Nine Barges Hit McAlpine Dam

The Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing (TVT) are continuing their response to a bridge allision that occurred the evening of December 25 in Louisville, Ky.

The mv. Debbie Graham of TVT was pushing 15 loaded coal barges when it made contact with the 2nd Street Bridge over the Ohio River. The allision caused the barges to break loose. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received the report of the incident at 8:10 p.m. December 25.

As of mid-day December 27, six barges had been recovered. The Louisville Engineer District reported that the other nine barges were lying on McAlpine Dam, just above the Falls of the Ohio. Three of the barges on the dam had capsized.

The Coast Guard initially closed the Ohio River to all vessel traffic from Twelve Mile Island to McAlpine Locks and Dam, but had reopened it December 27 to daylight-only traffic using an assist vessel, which was available pre-stationed at McAlpine.

The Indiana Department of Transportation inspected the bridge and reported it is safe for vehicle traffic.

The Coast Guard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers and TVT to plan and direct response efforts using a variety of resources.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.