Coast Guard Responds to Barges Hitting Bridge in Dubuque, Iowa

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard is responding to a bridge strike involving a fifteen barge tow and the Julien Dubuque Highway and Illinois Central Railroad Bridges in Dubuque, Iowa, today.

The barges were in tow by the tow vessel Raymond Grant Eckstein, owned by Marquette Transportation Company of Paducah, Ky., when they allided with the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge at Mississippi River mile 579.9 in Dubuque, Iowa, late last night.

The initial strike caused the barges to break free from the tow and land on the Julien Dubuque Highway Bridge just to the south.

Two barges from the tow are currently pinned against the protection cells of the Julien Dubuque Highway Bridge. A third barge from the same tow sank against the bridge along the bank.

All but three of the fifteen dry cargo barges have been recovered. The three barges against the bridge are outside of the navigation channel.

The Coast Guard is currently monitoring vessel traffic transiting this area to limit unwanted affects on salvage operations. Mariners are encouraged to check-in with the Coast Guard prior to approaching the area.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

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