Coast Guard reopens portion of Tennessee River to commercial traffic after bridge collapse

8th Coast Guard District NewsPADUCAH, Ky. — The Coast Guard has reopened a portion of the Tennessee River, Saturday, after a section of the Eggner Ferry Bridge collapsed following an allision with a vessel.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has deemed the navigable channel safe for commercial transit after completing a channel survey Friday evening and finding no obstructions or debris. The safety zone from mile marker 41 to mile marker 43 on either side of the bridge continues to be in effect.

At approximately 7 a.m., Saturday, the Coast Guard began allowing commercial vessels to move through the safety zone. Vessels are instructed to transit at the slowest safe speed to ensure minimal wake. Vessels needing to transit through the safety zone must contact the Coast Guard via VHF-FM on channel 16. Recreational boat traffic is still restricted from moving through the safety zone.

“The Army Corps of Engineers have been a crucial partner in assuring that the channel is clear of debris and helping us get commerce moving,” said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah. “We continue to focus on a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of this accident and working with the ship’s owner on a safe salvage plan.”

The Coast Guard is coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cimarron and a 25-foot Response Boat – Small and crew from MSU Paducah have been deployed to the scene.

There are no reported injuries or pollution at this time.

The incident is under investigation.

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