Texas over Time: Galveston Causeway

January 26, 2015 Amanda Norman

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

GalvestonFinalBlack and white image from Edward C. Blomeyer photographic collection #3886; Series II Texas 1906-1920; Gulf Coast, Box 3, Folder 7. Postcards dated 1940-1954.

  • There are two causeways connecting Galveston Island to the mainland. Both have been renovated over time with changes consisting of wider lanes and a drawbridge replacement.
  • The original Galveston Causeway was opened in 1912 and is now restricted to railroad use only. The companies, Gould Lines, Harriman Lines & Santa Fe, originally owned it. This railroad bridge is considered one of the greatest accomplishments of engineering in the United States and was put on the list of the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
  • The second causeway debuted in 1939 at an approximately $3,000,000 price tag and is 8,194 feet long. The bridge was replaced and completed in 2005, and it is the only access for northbound and southbound traffic on the Interstate 45.


Federal Writers’ Project “279.” Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State. Place of Publication Not Identified: Scholarly, 1990. N. pag. Print.

“The Galveston Causeway, Galveston, Texas.” Galveston and Texas History Center. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Nov. 2001. Web.

“Old Galveston Causeway.” BNSF. James Baughn, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.

See all of these images on Flickr. GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant


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