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Galveston Railroad Bridge Replacement

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The Galveston Bay Causeway Railroad Bridge crosses Galveston Bay connecting Galveston with the Texas mainland at Virginia Point. The Causeway, as built in 1912, consisted of a single Scherzer rolling leaf draw span, 28 reinforced concrete arches and 1.5 miles of filled structure encased by reinforced concrete sheet pile. A major reconstruction completed in 1912 replaced most of the approach filled sections with 79 additional concrete arch spans. The bascule span was replaced in 1988 with a single-track span.

In 2001, the U.S. Coast Guard had declared the narrow passageway through the Galveston Bay Causeway a hazard to navigation. Funding was provided to replace the existing bascule bridge with a modern vertical lift bridge – increasing the channel clearance from 105 feet to a more contemporary 300-ft. marine opening. Modjeski and Masters (M&M) movable bridge engineers developed preliminary and final design plans for a new movable vertical lift bridge to be built adjacent to the existing single-track bridge. The project featured the construction of a 382-ft. long vertical lift span, built off-site and floated into place using accelerated bridge construction methods. The M&M team oversaw the construction of the new vertical lift bridge, which was successfully completed in 2013. Office support provided for the review of shop drawings and responding to contractor inquiries. Meanwhile, our Resident Engineer provided field oversight, including recording construction activities, costs, quality assurance and as-built plan preparation.

Bridge Geometry
Length of Main Span 382 Feet
Horizontal Clearance 300 Feet
Vertical Clearance 73 Feet
Tracks on Structure One