Run away barge trapped on I-20 bridge pier
Photo Credit: Bucky Wall
A recent runaway barge has been trapped against a concrete pier on the I-20 bridge spanning the Mississippi River. Several barges were lost in this incident, three were sunk downstream of the bridge containing coal, oats and corn. The barge of concern is partiallly submerged and has bent around the pier by the tremendous force from the current. The Corps has no responsibility in removing the barge from the bridge. The company that owned the barge(s) that were lost is currently in the process of removing it. They are dropping a specially modified steel I-beam on the barge to split it in half. They had previously tried to use a large chain to saw the barge in half but that effort had been stopped in favor of the I-beam solution. When the barge is finally halved, it is anticipated that the two pieces will be carried down stream by the current. This is where the Corps role is clearly defined. The Corps will use a survey boat with state of the art SONAR to map the final resting place of the barge pieces. If the barge pieces have no impact on the navigation channel, no further action will be needed. If the pieces are a hazard to navigation, further removal actions will be need to be taken.
Page last updated Tue August 16th, 2011 at 00:00