Posted on Mar 21, 2012
The Houston truck wreck lawyers at Denena & Points note that the Houston area boasts Texas’ only underwater traffic tunnel, the Washburn Tunnel. The tunnel, almost 3800 feet long, carries drivers almost 70 feet below the Houston Ship Channel. The Washburn Tunnel begins just east of downtown Houston and connects the city with the communities of Pasadena and Galena Park. On weekdays, the Tunnel might carry up to 27,000 vehicles per day. The trench-style Tunnel, unique among Texas infrastructure elements, carries a historical designation from the Texas Historical Commission.
The Tunnel doesn’t permit the passage of large, heavy vehicles, and 18-wheelers must use other routes to get to Galena Par and Pasadena. But that didn’t stop one truck driver in September 2010 from trying. He drove his 18-wheeler apparently quite deliberately around the guard shack and the guard and attempted to enter the Tunnel just before 4 a.m. one morning.
The truck didn’t fit. It collided with the north portal wall and damages the metal support structure and the brick facing of the tunnel. The truck collapsed inside the tunnel due to damage from the collision, and it required about 7 hours for crews to remove the wreckage. The reckless, negligent truck driver was taken to jail. You could see some of the devastating effects of reckless truck accidents and learn what to do if you’re injured by downloading our Houston truck wreck lawyers’ free book on truck accident claims from this web page.
At the time of the wreck, authorities did not find the damage severe enough to close the tunnel to traffic. But now that insurance claims have been settled, and materials have been procured that will satisfy the requirements of the Texas Historical Commission, repairs are underway.
Our Houston truck wreck lawyers remind drivers that through April 2, 2012, drivers on weekends will need to avoid the closed tunnel and use other Houston Ship Channel crossing. These include the Lynchburg Ferry (with expanded service hours during the Tunnel closure), the East I-610 Loop, the S.H. 146 Fred Hartman Bridge, and the Sam Houston Parkway Toll Bridge.