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Press Release | May 17, 2024

UPDATE 1: Unified Command monitors, responds to Pelican Island Bridge Allision

Pelican Island Bridge Allision Response Joint Information Center Office: 409-300-3521 and

GALVESTON, Texas – The Unified Command continues to respond to the incident that occurred on Wednesday at the Pelican Island Causeway when a break in a coupling caused the barge, MMLP 321, owned by Martin Marine, to allide with the Pelican Island Bridge.  

The Texas Department of Transportation will be assessing the condition of the bridge Friday. The bridge will be intermittently closed to vehicles and foot traffic during repairs except for emergency services.

The allision resulted in an oil discharge from the barge, initially estimated at 1,000-2,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil (VGO) to enter the Galveston Ship Channel. The bridge, under the jurisdiction of Galveston County Navigation District No.1 (GCND1), was damaged. Residents and businesses on Pelican Island, including Texas A&M Galveston, were relocated and the bridge was reduced to outbound vehicular and foot traffic only. 

The barge is no longer discharging product at this time. 

Air monitoring commenced on Thursday and water quality monitoring is expected to begin on Friday, weather permitting. 

To reduce spread of the spilled oil, more than 16,000 feet of protective boom has been placed in areas around Pelican Island, Swan Lake, and surrounding the damaged barge. U.S. Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office crews are assessing impacts on the west shoreline side of Pelican Island.    

A Unified Command consisting of the responsible party, Martin Marine, the US Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, and the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management has been established to address the incident.

The Unified Command’s priorities continue to be ensuring the safety of the public and responders, protecting the environment, stabilizing the incident, and safely restoring transportation infrastructure and commerce. 

The media is requested to email or call the Joint Information Center at 409-300-3521 for response to inquiries

No volunteers are needed at this time.

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

A claims line has been established at 281-350-9996. 

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