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Bridge on Borrowed Time

December 21, 2011

The venerable bascule lift bridge that carries BNSF and UP trains across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Galveston Bay is slated to be removed from service any day now. It’s being replaced with a 300′ long vertical lift bridge. The current 100′ span, deemed state-of-the art when completed in 1912, is dangerously narrow for today’s barge traffic. More accidents occur as a result of collisions with this bridge than any other bridge on the Gulf Coast.

It was declared a hazard to navigation by the Coast Guard in 2001.  The owner of the bridge, Galveston County, was ordered to replace it with a lift span of 300′ long. Funding was not available until 2009 when ARRA stimulus funds were allocated to this project.

Here how the project appeared in May, 2011. (Click any image to enlarge it.)

Over the next few days, I’ll post more images showing the progress of this project, as well as some interesting historical tidbits.

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