Lafitte Waterway Closes After Barge Accident

Monday, January 16, 2006
The Intracoastal Waterway closed near Lafitte for almost seven hours Saturday then reopened with some navigational restrictions after a pole attached to a barge hit a bridge and snapped off, www.NewOrleansTimes-Picayune.com reported. Authorities closed the waterway at 12:30 p.m., shortly after the spud pole, used as a stabilizing device on the work barge, hit the bridge and fell on the water. The pole reached 75 feet high, 2 feet higher than the underside of the bridge. It took several hours to determine whether the broken pole in the water posed a hazard to boats. The channel also remained closed as the Coast Guard awaited a salvage crew. The Coast Guard expected to temporarily close the waterway again to remove the broken pole, which is submerged at a depth of 11.5 feet near the Lafitte-Larose Highway bridge. No time was set for the closure and it was unclear how long it may last. Only vessels with a draft shallower than 11 feet were allowed to pass through the area after it reopened. There were no injuries. The damage to the bridge, which wasn't closed to vehicle traffic, appeared to be minor. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune – www.nola.com)
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