will be torn down, and it will be rebuilt with... steel girders!  :-/
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Bobby5280

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2021, 10:13:01 PM »

They say they're going to recover the cost via tolls on drivers. With the "fix" costing $300 million are there any guesses what those tolls might be? $20 each way? $40? $100? Do I hear $200? :-D

They might as well tear out all that crap and launch a ferry service. 2028 time frame for the new (and ordinary) bridge? Good grief, 'Murica is just getting to really suck at infrastructure anymore.
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bwana39

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2021, 08:19:01 AM »

They say they're going to recover the cost via tolls on drivers. With the "fix" costing $300 million are there any guesses what those tolls might be? $20 each way? $40? $100? Do I hear $200? :-D

They might as well tear out all that crap and launch a ferry service. 2028 time frame for the new (and ordinary) bridge? Good grief, 'Murica is just getting to really suck at infrastructure anymore.

This toll offset would be throughout the HCTRA system. It still is astronomical. I am not sure the $300M is all new (excess) funding or if part of it is offset by things that were yet to be completed from the original estimates.
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Echostatic

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2021, 09:43:18 AM »

They say they're going to recover the cost via tolls on drivers. With the "fix" costing $300 million are there any guesses what those tolls might be? $20 each way? $40? $100? Do I hear $200? :-D

They might as well tear out all that crap and launch a ferry service. 2028 time frame for the new (and ordinary) bridge? Good grief, 'Murica is just getting to really suck at infrastructure anymore.

For the sake of math I'm assuming the new bridge would carry the same AADT as the current ship channel bridge. It will of course carry much more, but I don't have numbers for something that doesn't exist. Also these numbers assume the repair bill of $300M gets tacked onto the bridge only, not the entire HCTRA system.

The current Ship Channel Bridge carried 57,750 vehicles daily in 2019, good for 21,078,750 crossings in a year. If they tried to pay off the repairs in one year, that'd be a $14.23 toll. If they tried to pay it off over the course of a decade, the additional toll would be $1.42. That's for just the bridge, now factor in the entire HCTRA network of tolls and the increase would be pennies.

Anthony_JK

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2021, 04:32:34 AM »

The HCTRA network is immense enough that they should be able to cushion the cost of rebuilding the Ship Channel Bridge throughout the remainder of the system. Though, it will hurt the wallets of drivers just a tad.



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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Houston: ship channel bridge project
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2021, 12:05:56 PM »

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