CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—Gov. Greg Abbott made his first public appearance since being hospitalized last month with severe burns by attending the groundbreaking of a nearly $900 million new harbor bridge in Corpus Christi. 

The project will eventually replace the aging hat-shaped bridge that's a signature landmark of the coastal city.

The goal is to improve safety, connectivity and level of service in Texas’ Costal Bend region. When completed, the new Harbor Bridge will be the largest cable-stayed bridge in the United States and the third largest in the world.

New Harbor Bridge Facts:

  • Substantial completion projected for April 2021
  • Cable-stayed bridge design with a main-span of 1,665 feet
  • 205 ft. navigational clearance above the Main Turning Basin waterway, large enough that the former Harbor Bridge could fit beneath it
  • New clearance will allow largest ocean-going vessels, including those crossing the newly expanded Panama Canal, access to the Port of Corpus Christi
  • Utilizes advanced bridge technologies, materials and construction techniques that allow for a life span of more than 170 years

Abbott sustained extensive second- and third-degree burns on his lower legs and feet after being scalded July 7 while vacationing in Wyoming. His office won't say exactly how he was burned. He missed the Republican National Convention and underwent treatment at San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center. 

He was scalded the same day a sniper killed five Dallas police officers. Abbott held a news conference the next day but didn't disclose at the time he was injured.