Bridge Shut Down, Oil Spill Reported After Barge Hits Galveston Bridge

Bridge Shut Down, Oil Spill Reported After Barge Hits Galveston Bridge


The only route leading to an island hosting a university was closed when a barge slammed a Texas bridge on Wednesday morning, resulting in an oil spill in the bay.

Texas A&M reports that the Pelican Island Bridge near Galveston was struck by a barge, resulting in the closure of the bridge in both directions.

David Flores, a bridge superintendent of the Galveston County Navigation District, stated that a tugboat backing out of Texas International Terminals, a gasoline storage facility close to the bridge, lost control of two barges it was pushing and struck the bridge.

According to him, one of the barges struck two telephone poles and the bridge.

Galveston County officials claim that Martin Petroleum is the owner of the destroyed vessel.

The current was “bad and the tide was high,” according to Flores, who described the situation.

According to Flores, the tugboat was towing what are known as bunker barges, which are ship fuel barges. He stated that as a result of the incident, oil leaked from the barge into the bay, and cleanup efforts were underway.

The barge holds thirty thousand gallons. The quantity that has leaked out is unknown, according to county officials.

Bridge Shut Down, Oil Spill Reported After Barge Hits Galveston Bridge (1)

Segments of a rail line running parallel to the bridge on top of the barge were visible in aerial video. Flores stated that the rail line has never been used and is solely there to safeguard the structure.

For cars, the bridge connects Pelican Island with Galveston Island.

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Joined to Galveston by a bridge, Pelican Island is home to Texas A&M University of Galveston, a sizable shipyard, and Seawolf Park, a former immigration station that draws tourists with its famous fishing pier and retired US Navy ships.

A Galveston municipal spokesman stated that crews from the Texas Department of Transportation are now evaluating the damage. It is anticipated that the bridge will stay blocked until it is judged safe to use.

Vessel traffic in the channel has also been stopped, according to county officials.

A picture of a collapsed column from the bridge was shared on X.

The U.S. Coast Guard was present to evaluate the spill, according to Galveston city officials who spoke with The National Desk.

Texas A&M posted a notice stating that power was lost but later came back.

It stated on X that it was collaborating with state, local, and county officials to ascertain the effects on its campus.

Reports of injuries were lacking.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Texas A&M University at Galveston, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the city of Galveston are among the agencies present at the incident.

Officials from the city said that traffic on Harborside Drive is free to travel both east and west.

However, from 51st and Harborside, vehicles will not be allowed to turn north toward Pelican Island.

An estimate from 2011 stated that the bridge saw 9,100 vehicles per day on average.

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