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Houston: barge strikes I-10 bridge across San Jacinto River

Started by Chris, September 20, 2019, 02:34:32 PM

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Chris

A barge or series of barges have struck the bridge of I-10 over the San Jacinto River east of Houston. I-10 was subsequently closed in both directions.

Houston Chronicle: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/I-10-bridge-TxDOT-san-jacinto-14454765.php

Drone footage:



The piers of the westbound bridge are heavily damaged. There are 4 piers, 2 are destroyed, 1 has cracks and appears to have been dislodged and only 1 doesn't have visible damage above the water line. In addition, the inside of the bridge has additional steel supports, which are also damaged.

Screen shots:




Brian556

Second time in recent history at this location. At Webber Falls, OK, there was the incident where the bridge was destroyed, then the more recent incident where the barges were stopped by the dam.

Looking at Google Maps, you can see a ton of barges near the bridge. It makes no sense whatsoever that these piers are not fully protected.

Then there is the issue of I-10 and other highways flooding yet again just east of here. Makes you wonder if they will have to rebuild and elevate I-10 in the vicinity of Winnie.

Does anybody know just how long of a stretch was actually flooded?

Bobby5280

#2
A whole bunch of I-10 has been flooded between Houston and the Louisiana state line. As of late Friday night much of I-10 between Beaumont and Houston is closed: from Exit 812 in Turtle Bayou to Exit 848 on the South side of Beaumont. That doesn't factor in the San Jacinto River Bridge segment, which is a little farther West. Some parts of I-10 in Beaumont were closed earlier Friday but are now all open. A few streets within Beaumont still have issues.

A little farther North TX-105 has had serious issues. As of this writing (past Midnight very early Saturday) a good chunk of TX-105 just West of Beaumont remains closed. Another section between Moss Hill and Cleveland was closed earlier, but open now.

TX-73 between Winnie (jct I-10) and Port Arthur is still closed at the time of this writing.

US-90 between Houston and Beaumont has remained open for the most part (some sporadic closures near Nome, TX). That kind of begs the question if TX DOT should really consider upgrading US-90 to an Interstate quality facility. It would build on my fictional route idea of a Texas version of I-12 going from I-10 in Beaumont thru the North Side of Houston, thru Austin and back to I-10 in West Texas. Aside from that, US-90 could function as bypass of I-10 when that Interstate gets flooded (like it is currently). I was watching the traffic situation via Google Maps' traffic layer earlier today. US-90 was quite jammed with traffic. For many East-West travelers it was the only way in/out of Houston with I-10 and TX-105 out of commission.

DJStephens

Guessing the galvanized collars and supports are some kind of a retro fit?   Piers and Bents appear to be original sixties era construction.   Billions can be found for spurs, loops and toll roads elsewhere, but an original section of heavily traveled transcontinental Interstate is not upgraded??  Or replaced, which it probably should be now.   

Brian556

Quote from: Bobby5280 on September 21, 2019, 02:32:50 AM
A whole bunch of I-10 has been flooded between Houston and the Louisiana state line. As of late Friday night much of I-10 between Beaumont and Houston is closed: from Exit 812 in Turtle Bayou to Exit 848 on the South side of Beaumont. That doesn't factor in the San Jacinto River Bridge segment, which is a little farther West. Some parts of I-10 in Beaumont were closed earlier Friday but are now all open. A few streets within Beaumont still have issues.

A little farther North TX-105 has had serious issues. As of this writing (past Midnight very early Saturday) a good chunk of TX-105 just West of Beaumont remains closed. Another section between Moss Hill and Cleveland was closed earlier, but open now.

TX-73 between Winnie (jct I-10) and Port Arthur is still closed at the time of this writing.

US-90 between Houston and Beaumont has remained open for the most part (some sporadic closures near Nome, TX). That kind of begs the question if TX DOT should really consider upgrading US-90 to an Interstate quality facility. It would build on my fictional route idea of a Texas version of I-12 going from I-10 in Beaumont thru the North Side of Houston, thru Austin and back to I-10 in West Texas. Aside from that, US-90 could function as bypass of I-10 when that Interstate gets flooded (like it is currently). I was watching the traffic situation via Google Maps' traffic layer earlier today. US-90 was quite jammed with traffic. For many East-West travelers it was the only way in/out of Houston with I-10 and TX-105 out of commission.

