The Washburn Tunnel is a two lane underwater roadway connecting Galena Park and Pasadena. Named after Harris County Auditor Harry L. Washburn, the tunnel opened in 1950. It is the south's largest and first toll-free vehicular tunnel. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Located under the Houston Ship Channel in east Harris County, the tunnel is 2,936 feet (about ½ mile) long with a 6% grade. The total width of the roadway is 22 feet with each lane being 10 feet wide.

Tunnel Operating Hours

24 hours, 7 days a week
except for cleaning and maintenance hours

Tunnel Cleaning and Maintenance Hours

Every Thursday night from midnight to 4 a.m. on Friday
second Saturday of each month from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday

Jacque Darbonne

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Washburn Tunnel


Non-Authorized Vehicles

  1. No Pedestrians / Bicycles
  2. No vehicles with more than 2 axles
  3. No vehicles pulling a trailer with more than 2 axles
  4. No 18-wheelers or tanker trucks
  5. No vehicles carrying a tank or closed drum

Authorized Vehicles

  1. All passenger vehicles, pickup trucks, and SUVs
  2. All pick-up trucks with tandem wheels
  3. All 2 axle cargo vans lower than 12 feet in height
  4. All 2 axle school buses
  5. All 2 axle vehicles with tandem wheels in the back

35 MPH Speed LimitNo PassingNo HornsNo Bright LightsNo TailgatingNo Cell Phone / Texting while drivingNever exit the vehicle unless life threaten emergencyIn the case of a stall, please stay inside vehicle


North Entrance

Washburn Tunnel North Entrance

South Entrance

Washburn Tunnel South Entrance
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