Ohio River Bridge reopens after being struck by barge

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - The Ohio River Bridge connecting Cairo, Ill. and Wickliffe, Ky.was temporarily closed after being hit by a barge early Thursday evening, according to Ballard County Sheriff's Office.

Transportation officials say the Cairo Bridge has reopened shortly before 7 p.m.  The KYTC bridge inspector has completed his safety check on the US 51/US 60/US 62 Ohio River Bridge between Wickliffe and Cairo.

The inspector found no signs of structural damage. 
The Coast Guard will be interviewing the crew of the motor vessel "Louis S" as part of their investigation of the incident.

According to the US Coast Guard, the motor vessel "Louis S" was headed downstream and slowed to enter an fleeting area on the Kentucky shore near the bridge when the second barge in a 15 barge tow scraped against the Kentucky pier.

Transportation officials say the pilot estimated he was going about 3-miles-per-hour when the hit occurred at 5:55 p.m. CT.

The Coast Guard says the tow included 15-barges of "dry cargo" with no hazardous materials on board.

A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet bridge inspector was on the way to the site and was expected to arrive shortly before 6:30 p.m.  An inspection of the structure is expected to take about an hour to complete.

For safety reasons all traffic on the bridge was halted until the inspection was completed.

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