Coast Guard re-opens Houston Ship Channel

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard re-opened the Houston Ship Channel early Wednesday morning.

The Houston Ship Channel was opened to limited vessel movements at approximately 1:30 a.m. and to all traffic at approximately 7 a.m., Wednesday. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service, which manages vessel movement within the Houston Ship Channel region to ensure efficiency and safety, is working with local stakeholders to clear the backlog of 40 inbound ships and 24 outbound ships.

CenterPoint Energy has disconnected all 14 power lines and is in the process of cutting the remaining legs on the structure. After the structure is separated from its base, Big John Marine will use the large crane on-scene to safely remove the structure.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston was notified at 6 a.m. Sunday that a barge had struck high-line electrical structure 197 in Baytown. The tower supports power lines that cross the Houston Ship Channel.

AEP, the responsible party for this incident, owns the towing vessel Safety Quest. The Safety Quest was pushing three barges loaded with scrap metal when it allided with the Baytown high-line number 197.

Drug and alcohol testing has been administered on the crew of the Safety Quest.

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