Sixteen barges break free in Vicksburg bridge strike

032118 Bridgebarge Cw1

(VICKSBURG, Miss.) — Sixteen barges broke free early Tuesday after a northbound tow struck two piers on the old U.S. 80 bridge over the Mississippi River, The Vicksburg Post reported.

Bridge superintendent Herman Smith said the motor vessel Michael G. Morris was northbound between piers 4 and 5 at about 5 a.m. when the river’s current pinned the tow against pier 4, causing the 28-barge tow to break.

Sixteen of the barges broke off and swung around to strike pier 3. Smith said most of the barges in the tow were empty, but did not know what the other barges were carrying.

He said the piers had some scratch marks but were otherwise not adversely affected by the strike. The incident temporarily closed the bridge to rail traffic and the river to boat traffic. Smith said the bridge reopened to trains about 9:30 a.m.

Boats from Ergon Marine were still corralling barges Tuesday afternoon.

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By Professional Mariner Staff