Bascule Bridge Disassembly

Galveston, Texas

Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART)

This project included the removal and disassembly of an existing rolling bascule bridge over the Galveston Causeway. The bridge was originally intended to be removed and disposed of, but because the bascule bridge had significant service life remaining, the Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART) determined the span could be reused to replace an aging swing span bridge in California.

During the railroad and marine outages for the new vertical lift span float-in, the existing 124-foot bascule bridge was removed fully intact by floating a 300- by 100-foot barge beneath the structure and raising it from its bearings. The bridge was transported to an off-site project yard, where it was strategically disassembled into nearly 400 pieces, each uniquely marked for re-assembly and use. Combined, the bridge components weighed over 2 million pounds. The components were loaded in 18 large gondola rail cars and shipped to California, where the bascule bridge was reassembled to replace a swing span bridge built in 1904, providing a significant upgrade to the route across the Petaluma River.