Pelican Island Bridge reopens to traffic

May 20, 2024

SJ Munoz


The Pelican Island Bridge has reopened after it was hit by a fuel barge on Wednesday, May 15.

That collision resulted in an estimated 20,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil spilling from the barge into the surrounding bay and the closure of the only road leading from Galveston Island to Pelican Island.

The barge owned by Martin Marine was removed on Friday, May 17 with no additional oil being discharged. A pollution assessment was completed surrounding Pelican Island, while crews continue to assess the Swan Lake area at latest report on the Pelican Island Bridge Allision Response website.

Following inspections and approval by the Texas Department of Transportation and Galveston Navigation District No. 1, the Pelican Island Bridge officially reopened to vehicles after 9 p.m. Central on Saturday, May 18.

The reopening comes with new weight restrictions: 20,000 for single-axle vehicles, 30,000 for tandem-axle vehicles and a 42,000 maximum gross weight.

The Pelican Island Bridge response website states: “The Unified Command continues to prioritize the safety of the public and first responders, preserving and protecting the environment through effective wildlife deterrence, along with the restoration of the marine environment, transportation and infrastructure for the Pelican Island Bridge.”

No fish consumption advisory or ban has been issued by the Department of Health Services, and no shellfish water closures have been reported. However, the impacted area is closed to oyster harvests.

A claims line has been set up at 281-350-9996.

The latest updates are available at LL

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