Think of it this way. US 90 is the older highway. It was built farther inland, at a higher elevation, and does not have the flooding issues that the much newer I-10 does. It was likely routed the way it is for this very reason. Those who designed it were smarter. It baffles me as to why so many newer things in general as not as good as the old. How does the knowledge and lessons of the past get lost/forgotten?

thisdj78

Quote from: Brian556 on September 21, 2019, 04:46:08 PM
Quote from: Bobby5280 on September 21, 2019, 02:32:50 AM
A whole bunch of I-10 has been flooded between Houston and the Louisiana state line. As of late Friday night much of I-10 between Beaumont and Houston is closed: from Exit 812 in Turtle Bayou to Exit 848 on the South side of Beaumont. That doesn't factor in the San Jacinto River Bridge segment, which is a little farther West. Some parts of I-10 in Beaumont were closed earlier Friday but are now all open. A few streets within Beaumont still have issues.

A little farther North TX-105 has had serious issues. As of this writing (past Midnight very early Saturday) a good chunk of TX-105 just West of Beaumont remains closed. Another section between Moss Hill and Cleveland was closed earlier, but open now.

TX-73 between Winnie (jct I-10) and Port Arthur is still closed at the time of this writing.

US-90 between Houston and Beaumont has remained open for the most part (some sporadic closures near Nome, TX). That kind of begs the question if TX DOT should really consider upgrading US-90 to an Interstate quality facility. It would build on my fictional route idea of a Texas version of I-12 going from I-10 in Beaumont thru the North Side of Houston, thru Austin and back to I-10 in West Texas. Aside from that, US-90 could function as bypass of I-10 when that Interstate gets flooded (like it is currently). I was watching the traffic situation via Google Maps' traffic layer earlier today. US-90 was quite jammed with traffic. For many East-West travelers it was the only way in/out of Houston with I-10 and TX-105 out of commission.

Think of it this way. US 90 is the older highway. It was built farther inland, at a higher elevation, and does not have the flooding issues that the much newer I-10 does. It was likely routed the way it is for this very reason. Those who designed it were smarter. It baffles me as to why so many newer things in general as not as good as the old. How does the knowledge and lessons of the past get lost/forgotten?

I think it's the government being more hesitant to take property or put up a fight for the property needed to secure ROW for a highway. It was probably easier and cheaper to run 10 to the south where it's more sparsely populated than the US 90 corridor.

A good case in point is I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis. Lots of bends in that stretch of highway where if it was built 40 years ago, it probably would have been closer to a straight line.

thisdj78

Was there ever any satellite imagery released of the I-10 flooding during Harvey between Baytown and Winnie?

Bobby5280

Quote from: thisdj78I think it's the government being more hesitant to take property or put up a fight for the property needed to secure ROW for a highway. It was probably easier and cheaper to run 10 to the south where it's more sparsely populated than the US 90 corridor.

A good case in point is I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis. Lots of bends in that stretch of highway where if it was built 40 years ago, it probably would have been closer to a straight line.

Much of the existing US-90 route between Houston and Beaumont can be upgraded to Interstate quality without too much of a problem. The ROW is fairly wide and some segments were built with the divided roadway holding a freeway size median. New terrain bypasses obviously would be needed around the towns of Dayton, Liberty, Ames, Raywood, Devers, Nome, China and the Western outskirts of Beaumont. It wouldn't really be any different that what is happening with I-69 projects elsewhere in Texas.

But, yes, the feds and state governments are both pretty annoying with how crooked and out of the way they'll build new freeways. I-69 in Southern Indiana is a good example. I-69 being routed in an L-shape on existing parkways in Kentucky is an even bigger joke.

Anthony_JK

Quote from: Bobby5280 on September 21, 2019, 09:11:09 PM
Quote from: thisdj78I think it's the government being more hesitant to take property or put up a fight for the property needed to secure ROW for a highway. It was probably easier and cheaper to run 10 to the south where it's more sparsely populated than the US 90 corridor.

A good case in point is I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis. Lots of bends in that stretch of highway where if it was built 40 years ago, it probably would have been closer to a straight line.

Much of the existing US-90 route between Houston and Beaumont can be upgraded to Interstate quality without too much of a problem. The ROW is fairly wide and some segments were built with the divided roadway holding a freeway size median. New terrain bypasses obviously would be needed around the towns of Dayton, Liberty, Ames, Raywood, Devers, Nome, China and the Western outskirts of Beaumont. It wouldn't really be any different that what is happening with I-69 projects elsewhere in Texas.

But, yes, the feds and state governments are both pretty annoying with how crooked and out of the way they'll build new freeways. I-69 in Southern Indiana is a good example. I-69 being routed in an L-shape on existing parkways in Kentucky is an even bigger joke.

I'm not so sure of that regarding US 90.

The freeway segment between I-10/I-610 and Crosby is still a bit incomplete, with some mainline segments not constructed and no access from the Crosby Freeway segment to/from I-610 to the north or I-10 to the east.

