Originally slated to be completed in mid-to-late 2024, the decision announced Friday by TxDOT could push the project completion time back.
TxDOT engineers had raised concerns about "certain elements" of the bridge structure. If the construction continued, safety issues would have arisen according to TxDOT's news release. TxDOT requested Flatiron/Dragados, LLC, the company responsible for constructing the bridge and contracting the design firm reviewing the bridge, Arup and CFC, resolve the issues before continuing work.
Ricky Dailey, a TxDOT spokesman, had noted that the halt pertains solely to the construction of the main span and the cable-stayed bridge portion. Those concerns were brought to the attention of Flatiron/Dragados, which, to date, has been paid about $774 million for the project.
"We work hard to maintain productive relationships with all of our partners to deliver projects efficiently," TxDOT Chief Engineer Lance Simmons said in the release. "And we cannot compromise on safety. We have been transparent and direct in sharing our concerns with FDLLC as well as our expectations on addressing these safety issues."
"FDLLC hired some of the most experienced and prestigious designers of signature cable-stayed bridges in the world," the statement read. "FDLLC will continue to meet its contractual obligations and work in good faith with TxDOT."
Lynn Allison, a spokeswoman for Flatiron/Dragados, said construction unrelated to the spans — including road work and work on the north and south approaches — will continue and are not affected by the halt. The main spans for the new bridge comprise roughly one-eighth of the project, Allison noted.
Construction on the $930 million bridge began in August 2016. Earlier this year, Flatiron/Dragados, LLC, estimated the project to be completed by 2024.