A string of barges struck the Martin Luther King Bridge spanning the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. The empty barges were headed upstream when they struck a support beam of the MLK bridge causing it to be closed to traffic. The nearby Eads bridge was also closed to traffic as witnesses reported that the barges had made contact a swell. One witness stated the impact sounded like an explosion. An inspection of the bridges found there was no damage except some scrapes to the scaffolding under the rail deck. Traffic was allowed on both bridges a few hours later.
The cause of the allision was under investigation. Reports state the barges had passed under the bridges at an unusual angle. A later USCG report stated that debris had jammed the towboat’s rudder resulting in the allision.
- Stranded Barges Close Two Bridges for Over an Hour (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- Barge strikes MLK Bridge, forces closures (kmov.com)
- Barge Strikes Bridge; Mississippi River Closed in Iowa (marinelink.com)