Barges hit Mississippi bridge, some drift into 2nd bridge

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

(AP) — Barges hit a 90-year-old railroad bridge over the Mississippi River Tuesday, and some broke away and drifted back into a parallel newer bridge under which they had just passed on Monday.
The old U.S. 80 railroad bridge was closed after the barges being pushed by the “Captain Buck Lay” hit three of its piers, Vicksburg Bridge Commission Superintendent Herman Smith told The Vicksburg Post. The commission supervises the U.S. 80 bridge.
The Interstate 20 bridge just downriver remained open, television stations reported.
Video shows the 28 barge tow breaking apart and drifting into the Interstate 20 bridge, the newspaper reported.
Smith said the boat was operated by American Commercial Barge Lines of Jeffersonville, Indiana, and was pushing a tow seven barges long and four across. All 28 barges stayed afloat, Smith said.
The I-20 bridge and the U.S. 80 bridge each was hit once earlier this month, the newspaper reported.
The light mast of the “Crimson Duke” hit the underside of the I-20 bridge on April 14; state police closed the westbound lane until engineers had inspected it.
The “Blake Benton,” pushing a 25-barge tow, hit a pier of the U.S. 80 bridge on April 11.
The U.S. 80 bridge was built in 1930. It was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic in 1998, except for events including some road and bicycle races on the former traffic lanes, but the Kansas City Southern Railroad still uses the rails on one side.

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