Fred Hartman Bridge

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Fred Hartman Bridge
Fred Hartman Bridge Houston.jpg
Official name Fred Hartman Bridge
Carries 8 lanes of SH 146
Crosses Houston Ship Channel
Locale Harris County, south of Baytown, Texas and north of La Porte, Texas
Maintained by Texas Department of Transportation
Design fan arranged cable-stayed bridge
Material cables: polymer-wrapped twisted steel wire bundles
pylons: reinforced concrete
main deck: reinforced concrete
approach deck: precast prestressed concrete[1]
Total length 4.185 kilometres (2.60 mi)[1]
Width 47 metres (154 ft)[1]
Height 133 metres (436 ft) (pylon)[1]
Longest span 381 meters (1,250 feet)[1]
Vertical clearance 80.6 meters (262 feet)
Clearance below 54.8 meters (178 feet)
Construction begin 1986[1]
Construction end 1995[1]
Opened September 27, 1995; 19 years ago (1995-09-27)[1]
Toll none
Coordinates 29°42′12″N 95°01′03″W / 29.70347°N 95.01742°W / 29.70347; -95.01742Coordinates: 29°42′12″N 95°01′03″W / 29.70347°N 95.01742°W / 29.70347; -95.01742
Fred Hartman Bridge is located in Texas
Fred Hartman Bridge
Location on a map of Texas

The Fred Hartman Bridge or Baytown Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. state of Texas,[2] spanning the Houston Ship Channel. The bridge carries 2.6 miles (4 km) of State Highway 146, between the cities of Baytown, Texas and La Porte, Texas[2] [3] (east of Houston). It is expected to carry State Highway 99, the Grand Parkway when it is completed around Houston.[citation needed]

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 four such bridges in the state, the others being Veterans Memorial Bridge in Orange County, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas and Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge in Erath County. It is the seventy-seventh largest bridge in the world. The construction cost of the bridge was $91.25 million.

Fred Hartman Bridge

The bridge replaced the Baytown Tunnel (of depth clearance 40 feet or 12.2 m).[4] 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.[4]

Construction[edit]

In October 1985 the Texas Highway department announced the project and estimated it would take two years to complete. Construction began in 1987 and was contracted by Williams Brothers and Traylor Brothers construction companies. In 1993, The firm selected to produce the steel, a Mexican company, went bankrupt. The contract was then awarded to a South African company which caused complaints because of the country's apartheid policies. After the completion date was pushed back several times,a letter was sent to the Texas Department of Transportation's executive director, William Burnett from the city of Baytown via the Baytown Sun in early 1995 which helped spur interest in finishing the project. Finally, on September 27th, 1995 the Fred Hartman Bridge has its grand opening ceremony hosted by Baytown Chamber of Commerce and LaPorte Chamber of Commerce. Notable guests include George W. Bush, Miss Texas 1995, William Burnett and the Hartman family. Unfortunately, Fred Hartman passed away in 1991 and did not live to see his dream come to fruition.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Fred Hartman Bridge at Structurae
  2. ^ a b "Baytown Bridge" (photo), Flickr, December 2007.
  3. ^ "Baytown Bridge (HWY-146)" (angled photo), Rob Benz, 2006, webpage: Mappic-BBridge.
  4. ^ a b "Welcome to the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channel Project Online Resource Center" (description), USACE, December 2005, webpage: USACE-HGNC.

External links[edit]