Fred Hartman Bridge in La Porte

Photo of Fred Hartman Bridge in La Porte, Texas
Photograph Wayne Lorentz
Photo of Fred Hartman Bridge in La Porte, Texas
Photograph Wayne Lorentz
Royalty-free architecture stock photography

Fred Hartman Bridge

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An elegant misfit in the brutal world of Houston transportation, the Fred Hartman bridge gracefully carries traffic up and over the Houston Ship Channel between the cities of La Porte and Baytown. A recent addition to the area, it stands proudly on par with the great cable-stay bridges of the world including the more relaxed, but still pioneering, Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam. Two sets of steel-reinforced concrete diamonds carry two separate bridge decks of Texas 146 to a height of 178 feet that keeps them away from the traffic of the busy seaport. The towers are each 440 feet tall, and the bridge itself is 1,250 feet long, though the approach ramps make it seem much longer. Photographing the bridge can be difficult because of the lack of access roads and the marshy terrain in the area. The only way to really appreciate this bridge and its yellow diamonds is to have someone else drive you over it.

Quick Facts
Notes
  • The Fred Hartman Bridge replaced the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel, which replaced the Morgans Point Ferry. A $17.5 million plan was put together to have the tunnel was sealed, its tube floated in three sections 30 miles off the coast of Galveston Island, and sunk to form an artificial reef. That plan was cancelled in 1997 because of insurance costs and the inconvenience of closing the Houston Ship Channel during transport. Instead, the tunnel was demolished in place.
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