(Photo: Google Maps)
(Photo: Lisa Hutson, THV11)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The I-30 Bridge has reopened after part of it was struck by a towboat, pushing barges, Thursday afternoon.
Around 4 p.m., the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission notified the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office of the collision. Lt. Carl Minden originally said a barge struck one of the bumpers, which protects the bridge supports, and the bridge was not actually struck. The inspectors checked the bridge thoroughly to ensure nothing was structurally wrong.
Coast Guard Lt. JG Brian Porter said the tow boat, called M.V. Bill Rodgers, was pushing 8 barges northbound when the incident occurred. The barges had recently been unloaded of rocks, which made them empty when the tow boat hit the north fender of the bridge.
Bill Sadler with the Arkansas State Police said ASP the Coast Guard asked them to shut down the I-30 bridge when the tow boat hit. Traffic was diverted for a while in both directions.
This isn't the first time a collision like this has caused Little Rock's bridges to close for inspection. In late August, two barges came loose, hitting the pier protectors of the I-30 bridge and Clinton Pedestrian Bridge. The bridges from Broadway to Clinton Pedestrian Bridge were shut down until inspector gave the all clear for traffic.