Barge Runs Into And Damages Bridge In South Texas
Screenshot: AP

A fuel barge slammed into a bridge in southern Texas on Wednesday, causing damage to the structure and oil to spill into the surrounding waters.

The accident in Galveston — which is just south of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico — happened when the barge ran into the Pelican Island Causeway, a bridge that connects the town to Pelican Island.

The Associated Press reported that the bridge was struck around 10 a.m. local time when “a tugboat backing out of Texas International Terminals, a fuel storage operator next to the bridge, lost control of two barges it was pushing.”

There was no indication that anyone had been harmed in the accident even though one person reportedly fell off the barge during the accident.

“The current was very bad, and the tide was high,” said David Flores, a bridge superintendent with the Galveston County Navigation District. “He lost it.”


When the barge hit the bridge, it caused fuel that it was carrying to spill into the surrounding waters. While the barge has the capacity to carry 30,000 gallons, it is unknown how much it was carrying at the time or how much spilled out.

“Engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation are also enroute to inspect the roadway and determine if there is damage,” the the City of Galveston said. “The bridge will remain closed until it is deemed safe to use.”


The state of Texas was scheduled to build a new bridge next year to replace the one that was just hit with estimates coming in at $200 million.

The 164-foot bridge was last inspected two and a half years ago and more than 9,000 vehicles cross it every day on average.

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