Barge Tow Strikes Lower Miss Bridge Near Vicksburg

A tow of 28 barges broke up in the Lower Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., on March 19 after the towboat pushing it lost power and the current pushed the tow into a railroad bridge.

According to Coast Guard spokesperson Alberto Garcia, the mv. Michael Morris was pushing the tow, most of whose barges were empties, when it lost power and was pushed into several piers of the Vicksburg Railroad Bridge at Mile 436. The tow did not strike the nearby I-20 bridge.

All barges were secured by Ergon Marine by March 21 and were temporarily moored on both banks; 13 were moored on the right descending bank below the I-20 bridge, 12 were moored about 2 miles south on the left descending bank, and two were in the tow of the Michael Morris.

There were no injuries or spills, and no reports of damage. The railroad bridge was inspected and no damage was found.

The 8,000 hp., twin-screw Michael Morris was built in 1999 by Quality Shipyard of Houma, La. Originally named the Joy Anne Keller, it was operated by MEMCO Barge Line Inc. It was renamed in 2011, after MEMCO became AEP River Operations. It was sold to American Commercial Barge Line LLC in November 2015.