TXDOT Proposes New Fender System For I-10 Bridge Over San Jacinto River

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) has applied to the Eighth Coast Guard District for approval of a plan to build a replacement bridge protection system for the Interstate 10 bridge over the San Jacinto River at mile 2.5 on the San Jacinto near Channelview, Texas.

That’s the same fender system damaged in a September 2019 barge breakaway that followed torrential rain related to Tropical Storm Imelda. In that event, nine barges broke their moorings, with several barges impacting the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River. 

According to a public notice from the U.S. Coast Guard detailing the bridge permit application, TXDOT intends to remove and replace the four dolphin structures and navigation fenders on either side of the bridge. 

“Sheet piling and rip rap would be added around Bent No. 28 to protect the eastern navigation fender and bridge bent from future natural disasters or extreme high-water events,” the notice from the Coast Guard said. “No work to the existing bridge structures would occur. This roadway and bridge are used for local and highway traffic, including truck traffic.”

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According to the plan, no dewatering would be needed to remove and replace the fendering system under the bridge. Vertical and horizontal minimum navigational clearances would remain the same.

The Coast Guard is soliciting comments from mariners on any navigational issues, “including the need for clearance gauges, the need for a bridge protective system and the extent of nighttime navigation passing through the bridge to determine the need for bridge lighting and other navigational safety issues,” the public notice said. Local operators of towing vessels are also asked to include vessel details, including length, draft, beam and air draft.

“Interested parties are requested to express their views in writing on the proposed bridge project, giving sufficient detail to establish a clear understanding of their reasons for support of or opposition to the proposed work,” the notice concluded.

The Coast Guard will receive comments through April 30. Comments should be sent to the Office of the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, Hale Boggs Building, 500 Poydras St., Room 1313, New Orleans, La. 70130-3310.

To view the public notice online, go to and click on “Public Notices for Bridges” in the left column. After that, click on “District 8” in the middle of the map.