Texas transportation officials say that they’ve shut down a major bridge until further notice after it was struck by barges overnight.
All lanes of the I-10 East Freeway bridge over the San Jacinto River are closed Friday morning after the structure was hit by at least two of the nine barges that broke loose on the river overnight.
I-10 East Freeway EB and WB at the San Jacinto River all mainlanes are closed. Several barges have impacted the bridges at this location. This is a developing situation that is further enhanced by the river rising. No est. time on reopening. Use SH 225 as an alternate. pic.twitter.com/DLpw4YH4TZ
— TxDOT- HOU District (@TxDOTHouston) September 20, 2019
There appears to be major structural damage to the bridge. Authorities are also concerned that the barges underneath the bridge may contain combustible materials.
The Texas Department of Transportation isn’t able to inspect the bridge because of high waters caused by Tropical Storm Imelda. There is no estimated time for the bridge to reopen.
HAPPENING NOW – Parts of I-10 near Houston, TX, remain closed after barges struck the San Jacinto River Bridge Friday morning. The @USCG reports at least 9 barges broke free and @TxDOTHouston needs to assess the bridge for possible structural damage. #txwx #Imelda pic.twitter.com/UP1EXTruOl
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 20, 2019
Tolls are being waived at the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge because of the bridge closure.
Transportation officials are detouring traffic off of I-10 east at Magnolia and west at Crosby-Lynchburg.
🚙🚗🚐 Big back up at I-10 & the San Jacinto River bridge. The interstate is still closed in both directions after barges got loose & struck the bridge. @TxDOTHouston says best alternate is SH 225. @CW39Houston pic.twitter.com/1JxStFxn0J
— Courtney Carpenter (@CourtneyCW39) September 20, 2019