Washburn Tunnel

Phone: (713) 455-0062
Email Contact: jacque.darbonne@pct2.hctx.net
3100 Federal Road, Houston, Texas, 77015

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The Washburn Tunnel is a two lane underwater motor vehicle tunnel connecting Galena Park and Pasadena.  In April 2008, the county banned all 18 Wheeler traffic from traveling through the tunnel.

Named after Harris County Auditor Harry L. Washburn, the Washburn Tunnel opened in 1950. It is the South's largest and first toll-free vehicular tunnel. Merritt-Chapman and Scott Corporation of New York, engineered the $7 million project. Six major operations were required to successfully construct the Tunnel. First, a trench 90 x 40 feet had to be dug. Second, large cement sections had to be locked into position 85 feet under water. Finally, the last touches, such as tiling the inside, were completed.

Ventilation is supplied by three automatic high-speed blower fans. Located on top of the Tunnel, the fans provide complete air exchange within 2 minutes. These fans are designed to keep the air free from high levels of carbon monoxide.

In the event of electrical failure, a generator can support the electrical needs of the Tunnel. Every twelfth light is powered by a generator. The light intensity at the portals is three times brighter than the interior. This prevents temporary blindness, when entering the Tunnel.

Washburn Tunnel Restrictions Effective April 14, 2008

AUTHORIZED VEHICLES1.       All Passenger Vehicles
2.       All Pick-up Trucks
3.       All Pick-up Trucks With Tandem Wheels
4.       All S.U.V.’s
5.       All 2 Axle Cargo Vans Lower Than 12’ In Height
6.       All 2 Axle School Buses (Virtually All School Buses Are 2 Axles)
7.       All 2 Axle Vehicles With Tandem Wheels In The Back

1.       All Vehicles With More Than 2 Axles
2.       All Vehicles Pulling A Trailer With More Than 2 Axles
3.       All 18 Wheelers