The Texas Department of Transportation anticipates repairs to the Interstate 10 San Jacinto Bridge will be completed in the first quarter of 2020.
Deidrea George, TxDOT spokeswoman, said the transportation department completed the temporary stabilization of the I-10 westbound bridge over the weekend and added that the current traffic configuration would be in place at least through the New Year.
The Texas Department of Transportation continues to make evaluations as it prepares design plans for construction phasing for permanent repairs.
George said a contract for repair work would likely be let in mid-October. Once the contractor is chosen and can secure materials they will begin repair work.
“It will take three months from the start of the project,” George said Monday. “We will say tentatively first quarter of 2020 due to holidays during this time.”
As a result of Tropical Storm Imelda, strong currents and rapidly rising waters of the San Jacinto River Caused nine barges to break free and float down the river.
Two of the barges, which were carrying 10,000 barrels of naptha and 17,000 barrels of monoethylene glycol, struck the bridge and became stuck.
Two of the pillars on the west side bridge took the brunt of the damage and no release of chemicals from the barges was reported.
Since removing the barges, authorities have been investigating the site using divers and sonar technology.
A third barge, carrying 10,000 barrels of lube oil, also became grounded on the San Jacinto River Waste Pits.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said preliminary results indicate no significant damage was sustained at the Superfund site.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into the barge strike to determine the role each the San Jacinto River Fleet and Canal Barge played in the incident.
The attorney’s office said its primary focus would be on proactive measures that will prevent a future break-a-way barge strike or standing that impacts to the waste pits.
The barge strike is the second time this year the I-10 San Jacinto Bridge has been struck. In February the westbound side of I-10 closed after a barge struck a pillar. Repairs took about three months.