The section from Crosby to near Dayton does have enough room in the median for mainline overpasses, and there is enough ROW to extend the freeway segment. East of Dayton, however, it gets a bit more tricky because of the narrower ROW in the conventional 4-lane divided segment and the through segments in Dayton and Liberty.

Then, between Liberty and Devers, the roadway further diminishes to a 2-lane roadway with through segments in the small towns of Ames and Raywood, before returning to 4-lane divided just west of Devers (with a 5-lane segment through that city). From Devers to the outskirts of Beaumont, US 90 reverts back to a 4-lane divided with no access control, then becomes a 6-lane divided arterial all the way to the interchange with I-10.

Aside from the issues of bypassing Dayton, Liberty, and Devers, and the smaller communities mentioned, there is also the issue of how a freewayized US 90 would connect with I-10 in Beaumont. Do you divert it further south to the south US 69 interchange that serves Port Arthur? Do you add flyovers over the existing interchange that also covers College Avenue (which carries US 90 Business through to downtown Beaumont). How would you connect these flyovers with the existing C/D lanes that transition into the US 69 North freeway?

Four laning US 90 the entire length and extending the freeway segment to Dayton would probably suffice for now.


wxfree

Quote from: thisdj78 on September 21, 2019, 08:58:01 PM
Was there ever any satellite imagery released of the I-10 flooding during Harvey between Baytown and Winnie?

This imagery extends as far east as FM 563, and then over in Beaumont.  It doesn't show any flooding of I-10 east of Baytown.  The photos don't capture the maximum extent of the flooding, which may have occurred when conditions weren't suitable for photography.  Some of the roads are covered in mud and had obviously been flooded earlier.
https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/harvey/index.html
I'd like to buy a vowel, Alex.  What is E?

Bobby5280

#10
Quote from: Anthony_JKThe freeway segment between I-10/I-610 and Crosby is still a bit incomplete, with some mainline segments not constructed and no access from the Crosby Freeway segment to/from I-610 to the north or I-10 to the east.

At least there is available real estate to make any needed improvements at the I-10/I-610/US-90 interchange. A WB I-10 to EB US-90 ramp could be added but would probably have to be "braided" to avoid traffic movement conflicts with the on ramp from Mercury Drive to WB I-10. A ramp from WB US-90 to EB I-10 would probably have to be built the same way. That situation is really kind of up in the air given the long term prospects to dramatically widen I-10 completely thru Houston from West to East.

US-90 is already effectively a freeway between I-610/I-10 and Crosby, even though two segments have main lane traffic bowing out to frontage roads. I think the bigger issue through there and all the way diagonally up to Dayton is US-90 needs to be widened. Right now it's just a 4-lane freeway. It needs to be either 3 or 4 lanes in each direction.

Quote from: Anthony_JKThe section from Crosby to near Dayton does have enough room in the median for mainline overpasses, and there is enough ROW to extend the freeway segment. East of Dayton, however, it gets a bit more tricky because of the narrower ROW in the conventional 4-lane divided segment and the through segments in Dayton and Liberty.

Like I said, new terrain bypasses around those towns, from Dayton to Beaumont, would be necessary.

Quote from: Anthony_JKAside from the issues of bypassing Dayton, Liberty, and Devers, and the smaller communities mentioned, there is also the issue of how a freewayized US 90 would connect with I-10 in Beaumont. Do you divert it further south to the south US 69 interchange that serves Port Arthur? Do you add flyovers over the existing interchange that also covers College Avenue (which carries US 90 Business through to downtown Beaumont). How would you connect these flyovers with the existing C/D lanes that transition into the US 69 North freeway?

There's a couple plausible options available. Obviously any Interstate-quality upgrade of US-90 into Beaumont could not connect directly with I-10 where US-90 currently intersects. That's just not possible. However, the freeway could be turned downward into I-10 farther West. One option would be connecting a new US-90 freeway into the existing I-10 "Y" interchange with US-69/96/287. An easier, but less direct option would be diverting the US-90 freeway down to an I-10 connection in Cheek, TX a few miles farther West.

Quote from: Anthony_JKFour laning US 90 the entire length and extending the freeway segment to Dayton would probably suffice for now.

