LA1 reopens after barge accident

LA1 reopens after barge accident

POSTED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 9:20am

UPDATED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 9:34am

This is an update to an earlier web posting:

All lanes are open LA 1 in both directions at the Simmsport Bridge. The Traffic Management Center is monitoring this area until traffic returns to normal.

Original Post:

According to United States Coast Guard Chief Rayford, a commercial fisherman reported barges loose in the Mississippi River at the Simmesport bridge at 7:23a.m. Monday.

Here’s what the USCG knows right now:

Empty grain barges were tied up in a fleet area downriver. USCG Chief Rayford says because of the strong current and river conditions in that area, four barges broke loose.

The barges floated downriver and got pinned against the railroad bridge at Simmesport. They are being held in place right now by a tug boat, but because the current is so strong, the tug cannot free the barges from the bridge. A second tug is on the way right now to help pull the barges away. Terral Marine Services is operating those tug boats.

Both the railroad bridge and commuter bridge (just south of the rail bridge) are closed to traffic right now. USCG investigators are in route to Simmesport now. They will arrive around 10am.

An NBC33 News crew is on the way to Simmesport now. We will have a full report on NBC33 News at 5pm and will continue posting updates to this developing news story online.

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