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Pelican Island bridge allision 1

Photo courtesy Galveston County Office of Emergency Management

Oil Spill Contained After Barge Hits Galveston Bridge

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1020
May 16, 2024

A Unified Command has been established to manage the response to the barge strike on the Pelican Island Causeway in Galveston, Texas. The MMLP 321 barge, owned by Martin Marine, allided with the causeway around 10 a.m. on Wednesday due to a break in the coupling.

While there were no reports of injuries or individuals in the water, the collision compromised one of the cargo tanks, leading to a spill of vacuum gas oil into the water. The amount of oil spilled is still being determined.

Responders have contained the source. Boom has been deployed and additional resources are being mobilized to manage the spill. Aerial assessments using a Coast Guard Air Station Houston overflight and drones are currently underway to determine the extent of the spill.

The Pelican Island Bridge, overseen by the Galveston County Navigational District 1 (GCND1), suffered damage in the incident. The GCND1, with assistance from the Texas Department of Transportation, is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the structure.

The bridge remains open to car traffic leaving Pelican Island and pedestrian traffic in both directions. However, the condition of the bridge may change as the extent of the damage is evaluated. Pedestrian access to the island is currently limited to residents, employees, and students of Texas A&M.

In a precautionary move, Texas A&M students, faculty, and non-essential personnel were evacuated from the island around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The university is advising students and employees to follow specific instructions related to the incident.

The Pelican Island Bridge Collision Response Unified Command comprises the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, and Martin Marine. They are being supported by various agencies, including the Texas A&M University Galveston campus, Texas Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Port of Houston Authority, E3 OMI, T & T Marine, the City of Galveston, Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, and Texas City Office of Emergency Management.

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