Considering how jammed the road was during this latest tropical storm, I'm not so sure about that. Then there's an issue of what a completed Grand Parkway from I-45 East and down to I-10 could do to draw more traffic onto US-90. Austin is a major destination in its own right. I think if US-90 was upgraded to Interstate quality and a connecting leg from Dayton to the Grand Parkway was built it would give traffic going between Austin and I-10 in Louisiana a very effective bypass of the central Houston area.

longhorn

1. Is this fixable? Or a new bridge is in order?

2. How long will it take TxDot to fast track and construct a new bridge?

Chris

A study to expand I-10 east of Houston was already initiated some time ago: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/houston-pel-i-10.html

The AADT on this bridge is some 123,000 according to TxDOT.

ixnay

Quote from: Chris on September 23, 2019, 02:43:28 PM
A study to expand I-10 east of Houston was already initiated some time ago: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/houston/houston-pel-i-10.html

Here's the timetable per the link:

QuotePhase II: Fall 2018 - Summer 2020

Develop and screen conceptual ideas and alternatives that support the corridor vision
Consider viable alternatives
Present PEL findings
After the PEL study process, the NEPA process will then be initiated and additional public involvement will be required and planned.

Your guess is as good as mine as to fastracking the replacement, folks.

ixnay

TXtoNJ

Seems like this would be a good spot for an extradosed design where piers can be left on the shore.

longhorn

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/I-10-bridge-closure-to-last-at-least-till-next-14462167.php?src=hp_totn

Black said whatever temporary plan is used, it is likely that is what drivers will use for months as the more substantive work happens on the westbound side. State officials will pursue damages from the barge owners and operators for the damage, caused when nine barges broke free of their moorings and floated downriver.

Henry

First I-35W, then I-85, and now this...

The bridge should just be torn down already, with a replacement built just a touch higher; it also needs a better design that can withstand these kinds of strikes.
Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

Chris

There will be a temporary 2+2 configuration on the undamaged bridge. Considering the average AADT of 123,000 and no frontage roads, this will be congested unless a significant portion of rush hour traffic deviates to TX-225.


In_Correct

Drive Safely. :sombrero: Ride Safely. And Build More Roads, Rails, And Bridges. :coffee: ... Boulevards Wear Faster Than Interstates.

Brian556

I'm wondering why it took so long to get the the two-way setup done. Seems like it was done way quicker last time

motorola870

This bridge is a joke. Who in their right mind would have that many piers and low clearance on a navigable channel? Just raise it and widen the dang already with a new bridge especially after they already had at least one pier splintered from the last wreck.

CtrlAltDel

Quote from: In_Correct on September 24, 2019, 06:39:43 PM
Those lanes look narrow.

Using the Pythagorean theorem and Microsoft Paint, and assuming the obliterated original lanes were 12 feet wide, the two new lanes are each about 10. So, they are in fact considerably narrower.
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Bobby5280

#22
Those narrow lanes will be a great recipe for "trading paint."

There is going to be an unbelievable amount of pressure to get the existing bridge repaired or replaced ASAP. There's not only I-10 traffic to consider. The junction with the TX-330 freeway is just East of the river crossing.

I remember when the I-40 bridge in Webbers Falls, OK was hit by a barge in 2002. That was a much worse bridge disaster. 14 people died. A significant amount of the road deck for both direction of I-40 were collapsed into the Arkansas River. The damaged portion of the bridge was repaired and re-opened to traffic in just two months.

I would expect the replacement for that part of the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River to be handled in a similar fashion as the Webbers Falls disaster. Any upgrades to the width or height of the bridge deck is probably not going to happen. That would require a LOT more in the way of legal, regulatory and budgetary review. Any regulatory stuff will be fast tracked or even shoved aside just to get the damaged part of the bridge restored ASAP.

The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge disaster in Minneapolis back in 2007 took longer to repair. The collapse was due to construction and design flaws in the bridge itself rather than an external factor such as a barge strike. Well, the weight load of rush hour traffic is an "external factor." But the bridge is supposed to be able to handle that kind of load. It took over a year for that bridge to be re-designed and replaced. Still, a one year time frame for that kind of a project is a pretty damned fast turn-around.

For I-10 in East Metro Houston, a proper upgrade for I-10 would be a years-in-the-making process. I-10 is built up on berms approaching the San Jacinto River crossing. The current 4-lane/3-lane crossing and approaches need to be widened to probably at least a 5-5 configuration, if not wider considering the approach to the TX-330 freeway.

MNHighwayMan

Quote from: Bobby5280 on September 26, 2019, 12:30:02 AM
The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge disaster in Minneapolis back in 2007 took longer to repair. The collapse was due to construction and design flaws in the bridge itself rather than an external factor such as a barge strike. Well, the weight load of rush hour traffic is an "external factor."

Actually, because work was being done on the bridge at the time, the capacity of the bridge was reduced by half (only two open lanes each direction instead of four). It was the weight of the construction equipment and supplies that perhaps contributed to the collapse.

ixnay

Quote from: Brian556 on September 24, 2019, 11:44:45 PM
I'm wondering why it took so long to get the the two-way setup done. Seems like it was done way quicker last time

Which was when?  (I rarely visit any of Alps' boards other than Northeast or Midatlantic.)

ixnay



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