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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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Quote from: Bobby5280 on September 26, 2019, 12:30:02 AMI 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.

A conventional beam bridge like this one isn't very expensive, so there isn't a huge economic loss if the repaired bridge will be replaced again in 5 or 10 years. Especially if most of the repair cost can be covered through insurance.


Quote from: motorola870 on September 25, 2019, 02:14:19 AM
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.
The bridge is probably quite adequate for normal marine traffic, most barges don't have much height.

Very severe weather --
"Some parts of the Houston area reported more than 40 inches of rain over a three-day period due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda."

Doesn't appear that the navigation channel was open to traffic yet subsequent to the storm.  The barges were moored and not attempting a passage.  Very strong currents caused them to break loose --
"Around midnight September 20, following torrential rain dropped in the Houston area by the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda, nine barges broke away from their moorings at San Jacinto River Fleet, located just north of the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River in Channelview, Texas."

Bad situation all the way around.

Baloney is a reserved word on the Internet
    (Robert Coté, 2002)


The new bridge TXDOT is planning in the not too distant future is planned to have a 45' height above ground level and a 450' foot bank to bank clearance. It should do the trick.

Just for closure for this thread, the repaired (wb) bridge was re-opened on January 12th 2020. and the eastbound bridge that had temporarily been handling both directions was configured back to three lanes of eastbound traffic the following week.
Let's build what we need as economically as possible.


TxDOT is soliciting for a consultant to prepare plans for the new bridge.

Link is a zip file which includes the solicitation.

In the excerpt below, they are specifying a minimum channel width of only 200 feet. It isn't clear to me if that translates to the minimum span length, which would be very short. Depictions I've seen have a longer span with both supports on land. My impression is that they are giving the consultant plenty of flexibility in the design, as long as the risk of barge strikes is minimized.

The requirement calls for a minimum of 5 general-purpose lanes in each direction, and design provisions for two managed lanes in each direction, i.e. 7 lanes each way.

The existing bridge structure has been damaged by several barge strikes
including a recent strike during Tropical Storm Imelda. The existing protective fender and
dolphin systems were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. TxDOT desires to replace the
IH-10 bridge at the San Jacinto River with a new structure that mitigates and reduces
potential damage from barge strikes, decreases the probability for additional strikes in the
future, and decreases the impact of scour on the replacement structures.

The existing IH-10 facility at the San Jacinto River is in close proximity to a number of
constraints that should be considered in your narrative. In addition, the San Jacinto River
basin with its connectivity to the Houston Ship Channel represents a significant barge
fleeting area for the broader region. Approximately 60 barges and associated tugs or
push boats transit underneath the existing IH-10 river bridge per day. The existing
configuration of the IH-10 bridge creates difficulty for marine navigation along the San
Jacinto River. It has also been determined that previous storm events have caused
extensive scour underneath the bridge facilities.

TxDOT is looking for a replacement structure to successfully avoid, minimize, or mitigate
impacts to the surrounding environment that address the constraints. Based on capacity
analysis, TxDOT envisions a replacement IH-10 structure to carry a minimum of five lanes
each direction with provisions for two additional managed lanes in each direction, and
improved connectivity to Crosby-Lynchburg Road and SPUR 330.
Discuss in detail your Team's Technical Approach to develop the engineering required
to replace the IH-10 bridge at San Jacinto River. The technical approach must include
the following:
o Maintain current number of lanes during construction
o A vertical clearance to satisfy marine navigation of 45-ft
o Minimum navigation channel width of 200-foot
o Reduces the risk and minimizes damage due to barge strikes
o River hydrology and hydraulics, and scour
o Connectivity to adjacent interchanges


Let's build what we need as economically as possible.

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