Galveston Causeway

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Galveston Causeway
Old Causeway, Galveston.jpg
The old 1912 Galveston Causeway, now in use as a railroad bridge.
Official name Galveston Causeway
Carries Rail (old causeway)
I-45 (new causeway)
Crosses Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Galveston Bay
Locale Galveston
Maintained by Texas Department of Transportation
Opened 1912 (original causeway)
Toll free both ways
Coordinates 29°17′45″N 94°53′10″W / 29.2957934°N 94.8861265°W / 29.2957934; -94.8861265Coordinates: 29°17′45″N 94°53′10″W / 29.2957934°N 94.8861265°W / 29.2957934; -94.8861265

The Galveston Causeway is a set of causeways in Galveston, Texas, United States. Two of the routes carry the southbound and northbound traffic of Interstate 45, while the original causeway is restricted to rail traffic. It is the only free roadway access point to Galveston Island. The causeway carries traffic over Galveston Bay and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The original causeway was built in 1912 and carried both rail and auto traffic. The auto traffic was transferred to new causeways built to the west in 1939, leaving the original bridge for rail traffic. The original route was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Rebuilding in 2003[edit]

New Galveston Causeway bridge under construction in 2007

Construction of replacement bridges for both auto routes began in 2003 with completion of the new northbound bridge in 2005. The construction of a new southbound bridge began in 2006, however Hurricane Ike delayed completion until November 2008.[1][2]

2008 Hurricane damage[edit]

In September 2008, the causeway flooded well before Hurricane Ike, due to the tremendous storm surge created by the very wide storm. This is in contrast to a typical hurricane, which would cause the closure of the causeway due to wind before surge. As of the early afternoon on September 13, 12 hours after official landfall, the causeway was blocked by numerous watercraft.

Railroad drawbridge replacement[edit]

A barge passing under the new lift span on the railroad causeway, with the 2008-opened new causeway for road vehicles visible at left

In 2012, the old bascule-type drawbridge on the railroad causeway was removed and replaced with a vertical-lift-type drawbridge, allowing the navigation channel through the draw span to be widened. In 2001, the U.S. Coast Guard had declared the old span's narrow passageway to be a hazard to navigation. It was only 105 feet (32 m) wide, whereas the replacement vertical-lift span allowed the channel to be widened to about 300 feet (91 m).[3]


  1. ^ Paschenko, Chris (October 21, 2008). Causeway should be open by November Galveston County Daily News. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  2. ^ Paschenko, Chris (November 6, 2008). Still some delays after new causeway opens, Galveston County Daily News. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  3. ^ "Galveston Causeway Bridge replacement gains federal funding" (Press release). U.S. Representative Gene Green. June 19, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Galveston Causeway at Wikimedia Commons