The bridge, named for Fred Hartman (1908–1991), the editor and publisher of the Baytown Sun from 1950 to 1974, is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Texas, and one of only three such bridges in the state, the others being the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Orange County, Texas and the Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge in Erath County, Texas. It is the seventy-seventh largest bridge in the world. The construction cost of the bridge was $117.5 million.
Fred Hartman Bridge
The bridge replaced the Baytown Tunnel (of depth clearance 40 feet or 12.2 m). The tunnel had to be removed when the Houston Ship Channel was deepened to 45 feet (13.7 m), with a minimum 530 feet (161.5 m) bottom width, to accommodate larger ships. The last section of the Baytown Tunnel was removed from the Houston Ship Channel on September 14, 1999, with removal of the tunnel being the responsibility of the Texas Department of Transportation.