Friday morning, September 15, the City of South Padre Island hosted a ceremony in remembrance of the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway.
On September 15, 2001, a barge hits parts of the Queen Isabella Causeway that caused it to collapse.
Just a few days after September 11, eight people died and only three made it out alive. Including survivor Gustavo Morales, who at the time was worried the incident would have been part of the September 11 attacks.
“And my first thought was why the island… in the beginning I was thinking it was another terrorist attack,” said Morales.
SPI Mayor Barry Patel says, “For our community, it was a double whammy, we got hit with 9-11 and then this happened.”
Today the Queen Isabella Causeway is the only way in and the only way out for many to South Padre Island. There are talks of a second access coming to the northern end of the Island.
There is also talks of the expansion of the current causeway to accommodate pedestrian and bicyclist. Either way some like Mayor Patel, are excited about the future of infrastructure.
“When we lose this mode of transportation it has a tremendous impact not only on the economy and on people’s lives. I hope that our leaders take to heart very seriously a second causeway that needs to be built.” Said Patel.
As neighboring cities showed their support to one another it and showcased a connection between SPI and Port Isabel was more than just a physical bridge.