Coast Guard investigates bridge allision

FLORENCE, Ill. – The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a bridge allision incident that involved the towing vessel Sam Litrico and the Florence Railroad Bridge on the Illinois River near Florence, Ill.

According to initial reports, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Sunday, May 3, 2009, the Sam Litrico, which had 15 grain barges in tow, was traveling southbound when it struck the bridge seriously damaging the bridge’s protection cells and main structure. Ten of the barges broke free, but were quickly recovered. There is no report of injuries or pollution. The bridge, which services highway 106, has been inspected and will remain closed to automobile traffic until repairs are completed.

The Coast Guard is allowing southbound marine traffic to transit under tow length and width restrictions.

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