Highway closed temporarily after barge strikes bridge

Monday, June 3, 2002

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Part of U.S. 36 was closed for about an hour after two barges struck the bridge that carries traffic across the Missouri River, the Coast Guard said.

The highway reopened around 8:30 a.m. Sunday after the Missouri Department of Transportation examined the bridge and determined it had not been damaged, said Jodi Ott of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The accident happened when a tug boat that was pushing four barges -- two loaded with corn and two empty -- struck the St. Joseph Railroad Bridge, said Michael Kirby, a petty officer for the Coast Guard in Keokuk, Iowa. The barges came apart and two of them hit the U.S. 36 bridge about a mile downstream.

One of the barges suffered some damage and was secured, Kirby said.

He said it's not uncommon for a barge to strike a bridge without causing damage.

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