Causeway closed for hours after phone call

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Officials closed the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway for several hours Friday, May 5, after receiving a suspicious phone call alleging the bridge was structurally unsound.

South Padre Island Chief of Police Randy Smith said the call came into the Harlingen 911 system and was transferred to SPI PD. “A lady called into the 911 system saying the bridge may collapse,” Chief Smith said as events were unfolding last week.

But soon after the woman made that statement, the call ended, he said. Authorities tried unsuccessfully to call the woman back. “We couldn’t reach her back on the phone right away,” Smith said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Out of an abundance of caution, police in the neighboring city of Port Isabel were contacted, as were TxDOT officials and the United States Coast Guard. The bridge was closed to all traffic pending an inspection.

After several hours in which the bridge was checked above and below, in part, via a drone, no damage was found and it was reopened to all traffic.

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