Jefferson Street Bridge Struck by Barge
Friday, September 24, 1999
Tug Thruston B. Morton, pushing 15 barges, allided with the Jefferson Street Bridge in Joliet, Ill., causing the bridge to be damaged enough it will have to be kept in the open position until repaired. Representatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have reported to the USCG the vessel struck the right descending main support column on the northwest corner of the structure.
The allision resulted in the forward starboard barge being struck under the opened bridge's catwalk. The vessel's crew intentionally ballasted-down this barge, allowing it to be pulled from under the catwalk (a standard procedure in a case of this nature). The tug and barges resumed its down-bound transit. IDOT informed the USCG damage to the bridge is estimated to total approximately $250,000 and commuters can anticipate repairs taking several months. The incident is under investigation by MSO Chicago.