Tug, barges strike Fla. bridge, damage power and water lines

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(DESTIN, Fla.) — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of an allision between a tug and the Brooks Bridge near Highway 98 east of Destin.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., received a report at approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday that the tug vessel Miss Lizzy allided with the Brooks Bridge on the Intracoastal Coastal Waterway, which resulted in damage to the bridge, potable water and power lines. The Miss Lizzy was reportedly transiting under the bridge pushing four barges of heavy equipment and cranes when they allided with the bridge.

The Coast Guard established a safety zone closing the bridge to both marine and vehicular traffic until a satisfactory inspection can be completed to ensure safe transit.

The Florida Department of Transportation has completed its survey of the bridge and has since reopened the bridge to pedestrian and motor traffic; however, the center span of the bridge is still closed to marine traffic until a survey is completed to ensure that no debris will continue to fall and that previous debris did not affect the navigable channel depth under the bridge. Temporary repairs have been effected to correct the damage to the water and power lines.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff