The Fred Hartman Bridge or Baytown Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. state of Texas, spanning the Houston Ship Channel. The bridge carries 2.6 miles (4 km) of State Highway 146, between the cities of Baytown, Texas and La Porte, Texas (east of Houston).
The bridge, named for Fred Hartman (1908–1991), the editor and publisher of the Baytown Sun from 1950 to 1974, is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Texas, and one of only three such bridges in the state, the others being the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Orange County, Texas and the Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge in Erath County Texas. It was the seventy-sixth largest bridge in the world from 1995 to 2003, and is now the seventy-seventh largest bridge. The construction cost of the bridge was $117.5 million.
The bridge replaced the Baytown Tunnel (of depth clearance 40 feet or 12.2 m). The tunnel had to be removed when the Houston Ship Channel was deepened to 45 feet (13.7 m), with a minimum 530 feet (161.5 m) bottom width, to accommodate larger ships. The last section of the Baytown Tunnel was removed from the Houston Ship Channel on September 14, 1999, with removal of the tunnel being the responsibility of the Texas Department of Transportation.
The bridge has had trouble in the past, when water streaming down the cables in light rain changed the wind profile of the cables, causing unexpected vibrations.