What's moving through the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

What's moving through the Heartland

(KFVS) -

First a shocking headline where a ship takes out a big chunk of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge. Then, almost as surprising, we learned the vessel is carrying rocket parts for NASA.

We did some investigating and discovered there's quite a bit of interesting cargo moving up and down our railways and rivers.

First we learned more about the cargo carried by the Delta Mariner from the Foss Maritime Company.

Before the boat made headlines for the bridge collapse, it was well known on the river for a special purpose. The Delta Mariner is built to carry specific parts for NASA. In fact, we learned parts on the ship now are meant for an Air Force mission in April and a NASA mission in August. We're told both of those missions are still on schedule. Foss Maritime also says the parts on the ship were not damaged.

Meanwhile, they are still there as the company and the coast guard work on a salvage plan.

"That ship is made for those specific parts," said Lt. Ron Easley of the Coast Guard. "You can't just move them they roll on and off."

From Dan Overbey at the SEMO Port Authority, we learned travel snafu's happen occasionally when you consider the size and type of cargo traveling up and down our rivers.

"They can be two, three, four stories tall," said Overbey.

Overbey recalls several memorable instances. Like a four story piece of cargo for Conoco Phillips used to refine crude oil. In 2009, it couldn't made it under the Cape Girardeau Emerson Bridge, so it had to sit at the port until the river levels went down.

"It was kind of neat to have it sitting there," said Overbey.

"It's the big stuff that's the most eye catching," said Overbey.

"We handle just about anything you can think of, a lot of grain, chemicals and fertilizer. But also a lot of big industrial parts that are too big or too risky to make it on the road."

As for the Mariner, Overbey says he's familiar with the ship.

"The crew has to be the best of the best," he said. "I can't imagine what could have happened."

As for trains, now a days, according to Union Pacific, they carry a lot of blades for solar, wind or hydro power.

Also, produce is a hot item because trains now have the means to keep the items cold.

We're told a lot of frozen french fries and potatoes roll through the Heartland.

However, the Delta Mariner is still sitting between the piers of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge until the company and Coast Guard agree on a plan to move it out.

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