Pelican Island bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic, but opens for pedestrians, officials say

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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Pelican Island bridge is unstable after barge hit pillar: Officials
Pelican Island is essentially cut off from Galveston for a second day as crews work to repair the damage to the bridge and clean up the oil that spilled.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Pelican Island Causeway bridge reopened for pedestrians Friday after a barge hit it a few days prior, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The video above is from a previous report.

Officials say the bridge was available for pedestrians at around 5 p.m. Friday after a barge broke loose from a tug boat just before Wednesday morning.

The Texas Department of Transportation assessed the bridge's condition on Friday. The bridge will be closed to all vehicle traffic, except emergency services, while repairs are being done.

The collision caused the barge to leak oil into the Galveston Ship Channel, with initial estimates of 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil spilling out, according to the USCG.

SEE ALSO: Pelican Island bridge is unstable after barge slammed into pillar, causing oil spill, officials say

Galveston County Navigation District No. 1 was responsible for maintaining the bridge, which sustained damage. The bridge was narrowed to only allow outgoing foot and vehicle traffic, and Pelican Island businesses and residents, including Texas A&M Galveston, were relocated.

Over 16,000 feet of protective boom have been installed around Pelican Island, Swan Lake, and the damaged barge in an effort to stop the oil spill from getting worse.

You can call the Joint Information Center at 409-300-3521 for any inquiries.

No volunteers are needed at this time.

For any reports of oiled wildlife, contact the Wildlife Hotline at 832-514-9663.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Pelican Island bridge reopens for evacuation-only after barge slams into span, causing oil spill