Barge collides with Amesbury Swing Bridge

MERRIMACK, Mass. – The Coast Guard is investigating what caused a 250-foot barge to strike the Amesbury Swing Bridge in the Merrimack River around 12 p.m. today.

Coast Guard Sector Boston received a call at approximately 11: 50 a.m., reporting the barge William Breckenridge hit the Swing Bridge, which connects Newburyport to Amesbury, as it transited through the channel near Deer Island.

No injuries or pollution have been reported. The Massachusetts State Highway Department is inspecting the extent of the damage to the bridge.

The bridge is currently in the open position and is closed to automobile traffic. Marine traffic is being redirected south to the Chain/Hines Bridge.

“We take these reports seriously and investigate them quickly,” said Lt. Kate Higgins, sector duty officer of Coast Guard Sector Boston. “Once we learned no one was injured, our second priority was investigating possible pollution in the water.”

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