Cumberland River bridge hit after 11-barge breakaway

(PADUCAH, Ky.) — Eleven loaded rock barges broke loose Sunday from a fleeting area around navigation mile point 5 on the Cumberland River, with one of the barges hitting the U.S. 60 Bridge, KFVS 12 News reported.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a call about the breakaway came in at 5:40 p.m. Six of the barges were reported to be tied together while the rest were drifting downstream individually.

Livingston County Emergency Management Director Daniel Newcomb confirmed that one of the barges struck the single in-water pier on the bridge.  

The Coast Guard said the motor vessel Patriot was in the area and was able to retrieve all of the barges by about 6:45 p.m.

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic for about 90 minutes to allow the safety inspection. It reopened to traffic about 7:30 p.m.

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By Professional Mariner Staff