By Gaige Davila
The Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway has reopened following a bomb threat that closed both lanes and left people in Port Isabel and South Padre Island in traffic for several hours. The Causeway was reopened around 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
The Causeway was ordered to close by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers after an anonymous caller told an Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatcher a bomb was under the bridge just before 8 p.m. Both lanes of the Causeway were closed around 8:30 p.m.
By 10:58 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard cleared the bottom of the Causeway while TxDOT continued surveying the top, according to South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty.
Sometime around 1 a.m., Brownsville Police Department’s (BPD) bomb squad launched a drone to survey the Causeway. By nearly 3 a.m., DPS was still investigating the Causeway.
The threat was made on the eve of the Causeway’s collapse anniversary. On Sept. 15, 2001, eight people were killed after a barge collided with the Causeway, causing a large section of the bridge to fall into the bay below. Nine cars drove over the gap and plunged into the water.
In 2017, an anonymous caller told South Padre Island Police Department dispatch that the Causeway was going to collapse. The bridge was closed and inspected then reopened several hours later.