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Texas agency pledges $310M for new Harbor Bridge

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Department of Transportation has pledged $310 million for a new Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi in a last funding push before construction.

Funding committed Thursday by TxDOT's policymaking commission as part of a 10-year plan brings the total to $700 million. That's the target level of money sought before construction can start on a bigger, updated bridge that's more salt resistant.

The current span was built in 1959. Supporters hope construction will begin by 2017.

The Port of Corpus Christi in May approved $15 million for the project — reaching the target $100 million mark in local funding. The project also has commitments for about $291 million in federal funds.

TxDOT spokesman Rickey Dailey said Thursday that environmental studies are expected to be done this fall, followed by a public comment period.