Barge Owners to Investigate Accident

Monday, December 11, 2006
Reports said that the owner of the tugboat and barges that struck the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge’s pier protective system and a concrete pillar along the Intracoastal Waterway on Wednesday is conducting its own investigation into the incident. ACL is the parent company of Louisiana Dock Co. and American Commercial Barge Lines, the registered owners of the Howard Evans tugboat and barges respectively. The U.S. Coast Guard documented that a watch stander at the U.S. Coast Guard sector office in Corpus Christi received the call of the collision at 4:29 p.m. on Wednesday from the fishing vessel “Fishtales.” The Coast Guard crews reported seeing no visible signs of structural damage. The South Padre Island Police Department arrived at the scene shortly afterward and closed the bridge pending a structural assessment by the Texas Department of Transportation, the agency further noted. Coast Guard officials said the tugboat that was towing four barges, lost three barges during the collision. Initially, officials believed there were only three barges but later found that a fourth was tied to one of them. The loose barges floated north along the Intracoastal Waterway. The agency’s investigation will include review of documentation, licensing and training, he said. Texas Department of Transportation officials on Thursday estimated damage at about $200,000 from Wednesday’s strike. Source: The Brownsville Herald

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