A Bridge to the Past – Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi
Texas historic bridges
In 1959, the Texas Highway Department, now TxDOT, built the largest project in its history; Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge. The bridge and its approaches pioneered new materials like pre-stressed concrete and neoprene pads. The bridge allowed large ships to pass through to Corpus Christi’s port for more than sixty years.
As the city continues to grow, a new harbor bridge is on the way and the 1959 bridge will soon be demolished. The bridge is historically significant for its design as well as for its contribution to the city. To ensure its history is not forgotten, TxDOT partnered with the city of Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Public Library, the Nueces County Historical Commission, neighborhood organizations and the Texas Historical Commission to share the story of the bridge.
If you are local to Corpus Christi, look for the exhibit in the community: Gateway to Corpus Christi: The Story of Harbor Bridge. You can also view a PDF of the exhibit.
After watching the video and viewing the exhibit, learn more about bridge building and Corpus Christi with these activities for elementary and middle school students! They are easy to do at home, with friends, or in the classroom. All activities are tied to the Texas Essential Knowledge Standards (TEKS) and are age-appropriate.
The original harbor bridge cut through Corpus Christi’s Northside neighborhood, fracturing communities and leading to the decline of African-American businesses. The new harbor bridge damaged the neighborhood further by relocating the bridge and its approach roads at different locations in the neighborhood. To learn more about the vibrant history of the Northside neighborhood, read the history, view historic photographs, and read oral history transcripts about its people and historic places: