Cowi was appointed to carry out the independent analysis and structural check of Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTBA) Houston Ship Canal Bridge project. Figg Bridge Engineers is HCTBA's designer for the bridge.

Construction of the pylons was paused in January to allow the design to be reviewed (link opens in new tab).

Sam Houston Tollway Ship Canal Bridge

The 21 most significant concerns identified by Cowi relating to design parameters, loading, a number of areas of design (foundations, substructure, superstructure, cables) and construction.

Cowi's recommendations include making plan revisions for components not yet constructed and undertaking corrective work for some components already constructed. It also recommends undertaking additional investigations into whether the potential consequences of leaving certain already constructed components as-is would be acceptable, even though this review has
identified that they do not conform to the project standards.

The report recommends that Cowi and HCTRA's Ship Channel Bridge design team, including Figg Bridge Engineers, be authorised to work jointly with each other, while under contract to Harris County, to resolve the concerns identified.