Galveston bridge collapse: Pelican Island Bridge hit by barge

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

PELICAN ISLAND, Texas – One lane of the Pelican Island Bridge is now open after a barge struck it on Wednesday morning, shutting down traffic.

The bridge connects Pelican Island to Galveston, and Pelican Island is currently inaccessible by vehicle.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry says the people stranded on the island will be removed by boat. 

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Galveston officials say there were no reports of injuries in the collision that occurred around 10 a.m. However, Judge Henry says two crew members did go overboard but were recovered from the water. 

SkyFOX video from the scene shows that debris from the bridge, including a section of the railroad tracks, fell onto the barge.

Judge Henry says the collision resulted in a spill of vacuum gas oil. The barge reportedly has a 30,000-gallon capacity, but the county judge says it’s not known at this time how much oil was on board.

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to determine the extent of the spill and initiate the containment and cleanup process.

Emergency management officials from the City of Galveston, Texas A&M University at Galveston, the state, Galveston fire and police departments, and Texas Department of Transportation are also responding to the incident.

TxDOT will inspect the roadway to assess the damage, and the bridge will remain closed until it is deemed safe, officials say.

Galveston police are detouring traffic away from the bridge. Officials say Harborside Drive is open to east-west traffic, but drivers will not be able to turn north toward Pelican Island from 51st and Harborside.

Texas A&M University at Galveston, which is located on Pelican Island, is assessing impacts to the campus and will communicate updates through their emergency alert system, email and social media.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.